The lights came on in the living room of the Johnson home piercing the absolute blackness that surrounded their house. Kim started to put groceries away in the cabinet as her husband, Nick, began to get out a frying pan and a cutting board, along with some other utensils to start prepping their evening’s dinner.
Cason, their six-year-old son, ran off to his room. He turned on his light and started digging through his toy box looking for his lions that would form Voltron. He found the black lion and began to prepare it to form Voltron. Soon he would be fighting various Ro-beasts throughout the universe.
After a few minutes, the yellow and blue lions were in place, forming the legs. The red and green arms were attached to the upper torso forming the arms, and then with a quick flip on the black lion, we saw the head of Voltron.
Cason thrusts the completed toy up into the air, “I formed Voltron,” he shouted at near the top of his lungs. His parents laughed at the enthusiasm from the kitchen.
A tap on the window took his attention away from Voltron and on to the lone window in his bedroom. He only saw the reflection of his bedroom on the glass. He continued to play with Voltron and ignoring the outside.
Kim came in a few minutes later as Cason was leading Voltron into the slaying of a Ro-beast.
“Wash up and put your toys away soon. Your dad almost has dinner ready.”
“Okay, mom,” Cason replied as Kim headed back to the kitchen to finish getting dinner ready. She wrapped her arms around Nick as he finished putting the finishing touches on some bacon burgers. Only two minutes left until the oven-baked fries were ready.
“Maybe we can send Cason to my mom’s for the weekend and we can have ourselves a little time,” Kim suggested to Nick.
Nick smiled, “Don’t tease me like that on a Monday.”
He turned off the stove and spun around in her arms, kissing her.
“Maybe after dinner, we can send the boy to bed early or make sure he plays with that Voltron toy for an hour or so.”
“An hour or so? You promise.”
“You know I can’t promise that,” Nick said with a fake laugh.
Cason put down Voltron and started to make his way to the bathroom. He forgot to turn off the light. He rushed back into his bedroom and turned off the light. In the window, a face looked back at him. An ape-like face.
Blackish-grey skin, a conical-shaped head, long hair covered most of its upper body and head. It smiled, a broken yellow smile, at Cason as it bent down to look into the window. It swayed like it was dancing. The big brown eyes never leaving Cason.
Cason laughed and ran away into the kitchen. He liked monkeys. He rushed into the kitchen, throwing himself between his parents.
“There’s a monkey in my window!”
His parents looked down at him.
“A monkey?” Nick asked.
Cason nodded and ran to his spot at the dinner table, where some fries and a bacon burger with ketchup waited for him.
“There are no monkeys here,” Kim said as she sat down.
“Yes, huh. I saw it. It was a big monkey. Taller than my window.”
Nick laughed, “That would make the monkey over nine feet tall. No monkey is that tall.”
“It could be a bigfoot,” laughed Kim.
Nick and Kim shared a laugh as Cason thought about bigfoot.
“What’s a bigfoot?”
“A really big monkey, but they’re not real,” said Nick.
The conversation over dinner changed from monkeys and bigfoots to the rest of the week and how Cason might go stay with grandma in Seattle. It would do him good to get out of North Bend and into the city a little bit more.
Cason helped clear the table and was told to go brush his teeth and get ready for bed. He did and when he got into his room the monkey was still in the window, it still smiled at him. It tapped the window and made an awkward come here motion.
With a smile, Cason picked up Voltron and trotted over to the window and opened it up. The sasquatch gently pulled him from the window as Cason showed him his favorite toy.
A few moments later Kim and Nick walked into the room ready to tuck Cason into bed. They laughed assuming their son was playing his typical pre-bed hide and seek game. They looked through the house in all the normal spots.
Cason was not there.
Nick and Kim began to check the secondary locations.
Cason was not there either.
Nick and Kim began to check any other location inside the house that he might be. They checked inside the washer, inside the dryer, inside the dishwasher even though they had just filled it moments earlier.
Both ran outside into the cold dark night shouting the name of their son, “Cason! Cason!”
No words came back. No playful laughter.
No calls or screams came back.
The night seemed darker than normal. The night seemed quieter than normal. Kim ran back into the house and started looking more as Nick continued searching the outside of the home with the LED flashlight on his phone.
Nick could not find his son anywhere. He rounded the corner of the house and found himself a few yards from his son’s open bedroom window. He shined his light up at the window and noticed the smears of a grease-like substance. Like if you touched a window after eating fried chicken. Big fingers, twice the size of his own. He reached up to compare his hand to the hand smear on the window, but he couldn’t reach the bottom of the sill and he was a couple of inches over six feet tall.
He lept back away from the window, remembering that there might be some sort of evidence at the bottom of the window. His shoes did not make much of a dent in the hard dirt below the window. However, there were a couple of large footprints. Bare footprints.
Cautiously Nick placed his size 13 shoe next to one of the footprints. He stared down in disbelief. The footprint was over twice the length and width of his own. He looked all around him and then finally settled on the treeline that sat fifty yards from where he stood.
Kim called to Nick from inside the house, but Nick was drawn to something in the forest. He thought he heard Cason call, but he couldn’t be sure. The voice might have been in his head, but he had to see for himself. He jogged toward the woods. His wife’s voice fading behind him.
A step inside the forest and Nick felt he was being watched from multiple sides. The forest usually had some sort of activity at night. Owls, crickets, frogs, and other creatures made some sort of noise most nights.
Tonight was not one of those nights. Nicks’ feet didn’t seem to make a noise as they crushed dry leaves and needles under his feet. He crept another ten yards into the trees, apprehension making the next step harder and harder.
Nick realized he was holding his breath. As silent as he could he let out his breath and brought in another deep breath. His flashlight bounced from the ground and then to a tree. He looked for anything that might belong to his son. Then the light landed on something blue, yellow, red, green, and black.
It was Cason’s Voltron toy.
Nick bent down to pick it up but stopped. There could be fingerprints or on it. He’s seen enough true crime to know not to be an idiot and contaminate evidence. He stood and dialed 9-1-1.
From the ambient light Nick that he saw large, humanoid-like figures swaying behind trees around him. He gave a panicked explanation to the 9-1-1 operator as he backed out of the forest toward his home. The operator let him know that his wife was on another line and officers were already on their way.
Back inside, Kim was sobbing into the phone and as Nick walked in she wrapped her arms around him, crying into his shoulder. The red and blue lights of the first police car broke through the night outside.
As Nick and Kim spoke to one officer inside, other officers began to search the forest around the home. They searched most of the night and into dawn. They searched with dogs and they even brought in a helicopter with a huge spotlight.
That night the police did not find any sign of Cason, they did not even find the Voltron toy that Nick said he saw.
The next morning they found one of Cason’s shoes on the front porch of the house. A month and a half later they found the other one on a farm fifteen miles away. However, they never found Cason. Nick and Kim continue to search even though the police have long given up. Sometimes they think they hear him call out to them as they walk through the forest. Sometimes they thought they saw a monkey looking at them through different windows of their home.
This is kind of a sneak preview to the sequel of my book, I Killed Bigfoot. If all goes well the sequel drops in the fall of 2020.