Mrs. Duran sighed. She was looking forward to tonight. A date night with her husband was rare, especially when she had two boys who were always in trouble.
“It was part of your grounded conditions. You will be supervised at all times so we don’t have a repeat of the other day.”
Charlie’s bottom lip trembled, tears welling up in his eyes. OK, so they weren’t real tears, but his mother didn’t need to know that. The point was he and Gabe were old enough to be on their own for a night.
The doorbell rang.
Charlie glanced over his shoulder at his brother as Mrs. Duran sprayed some perfume on her wrist. Gabe nodded and both boys left the bedroom, knowing their persistence was falling on deaf ears.
Mr. Duran opened the door.
“Hi, I’m Crystal from Kidscare,” came the voice of a bubbly, gorgeous blonde who stood on the front porch.
“Ahh yes,” Mr. Duran said, beaming broadly as he shook her hand and allowed her to enter. He introduced himself before introducing Crystal to the boys.
“They’re not happy about having a babysitter,” he explained. “They’re being grounded for getting into trouble and destroying Mrs. Craven’s prize roses.”
Crystal shot them a sympathetic glance but promised Mr. Duran that she had everything under control. “After all, our motto at Kidscare is ‘Responsibility is top priority.’”
Mr. Duran smiled. Mrs. Duran breezed into the room, rattling off emergency telephone numbers before informing Crystal of where they were going to be having dinner. “If it’s not too late, we may also catch a movie,” she said, feeling her husband’s hand on her lower back as he pushed her towards the door.
Crystal smiled, leaning against the open door. “Don’t worry about a thing, Mrs. Duran. I’ve got it all under control. I promise you everything will be A-OK.”
She watched as the Duran’s climbed into their car and backed down the drive way. She then turned her attention to Charlie and Gabe who were sitting on the third bottom stair.
“Hi,” she greeted. “I’m Crystal from Kidscare!”
Gabe shot Charlie a worried glance. Did Crystal just say Kidscare or KidScare?
As if knowing what his twin was thinking, Charlie shrugged his shoulders before glancing back at Crystal. He didn’t really care what she said. She was gorgeous. Long blonde hair that came down to her waist, her skin was sun kissed and she had these little freckles on her shoulders. Her smile was bright and her blue eyes lit up the room. Charlie sighed. This is must be love.
Crystal smiled. “So what do you want to do?” she asked, her voice bubbly, as she played with her gold necklace.
Gabe swallowed hard, his eyes trained on the necklace. It was of a serpent. Snakes had always freaked him out.
“Whatever you want,” said Charlie, his voice sounding much squeaker than normal.
Crystal’s smile widened. “Great! I have my Kidscare kit out in my car. I’ll be right back.”
She opened the front door and skipped outside to her waiting car.
Gabe nudged Charlie with his elbow. “There’s something wrong with her,” he whispered fiercely. “She’s too happy. No one is that happy all the time.”
Charlie looked at his brother, arching his eyebrow. “Who cares,” he said. “She’s hot.”
Gabe rolled his eyes. Trust his brother to develop a crush on the evil babysitter. He watched from the doorway as Crystal closed the back door of her car and started making her way back to the house. There was something very off putting about her and Gabe was determined to find out what it was.
“OK, so, like, I have some cool games and coloring books and stuff like that in here,” Crystal said, her hand riffling through her kit. “But I think you boys are a little old for this stuff. Unless of course you want to play Dare.”
“Dare?” Gabe had never heard of that before.
Crystal’s eyes darkened. “Yes, Dare. It’s a fun game. The rules are simple. You roll a die. If the numbers one, three or five come up you have to perform a dare that your brother chooses. Should two and four come up, you do a dare from me. If you roll a six, you get to dare one of us to do something.”
Gabe looked at Charlie. Charlie was busy making goo-goo eyes at Crystal to have heard anything she said. He turned back to face the babysitter. “Sounds fun. Let’s play.”
