My daughter was going through a very rough night. She was only eight years old, and she said there was a man in her closet. She was screaming and crying and panicking. I, being as calming a parent as I could, told her that there wasn’t a man in her closet. I told her to go to bed, and to stop crying. I told her everything would be all right. I stayed in bed with her, tucked her in, and carefully braided her long, dark hair until the tears stopped, and her breathing was short and quiet.
She was asleep. Mentally congratulating myself on how I was such a great mother, I returned to bed. Turning off the lights, I fell into an unsettling sleep of old men waiting in dark closets. But when I woke up, I was happy, ready to start an exciting Saturday starting with visiting the zoo; some alone time for me and my daughter. I knocked on her door, but there was no answer. I opened the door, but she wasn’t there. Humming happily to myself, I walked into the kitchen, expecting her to be eating cereal.
She wasn’t in the kitchen. I looked all around the house, but I couldn’t find her anywhere. I was growing very worried. I called the police and I looked everywhere for her. A few days later of pure worry, I desperately checked an old shed in the backyard. After I unlocked it, I was greeted by the hug of my missing daughter. She was starved, and was shaking despite the hot weather. I asked her what she was doing in the shed. She told me, “The man in her closet locked her in there and he…” She burst into hysterical sobs, unable to say more. I took her to see criminal records, showing her each male criminal in the local town, and when she saw a picture of a man, she burst into tears.
It said he was executed for kidnapping young girls, locking them in sheds, and torturing and scaring them, just for the satisfaction of seeing their horrified faces and hearing their terrified screams. I have no idea how, but that terrible man was tormenting my daughter from beyond the grave.