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 I fought the urge to scream; quickly clamping my icy, cold hand against my frozen lips. The van had been parked with the engine off for at least an hour. We were hoping to conserve the battery for when we got out of here. That was if we ever got out of here! Obviously, without the engine, the heater had been rendered useless. With all the technology there was these days, you would think they would have come up with a way to fix that. My thoughts were jumbled. I searched for the most useless information; hoping to keep my mind preoccupied. I tried my hardest to keep my eyes away from the strange form, which had leapt in front of my mother’s grey minivan.

 I wondered if what I was seeing was even possible. I began searching my mind for rational explanations; questioning if maybe my contacts were messing with my eyes.  Although, I knew they weren’t as I looked towards my parents seeing the horrified expressions that lay across their time-stricken features. I could tell that there indeed was an abnormally tall man who was standing about two feet from where my father had slammed on his brakes. He was just standing there, staring at my parents and me.

 I wanted to scream and tell my dad to just push his foot down on the damn gas pedal!  If the man had any sense in him, he would jump out of the way. Although something unsettling in my stomach told me that he wouldn’t let us leave, even if we had tried.  He had a look of determination spread across his exotic features, making me wonder if we were going to live through this night. I swallowed the lump of tears that were building and took in a deep breath. If I was going to die tonight, I wasn’t going to die a coward. I would do whatever I could to save my parents.  And I knew they would do the same for me; I just hoped that I made them proud.  If we did have to die tonight by the hands of this strange man then I decided that I wouldn’t want to die next to anyone else in this world; other than my loving adoring parents who had given me life.

 I looked from my mother’s wrinkled features to my father’s hardened expression; I wanted to hug them both tight. I hoped for the chance to tell them thank you for everything they had done for me. If we didn’t die or freeze to death, I knew that I would have a new appreciation for them.

 It felt like hours had gone by, when it truly had only been a few minutes.  Suddenly the man started to approach the van.  My father unbuckled his seat belt, which to my surprise he still had on. He reached for the door handle. I jumped with all my might and lunged on his back. I started pulling his hand away from the door, “No dad! I exclaimed. “You can’t go out there!”

 My father turned to me and with a stern emotionless expression he told me to sit back and to stay, as if I was nothing more than the family pet. I was shocked; my father had never spoken to me that way before. Although I felt hurt, I did as he told me. I sat back against the cold leather seat, which at this point had felt like ice had over taken it.  As I tried to fight back the chattering of my teeth, I looked to my mother and was surprised at how calmly she watched my father walk towards the man.  It felt like I was in an episode of the twilight zone. My parents had become people I didn’t recognize. Maybe the man had put a spell on them or something? I questioned what was happening as I shook my head and chuckled to myself. What an idiot, leave it to me to take a moment like this and turn in in to a Sci-fi channel special.

 Staring wide-eyed out of the window I watched helplessly as my father finally reached the path where the man stood. They were both talking in hushed tones. Suddenly the man looked at me and pointed his finger directly towards me.

Copyright: Julie Eades 2014