"Time for your nap, sweetie." I said as I lifted my one year old son, Max, from his high chair that was sitting at the front of our kitchen table.
As I held Max in my arms, the infant began to gurgle the salvia in his mouth until he slowly began to produce enough bubbles of his own spit to cause it to ooze from his lips. I sighed and wiped his mouth with a nearby napkin and then I placed him against my chest and carried him upstairs.
"Mommy is so proud of you," I said in a baby voice. "You didn't make a mess this time while you were eating. You're becoming a big boy."
Max muttered a few incoherent sounds that revealed his attempt at trying to imitate English speech. When I had taken him for his check up a few weeks ago, the doctor had told me that most infants began to utter their first words around his age. After being informed that he would begin talking soon, I spoke to him often, even though he didn't understand me and he couldn't reply. I was hoping that by talking to him it would inspire him to speak.
My husband was convinced that his first word would be "Daddy", but I was far more confident that the first thing to escape from my son's lips would be "Mommy". To ensure that this occurred, I would repeatedly say "Mommy" in almost every single sentence that I said to him.
Once I entered my son's blue and white colored bedroom, I carried him over to his crib and gently placed him inside on his back.. He stared up at me with his clear blue eyes and began to reach upwards as though he were trying to grab my face.
"Shhhh," I said. "Mommy loves holding you, but it's nap time and you need to sleep."
I reached into the bottom of his crib and began to clear away a few of his toys to give him some space and to my surprise, sitting in a corner of his crib was a strange toy that I had never seen before. I was the only one who bought toys for Max and even though he was the one who played with them, I knew each of them by heart, the way most people know their entire wardrobe, therefore the new toy caught my attention immediately.
I placed the other toys that I was familiar with on the floor and began to closely study the one I had never seen. It was weird, and after a close inspection, I was convinced that it wasn't designed for children.
The mystery toy was a large black, block that shared a similar appearance to the blocks that toddlers stacked on top of each other in order to build towers. However, this wasn't one of those blocks because it was painted purely black with strange yellow designs on selected sides of the cube. It was actually very heavy and I couldn't image any toddler that lacked motor skills to be able to play with the toy.
"Eric." I called, hoping my husband, who was in office across the hall, would hear me. "Can you come here for a minute?"
"Sure." I heard him say.
Eric and I had known each other since we were in grammar school and we have been married for nearly five years. Back in high school, he was the geeky nerd that you would find in the library with a book under his nose, while I was the girl who hung out with the popular crowd and on the cheerleading squad.
I remember back when we were in high school, people often thought of our relationship as being strange because we were from two different clichés, but I had known Eric long enough to acknowledge that he was person I wanted as a friend and as a partner.
A minute later, Eric entered our son's room, just as I was holding the strange toy up for him to see.
"What's up Sara?" he asked.
"Did you buy this for Max?"
Eric averted his eyes from me and then onto the strange toy that was sitting on the palm of my outstretched hand. He studied it for a moment, as though he were searching his memory for any recollection of purchasing it, and then he began to adjust his rectangular shaped glasses to confirm that he was seeing it correctly.
"No." he said. "I've never seen a toy like that before in my life."
"That's weird." I said as he took it from the palm of my hand to study it for himself. "I just randomly found it in Max's crib. Are you sure you didn't put it there?"
"I'm certain." he said. Eric then began to shake the black cube up and down like it was a maraca. "This doesn't look like a toy."
"Well, I know I didn't put it there, and you say you didn't. We're the only two who enter this room, where could it have come from?"
"Sorry Sara, but I really have no idea."
"Never mind." I muttered, taking it from him. "Wherever it came from, it's probably not clean. I want this thing out of this house."
I walked out of the room and made my way into the kitchen where I dropped the mystery toy in the kitchen garbage can. It was weird because Eric and I lived alone, we didn't have a babysitter, and relatives rarely visited us, therefore there wasn't anyone I could deem responsible for bringing the toy.
A few thoughts suggested that maybe it could have belonged to a robber, but that didn't make any sense because we didn't see any signs of a robber and why would a robber break in and simply leave a toy without taking anything?
There were so many mysteries surrounding its presence, but at that moment, I simply wanted to forget about it simply because I couldn't explain it.