He marched into the living room with Crystal hot on his trail. Charlie followed like a lost puppy. Gabe gave it five minutes before Charlie began physically drooling over her.
Crystal handed him the die from her kit. Gabe held it in his fist, closing his eyes and wishing for a six. He rolled the die along the coffee table. It rattled along the glass table top before resting on a three.
“Three!” Crystal cried, gleefully clapping her hands together. “That means your brother must pick a dare for you.”
She turned and looked at Charlie who quickly snapped out of his trance like state. “Who me? Ugh okay. I dare you, Gabe, to run next door, ring the doorbell and moon Mrs. Craven. It’s her fault that we’re grounded.”
“Oooh nice dare,” Crystal said, slapping Charlie a high five.
Gabe thought it was the stupidest thing he had ever heard. Lucky for him, Mrs. Craven was near sighted and often mistook him for Charlie so with any luck, Charlie would be the one to get into trouble, not him.
All three of them marched outside. Crystal and Charlie stayed on the front porch while Gabe ran next door. He rang the doorbell, turned around and dropped his pants.
“You little brat!”
Gabe grabbed his pants, hoisted them up and bolted through the rose garden back to the safety of his house. Crystal was doubled over in fits of laughter while Charlie was rolling around on the ground, giggling like a hyena.
He zipped his pants back up and ran inside the house.
Once back inside, Gabe was sure that Mrs. Craven was calling the police on him. Charlie had tears streaming down his face why Crystal’s eyes twinkled with sheer delight.
“Okay, I did my dare,” Gabe said, holding up the die. “Who’s next?”
For the next ten minutes they played. Gabe noticed that everytime Crystal rolled, she landed on a six, allowing her to dare someone else so she didn’t have to do one herself.
Gabe blew on the die like he had seen in some old Las Vegas movie. “Yes! Six!” he cried, jumping up and doing a small victory dance.
He pointed a stubby finger at Crystal. “I dare you to prove to us that you’re not an evil babysitter!” he cried.
Crystal’s gave him a vacant stare. “What?” she asked, batting her long eyelashes at him with mock innocence.
“You heard me,” Gabe said, folding his arms over his chest. “I dare you to prove to us that you’re not an evil babysitter. It’s entirely up to you how you go about proving that.”
Crystal’s tongue darted from her mouth as she licked her lips.
“Very well,” she said, getting to her feet. “I’ll prove it the only way I know how.”
She stretched her arms above her head, giving the boys a nice view over her flat stomach and belly button ring. He hands clasped together above her head and she lowered her eyes at the twins. Her lip twitched into a smirk as the skin began to break away on her arms to reveal horrible green scales.
Gabe’s jaw dropped as the skin peeled away from her body, dropping to the floor. Charlie’s eyes widened in terror as Crystal’s body suddenly went from human to serpent. Her legs blended into a slithering tail and her teeth grew sharper until they were jagged and sharp to a point.
“You’re right, Gabe,” she hissed. “I’m not an evil babysitter. I’m something much worse.”
With one lunge, she had successfully grabbed Gabe in her jaws, while her tail had snaked around Charlie, crushing him. She bit down on his causing a bloodcurdling scream to escape his mouth. Blood dripped from her lips as she bit down again, crushing his bones in her strong jaws.
Charlie gasped as he watched his brother disappear into the jaws of a giant reptile.
“Is it true what they say about twins?” Crystal asked, coiling herself around Charlie. “Did you feel all the pain of your brother dying?”
Charlie opened his mouth and screamed as Crystal devoured him, her venom seething into skin, burning him like acid. In three bites he was gone.
* * * * *
The Duran house was covered in blood by the time the boys parents came home. Upon calling the police, Mr. and Mrs. Duran found a trail of blood drops that lead right up to the front door of the house next door.
Mrs. Craven was arrested and charged with the murders of Charlie and Gabe Duran as well as Crystal, the babysitter. Their bodies have never been found.