The Child Minder

Copyright J Pentetgast

Copyright J Pentetgast

Deep down Jimmy felt comfortable being a diver, but today Jennifer and Carol had unsettled him with their taunts of tin man and monster man. How were they to know that that was what the kids at school had called him, he could not help walking with a limp. He decided to become the monster from the deep and donned his grandfathers old diving helmet. So of course they hid from him. He was a monster, and he knew it, Mrs Brown should not have asked him to look after her kids. His next game, well it would involve undressing.

Footnote. A child has no choice but to make judgements, but the hidden back story here is not to judge until all the facts are known. Jimmys next activity with the children is diving practice.

This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. neilmacdon

    I like the way you build sympathy with the main character and then deliver the sucker punch

    1. Michael Humphris

      I can’t take any credit for that. For I started off writing a happy story, then the tale for some reason of its own, turned bad. I was tempted to bin it. But …

      1. neilmacdon

        Of course you can claim credit for that. The Muse isn’t on a wage

  2. rochellewisoff

    Dear Michael,

    Poor Jimmy grew up to be a pervert. He needs help. Well done.



    1. Michael Humphris

      Hi Rochelle, I was tempted to run over the word limit with this story and give it a nicer ending.

  3. Sandra

    Such a neat turn in characterisation. Well done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, The credit belongs to all who post on Friday Fictioneers for I am learning so much from reading all the different writing styles on Friday Fictioneers.

  4. The Voice

    Yikes. I don’t think this monster needs a mask. That was a disturbing twist. Well done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, I was tempted to write a sweeter end to this story, but in the end I let it appear out as it came out.

      1. The Voice

        I think the ending you chose works perfectly. As someone else mentioned, you start by making us feel for him and then you reveal his darker side.

  5. creatingahome

    Oh this is one babysitter I don’t want sitting near my child.

  6. liz young

    Ugh! Too many real stories like this for comfort!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Liz I was sorry to bring a potential dark side to this photo prompt. The story started out kinda happy then seemed to turn bad. But Jimmy may not be bad, for the next sentence in the story, could involve a trip to a swimming pool, to practice using scuba diving equipment. Mike

  7. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    Ouch.. yes this was a dark side… but it happens actually, the bullied turning molester.

    1. Michael Humphris

      It does seem so. Something about stark white walls and the huddled figures …

  8. ceayr

    Cool tale, well developed, enjoyed it

    1. Michael Humphris

      The daughters of Zeus must have worked hard on me. Thank you

  9. Dale

    He’s not minding my children! I, too, loved how you went from making us feel for Jimmy at first to wanting him locked up.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, I had a little help for the daughters of Zeus, I can only hope that they keep working at guiding me.

  10. wmqcolby

    Yikes! Here we had something fun and then you knocked me out with that last line.

    Brilliant! Sickening, but brilliant.

    1. Michael Humphris

      The story almost knocked itself out, for I felt like deleting it.

      1. wmqcolby

        Yeah, stories do that. Aren’t we glad? 😉

  11. Dreamer of Dreams

    I felt so sorry for Jimmy at first, and then you turned around and gave us that sense of creepiness and danger. Fair gave me a turn!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Sorry I give you a turn. I almost deleted the story, but the ending was Ok, for he took them to a swimming pool to learn how to Aqua dive.

  12. helenmidgley

    good job, that turn around from liking the character to loathing him was well done 🙂

  13. seekeroftruthweb

    It wasn’t until I read the comments that I picked up on his potentially being a predator. I say Mrs. Brown needs to get home fast.

    1. Michael Humphris

      The story has an after life, which shows him to be in reality a good guy.

  14. Patrick Prinsloo

    Oh dear. He needs some help. Now! Before he’s totally destroyed.

    1. Michael Humphris

      He may not be as he seems the after story shows him to be a good guy.

  15. Clare Hempstead

    Skilful change of the reader’s sympathy. Nicely done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, as it happened it caught me out too.

  16. Josslyn Rae Turner

    Nice build up to a gut wrenching ending! I hope the kids band together to fight back and run.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Fortunately they do not need to run, for he is not as bad as we think he is, for next he teaches them to dive using a aqua lung.

      1. Josslyn Rae Turner

        Ah, that’s a relief. 🙂

  17. Thom Carswell

    I’m glad you stuck with this ending as disturbing as it was. If someone is called a monster for long enough they can start to believe it. Jimmy needs someone to see him in a different light.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Well said, thank you for commenting.

  18. lingeringvisions by Dawn

    This made me a little queasy, as well it should. Good job.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, it also made me uneasy, but the/a longer story would have pulled it back to show that he was really not a monster.

  19. ansumani

    The depth of a twisted and tortured character portrayed well in such a few words. Nicely done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, he is certainly tortured. However had the story had been longer I would have pulled it round to show a different side to him.

  20. patriciaruthsusan

    Poor Jimmy and poor girls. This boy needs help, fast. I’m sure that will be his first and last babysitting job, and probably any kind of job for some time. He was right. Mrs. Brown should certainly not have asked him to mind her daughters. Well written, Michael. —- Suzanne

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Patricia. Jimmy was in reality not evil, had the story gone on, he would have been seen in a different light. As a person who always doubted himself.

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