A few weeks elapsed and I had forgotten about the incident, that is until I went to put Max to sleep one night. I had placed him the crib the way I usually did each night and when I went to cover him up with a blanket, there, sitting in the same corner of his crib was an identical toy to the one I had thrown away.
I gasped at the sight of it and quickly removed it from Max's crib. I found Eric in the kitchen, in the middle of a nighttime snack, and questioned him about it and he insisted that he wasn't responsible for it.
"Then where on Earth are these coming from?" I asked, as I tossed it into the trashcan. "Honestly Eric, this is freaking me out. What's going on?"
"I have no clue." said Eric, who seemed to share my concern. He was silent for a moment and then his eyes lit up as an idea entered his mind. "I know, how about you set up a camera in Max's room?"
"Yeah, remember that camera set I bought a few months ago. It's just sitting in my office and I never use it."
"Eric, that actually sounds like a great idea!" I reached over the table, giving him a quick kiss on the cheek. "I'm going to go and set it up right now."
Eric followed me into his tiny office and after sorting through dozens of boxes that he had stacked on top of one another, he found the camera he had never opened and handed it to me.
I spent half an hour reading the instructions on how to set the camera up and to use it properly. After thoroughly educating myself on the camera's installation process, I had Eric bring me a ladder from the garage and then, together we hooked the camera up in our son's room. I had chosen to place it in a corner of the room that captured Max's crib and a majority of his bedroom.
"There." I said, once the camera was enacted. "Now, if this happens again, we can figure out what's going on."
During the first couple of days, I was extremely conscious of the camera's presence and I often found myself staring at it each time that I entered Max's room, wondering if it were recording anything suspicious, however after several weeks began to pass, I slowly stopped looking at it and at one point I forgot that it was even there.
I made up in my mind that I wouldn't review the tapes unless another one of those weird toys appeared in Max's crib. At first, I expected this to occur within a few days after setting up the camera, but to my surprise, an entire month went by before I found another one.
One morning, I was heading into Max's room to wake him and get him dressed so that I could take him over to my mother's house. When I lifted him from the crib, I immediately spotted an identical black block sitting in a corner.
It definitely hadn't been there last night when I put him to bed which meant that it had somehow managed to appear during the last nine hours. I left the toy in the crib and carried Max into the kitchen. I quickly fed him some breakfast and then carried him into Eric's office with me so that I could review the security camera.
Eric was at work, which meant that I was going to have to figure out what was going on by myself. I placed Max in his baby swing with a few of his toys and then I logged onto the computer and opened up the folder that contained a month's worth of footage.
I scrolled pass several video files that were labeled by their date. After scrolling through several video files, I found the one of the night before and began to play it.
The video began playing précising at yesterday's 6:00am, so I had to skip several hours until I found where I had placed Max down to go to bed. To my realization, I was going to have to watch nine hours worth of camera footage and that was the last thing that I wanted to do. I hit the fast forward button, and even with the button on max, it was still a timely process.
An hour into fast forwarding through the night, something strange was captured by the camera around midnight that caused me to hit the "stop" button and play the video at it's regular speed. The room was dark, but the camera had a night vision camera that made everything visible.
Max's crib began to shake in the video and after several minutes of shaking a strange light appeared directly over his crib. This ball of light was the size of a tire and it was extremely bright to the point where I was squinting, despite knowing that the light was only a recording of the actual thing.
My mouth hung open in shock the second the light appeared. It didn't make any sense. The ball of light wasn't caused by anything in the room and it hovered in mid-air for nearly five minutes until a small black object, the strange toy I kept finding, fell from the white light onto the floor and then it disappeared.
What happened next, is extremely difficult to even comprehend. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest at what I saw next. My legs went numb and my heart began to pound rapidly against the walls of my chest as though preparing to make a run from my paralyzed body.
The cube began rocking back and forth for several minutes until something stretched out of the cube. I wasn't sure what I was seeing, but a strange, stringy like substance began to slide from the cube. It was almost like I was watching an invisible hand pull a mile long roll of clay dough from the cube.
After so many minutes, the clay like substance began to pull together, forming a solid figure that grew larger as the clay combined. Eventually, once it was compacted tightly together, the solid figure was the size of a recliner, creating something that could only be classified as a monster.
The monster looked directly at the camera.
This story was based off a prompt. I think you'll like the direction this story is heading in.