Disclaimer: I do not own The Boy (2016) or any of it's characters.

Daily Disturbances

The Heebie Jeebies

Malcolm has always been equal parts sympathetic for and disturbed by the Heelshires. Of course they were a sweet old couple, very friendly, and he was more than willing to take the whole deceased toy son thing in stride. It clearly made Mrs. Heelshire happy and it was harmless to play along really. Even fun depending on the mood he's in. Most of the time.

Occasionally however, when the Heelshires are out and about strolling around the garden and Malcolm has been left alone in the house for whatever reason, well. Sometimes Malcolm has the burning suspicion that he's being watched. He can't quite put his finger on what it is that makes him believe this, but it never fails to give him a good case of the heebie jeebies.

Take now for example.

As he reaches up on his tiptoes to hide a god awful box of All Bran on the top shelf of the cabinet ("Because my husband has developed the rather unfortunate habit of midnight snacking my dear. Make sure to put it all the way in the back, behind the sugar. Heavens forbid we make it easy for him.") Malcolm is acutely aware of the exact moment every hair on the back of his neck stands on end. He knows there's no one in the room with him. Just the doll, Brahms, sitting at the table. Knows from experience that if he turns around right now, all he'll see is an empty kitchen. Yes, maybe his phone will be on the table instead of the counter where he swears he's left it, but he'll just be mistaken. After all, phones don't move around by themselves now do they? Or his wallet, or his watch or any of the other odds and ends he's left sitting around the house before, only to find waiting for him in another place entirely.

Mrs. Heelshire always said that her son liked to play games.

Malcolm's heard the stories. He's been around for enough late nights at the pub, listening to the locals talk. He knows many believe that the old Heelshire house is haunted. Hell, Malcolm believes it himself on the worst of days. But he tries not to dwell on it too much. If the house really turns out to be haunted, so what? It's just supposed to be a little kid.

But no, that's not quite right, Malcolm doesn't think the house is truly haunted, not in the way people think. That feeling he gets when he's alone, it's far too dark to be a playful little boy. There's something deeply wrong with whatever's watching him right now. He can feel it, the sensation slithering up his spine. He feels pinned. Like prey that's very much aware it's being observed by a predator.

Malcolm takes a deep calming breath, counts to ten and continues on putting the groceries away. He doesn't acknowledge what he's feeling. A couple minutes go by.

Eyes continue to follow him around the room.

He turns finally when he's run out of excuses not to. "Brahms" continues to sit there staring vacantly ahead, unalive and unmoving. Just as Malcolm knew he would be.

But the feeling is still there. It's moved somehow, coming at him from a different angle he thinks. It's hard to tell.

It's not malicious, what he's experiencing. He doesn't feel threatened per se. Just very much out of his league.

Clapping his hands and rubbing them together, he addresses the doll, if only to break the oppressive silence.

"What do you say Brahms? Let's go out and see what Mum and Dad are up to shall we?" He doesn't wait for a response, refuses to allow for a chance for there to actually be one. Instead he swiftly scoops the porcelain boy up, holding it properly lest Mrs. Heelshire catch him abusing her precious son and moves quickly out the back door. Stepping out into the open air feels very much how he imagines a mouse feels like when a cat doesn't quite care enough to go in for the kill.

Spotting the elderly couple, he makes a beeline across the lawn.

With each step, the previous feeling of being watched subsides and in it's place, Malcolm once again feels like an idiot for even entertaining these ridiculous notions.

Shaking it off, he smiles bright as Mr. Heelshire notices his approach.

Don't be silly, he tells himself. The house is not haunted.

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