The babysitter

Published: November 16, 2012
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She looked at me with a nauseatingly sweet smile on her pink face as she continued, “For every wrong answer, I will cut off a part of you.” PHOTO: AFP

I despised her the very moment I set my eyes on her. When introduced to me, she smiled sweetly; it made my stomach churn. She was perfect; perfect to be slaughtered. I couldn’t wait to be alone with her.

Mother instructed her to boil a packet of baby food and feed it to me after which she was to change me and tuck me into bed. The middle-aged lady bobbed her head in obedience, all the while smiling at me sweetly.

I wanted to kill her that very instant. 

Finally my parents were making their way to the door. Mother bent down and planted a kiss on my chubby cheek and whispered,

“Don’t bother the babysitter, honey.”

I chuckled under my breath.

I looked at her ferociously as she calmly closed the door behind my parents. She was such a plain, simple woman. Unassuming of anything evil, she seemed to be a woman of virtue, which made me spiteful of her. I hated innocent people, those who go around pretending the world is a wonderful place, that life is all roses and butterflies.

This woman seemed to be one such person.

The way she smiled sweetly, the way she obliged excitedly, the way she seemed ready to please people almost all the time; it made my blood boil.

She turned to me and smiled her sickly sweet smile. Completely ignoring my malicious expression, she said,

“Honey, I’ll just be back in five minutes, then I’ll make your dinner!”

As she walked to the washroom, I looked at her legs.

First I shall stab those meaty legs so she can’t run away.’

‘Ah the perfect time for me to get the steak knife. Oh how Ill rejoice cutting her fat, luscious neck with it.’

I hid the knife under a cushion on the sofa and waited for the lady to come out. She came out, and with a serene expression on her chubby face, hurried to the kitchen.

I waited for a while and then made my way to the kitchen. I peeked inside. From the kitchen window I saw the full moon shining brightly from high above in the sky.

‘Ah the perfect symbol of a horror scene about to take place’, I thought to myself.

The babysitter was humming to herself as she cut vegetables.

Wait a minute. Vegetables? Why was she cutting vegetables? That was not my meal. My God! Is this woman making a special baby meal for me? I really do hate her now.’

Suddenly she spun around and caught me spying on her.

Her eyes were twinkling under the fringe of black hair on her forehead.

“Oh honey! Are you bored? All right, let’s play a game.”

Before I could move, she came up to me and held me up in her arms.

“Oh, baby, so you have the steak knife? I was looking for it. What is a sweet baby like you doing with a knife?”

In one swift move, she strapped me to my feeding chair.

“Okay, honey. Let’s play a game while I boil the vegetables.”

I was angry because the woman had caught me unaware and my plan was going to be delayed. Oh well …

“I will ask you a question and for every wrong answer I will ….”

My eyes bulged. I gaped at her. She knew I couldn’t talk yet.

She looked at me with a nauseatingly sweet smile on her pink face as she continued,

“For every wrong answer, I will cut off a part of you.”

I gasped.

‘Was this some sick joke?

“Oh, baby, I read about you in the papers. How every babysitter that came to your place was found with her throat slashed with a steak knife. Of course no one could ever suspect a 10-months-old baby. They all thought it was a coincidence that all your babysitters were murdered by some serial killer in the neighbourhood. But I didn’t. I figured it out that you resented the fact that your parents kept leaving you with selfish babysitters who did nothing but talk to their boyfriends while you had to play on your own. Your parents were so desperate for a babysitter that they didn’t even ask for my reference! I do feel for you, however …”

The woman’s angelic expression had all but disappeared. She looked positively evil. I struggled against the tightly adjusted seat straps.

“…what you did was murder after all and I needed to teach a baby like you a lesson.”

The house was dead silent except for the ticking of the kitchen clock.

“You see, Toby, I am a cannibal and there is nothing more I enjoy than the flesh of a fresh, luscious baby!”

With that, she picked up the steak knife and asked her first question.

“Now tell me, what’s 1+1 equal to?”

Read more by Ayesha Pervez here.

Ayesha Pervez

Ayesha Pervez

Currently pursuing TESL in Canada, Ayesha Pervez is an English Literature graduate from the University of Karachi who has completed courses in short-fiction and journalism from Harvard University.

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