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The night resonated with reminiscences of the blistering summer day. Three young children lounged on the floor of an old robust camper. The windows were open and the children basked in the tender, soothing, warm night air.
“Jordan, are you sure you want to sleep out here?” Leah asked mischievously.
“Well, yeah,” Jordan replied. Hesitantly he asked, “Why wouldn’t I?”
“Well, I was just asking because of the Peg Leg Man.”
Jordan and I raised our eyebrows at each other, and sent Leah a questioning look.
“You mean you guys don’t know? You really haven’t heard?”
We shook our heads no in unison. Leah sighed at our ignorance. “How can you not know?”
Jordan and I innocently shrugged our shoulders. We usually never knew anything until Leah told us anyway.
“Well,” Leah began dramatically. “A couple weeks ago this old man moved here. He has a long silver beard and a peg leg, like a pirate. Nobody knows much about him, except that wherever he came from he murdered people with his peg leg.”
Jordan interrupted her. “How can he kill people with is peg leg,” he retorted skeptically.
Leah glared at him. “He beat them to death.”
Jordan shivered and looked away. As I listened to Leah’s tale, I recalled seeing a younger man with a fake leg riding through town on a bike, but as always, Leah’s words had captivated me, and forced any remnant of truth from my thoughts.
“Well, if everyone knows what he did, then how come no one called the cops?” I asked.
“Because,” Leah said exasperated, he’s crazy!”
Jordan crossed his arms. “I don’t believe you.”
“Fine!” Leah replied angrily. “You can even ask my mom. She said last night when she drove home he was lying in the middle of the road on the church hill. She stopped the car and asked if he needed any help, and he said “No, I’m waiting for the aliens”. I’ll call her right now and you can ask her yourself!”
Jordan fidgeted nervously. “But I mean, he doesn’t even know us, so I mean, he won’t do anything to us.”
Leah shrugged. “I don’t know. We better be quiet out here, otherwise he might find us, and if he does….”
All noise in the camper ceased. The three of us looked at each other, entranced by fear like a moth is drawn to a bright light.
In an eruption of mass chaos the silence broke. Something grated against the outside screen of the window, an ear shattering screech vibrated from the siding of the camper, and an ominous banging resounded everywhere we turned. The three of us started screaming, and stood huddled in a little group in the middle of the camper.
“It’s the Peg Leg Man!” Jordan yelled. “He’s going to kill us!”
The frenzied commotion continued for a few minutes longer, and then dissipated. Silence descended once again, and the three of us stayed frozen in our huddle. We broke apart and ran to the end of the camper when the door suddenly banged open. The three of us looked in horror as not one person, but a group climbed into the camper. Obnoxious laughter erupted from the assailants, and in walked my brother and sister, and Jordan’s mom, dad, and brother. As for the Peg Leg Man, according to Leah, he was still waiting for the aliens.