When they brought him here with his hands tied behind him, it was still light outside. Some other little boy’s home with sailboats on the shelves and balloons hanging from the ceiling.
“It’s your birthday, my little cinnamon bun,” said Toyman, the sweet one with the white hair.
No, Robbie shook his head. Not my birthday. “My birthday’s March.”
“you’re our new best boy. It’s the start of your new life,” Toyman said, releasing his hand and rubbing his sore wrist.
“Where is my ice cream?
“It’s coming. It’s coming. What kind would you like?”
“I told you. Pistachio.”
But Toyman brought vanilla. Ribbie took a taste. It made him feel barfy.
Now he sits alone on the lower bunk in this strange darkening room. A slash of light from the open door that he’s not allowed to shut. Their voices down the hall – the sweet one and the big dark growly Monsterman who scares him. But only occasional words, and he can’t make sense of those.
Over and over, he whispers to himself.
“My name is Robbie Merrow” I’m five years old, and I live in Santa Cruz. With Mom and Dad and my big sister, Becca, she’s ten. 212 beechnut Street. That’s my address. My phone number is 324-8122.
“My name is Robbie-”
At that moment, the room darkens, like a storm passing over the sun. Slowly, the door swings wide, and the shadow of Monsterman stands on the threshold , blotting out the light.
Robbie strains to see the eyes, but there aren’t any.
It looms closer, and then it speaks.
“Who are you talking to, Damon?”
by Patricia Weenolsen
Paperback: 550 pages