Brooke and her new husband Mike just moved into their new dream home. Mike had just gotten a promotion at his accounting job, and was making enough money to support the both of them. Brooke was thrilled that she could now stay home and take care of their 3 month old, Louis, and she could work her home cosmetic business in the afternoons.
Mike worked 12 hour shifts, so Brooke would be home all day with the baby.
It was 8:45 a.m. Mike just left for work, Brooke had to prepare refreshments for her cosmetic demonstration guests, and Louis began crying. “Here we go”, she said under her breath.
Brooke looked in Louis’ crib, “What’s wrong sweetie?” Louis looked up at Brooke and smiled. “Oh, you just want some company, huh?” Brooke tickled his belly, and then left out the room. Soon after, Louis cried again. His cries became louder and louder.
“Okay, okay I’m coming”. Brooke went to his room, and looked in his crib. Louis was…gone!
Brooke could still hear him crying. “Louey, where are you sweetie?” She looked around to see if he fell out of the crib. “Louey?” The crying stopped.
Brooke panicked. She picked up the phone to call 911. The phone had no dial tone.
She ran to the door. The door was stuck. Her heart thumped with fear. “Who’s here? Who’s doing this?” she yelled.
Brooke headed for her cell phone. The screen flashed, “low battery”. She plugged her charger into the outlet…then the lights went off.
Breathing heavily, and shaking, Brooke asked, “Who’s here? What do you want?”
The lights jumped back on, and then there was a knock at the door. Brooke jumped up and ran to the door. It was her neighbor, Tara. Brooke forced the door open.
“I need your help”, Brooke said frantically. She grabbed Tara by the hand and pulled her to Louis’ room. “My baby’s missing! He was lying in his crib, and now he’s gone!”
“Sweetie, he’s right there”, Tara pointed to the crib, and there Louis lay happy and smiling as usual. Brooke told Tara about the lights cutting off. “Brooke, the electricity has been cutting on and off for a few days now. The electric company is working on it.
“But…but…my baby was missing. He must have come back when the lights came back on.”
Tara laughed out loud. “So you’re telling me some invisible baby snatcher took your baby, then brought him back just in time for the lights to come on? Tara continued to joke, “Or maybe the baby snatcher brought him back because he had to take a lunch break”.
As the day went on, everything was typical. Brooke couldn’t wait until her husband came home so she can tell him about her day.
Mike arrived at 8:30 that night. Brooke rushed to the door, “I’m so glad you’re home. I had a horrible day”.
She told him every detail of her day. “Please tell me you believe me”.
“Um… I believe you”, Mike said unsurely. “Are you telling me that someone took the baby, and then brought him back without making a sound?”
Yes, someone or something“, Brooke whispered.
“How can that be?” Mike asked. “I mean, I believe the stuff about the electricity, but…”
“But what about the door?” Brooke asked. Mike stroked her hair, “That door gets stuck sometimes. I’ll replace it, okay?”
The next day, after Mike left for work, Louis began to cry. Brooke went in his room, and looked at him. Louis stopped crying, then smiled. Brooke scooped him up in her arms. “I’m not playing this game today”, she called out. “You’re not taking my baby, you hear me?”
She looked down at Louis’ crib and saw a folded piece of paper. She picked it up. It read, “Kiss your baby goodbye…for good”.
Brooke refused to put the baby down. She left the room and did the household chores with the baby in one arm. She vacuumed, made the bed, and fed Louis…all with one hand.
She looked at the clock. It was 11:10 a.m. She had guests coming at 12:00, and she had to prepare refreshments. She bit her lip nervously. She was going to have to put the baby down.
Brooke brought Louis’ carrier out of his room, and sat him down in it on the kitchen table where she could see him. She quickly turned to grab some cheese out the fridge. She turned around…and Louis was gone.
Brooke screamed hysterically. She ran for the phone and dialed 911. The phone sounded like someone was on the other end. “Hello?” Brooke said. She heard a baby cry in the background. “Louey!” Brooke called. The phone went dead.
Brooke paced back and forth. “Why are you doing this? Give me my baby!” She dropped down on the floor and sobbed.
As Brooke cried helplessly on the floor, she heard a faint knock at the door. She tip toed to the door and peeped through the window. Her guests had arrived.
Brooke looked at the clock. It was already 12:05. She quickly wiped her tears and opened the door, “Well, hello!” she said, trying to sound cheerful.
One of her guests put her hand on her hip, and said, “What kind of mother leaves her baby on the porch?”
“What?” Brooke looked closely at the baby in the woman’s arm. “Louey?”
Louis slowly looked up at his mother and smiled….mischievously.