by Sameera Ansari
Do we have to use the escalator Mom? Five year old Dan looked up at Sofia, eyes round.
We have been over this a thousand times. Get moving Danny, unless you want to miss the start of the movie.
But Rob said…
He was making it all up to scare you.
What about Mary, Jessica and Simon?
They know how easily provoked you are.
What about that story in the papers Uncle Fred was taking about?
It was an accident baby, don’t be such a sissy now!
I am not a baby, protested Dan.
Then stop behaving like one. Step on it, will you? People are waiting.
Dan finally obeyed, and they were on the way up.
God please protect me and Mom, he kept muttering, eyes closed, clutching onto his mother’s hand so tight that she could hardly feel it.
Sofia smiled in embarrassment at the onlookers chuckling around them.
He’s been paying too much attention to rumors, she murmured to the old lady with the pink hat on the step below.
But how did that child die…
Shhh! She pleaded with a finger on her lips hoping Dan had not heard.
Evil eyes dear, evil eyes. Be careful about your boy, said Pink Hat, clucking.
They had reached the landing above, Dan opened his eyes slowly.
Didn’t I tell you darling? You were scaring yourself for no reason.
Yes Mom, he agreed and turned around just in time to see a slimy green hand withdrawing into the steps.