By: J.J. Cheesman
I remember my Father-in-Law’s fifty-fifth birthday party very well. Smoking in my wife’s parents house was not aloud. So I spent some time outside, dragging on a cigarette while the festivities went on inside. I happened to glance over at the house across from the yard I was smoking in, and in the window I saw something peculiar. There was a girl that I could see through a second floor window. She was giving me gestures I didn’t understand in the slightest.
The girl had her right palm outstretched and open, her left hand was shaped into a fist and she was bringing the fist down onto her open palm. She did this two or three times until I shrugged at her. She then switched her gesture, bringing both of her hands near her face with her palms out. Her fingers were curled and her expression became slightly angry, almost as if she was growling at me.
“Honey! Dad’s about to open his presents!” my wife called from the front door of her parent’s home. I gave her a wave.
“Be right there!” As my wife went inside I turned my gaze back to the window across the street. The girl was gone and curtains now obscured my view of the room where she once stood. I thought it was strange obviously, but I laughed it off just a kid being a kid. I went back inside to enjoy the party and thought nothing more of it.
Then a couple weeks later my wife and I were having dinner conversation when all of a sudden she blurts out,
“Oh! Did I tell you about the couple who live next door to Mom and Dad?”
“No, what?” I replied, having forgotten all about my experience with the girl a couple weeks prior.
“Their daughter went missing! It’s crazy, they said there was no sign of a break-in, she just vanished while her parents were downstairs watching television. The parents said she was upstairs in her room playing!” A feeling of dread began to loom in my chest then as my wife spoke on.
“Poor girl, Dad said the only clue to her disappearance is that for some reason, her clothes were all torn out of her closet and were thrown around the room.”
“Wait” I said, “Wouldn’t her parents have heard her screaming or something?”
“That’s what I thought!” my wife said, then her look became solemn as she went on, “Dad said she was deaf though, and spoke completely with sign language.” At that point I became very anxious and my wife must have seen it on my face because she asked me what was wrong. I didn’t say anything other than I needed to smoke. I quickly went outside on the porch and lit up, pulling my phone out as I did so. Using my phone, I googled the signs that the little girl was giving me on the day of my Father-in-Law’s birthday.
The first sign I researched was the one with the open palm and fist. Tears came to my eyes when I saw that it meant ‘help’. The second sign, the one with the curled fingers, made my heart sink when I saw the first result that came up after I searched it.