Never Talk To Strangers

Never Talk To Strangers

A Story by Elizabeth Carol Livingston

Rosie is terrified of who she may have just met.


     One day, Rosie was walking to school, her pink backpack slung over her shoulder. She was three and a half blocks into the ten-block trek to school when, from almost a block away, she saw someone who looked very familiar walking towards her. She waved to the familiar-seeming figure then started running towards him. As she got closer, she realized it wasn’t actually anyone she knew, he just looked, at a distance, like he was.

     Being eleven years old and just starting to walk to school alone, her mother had given her the age-old lecture about not talking to a stranger, especially when you’re alone. When she was face to face with the stranger, she simply apologized for her mistake and went to continue walking. He grabbed her arm, though, before she could get more than a couple of steps on the rest of her journey to school.

     “Hi, I’m Larry. Are you sure that you don’t know me?”

     That was when Rosie started getting the feeling that this guy was really creepy. She hated when people touched her when she didn’t expect it, but she particularly hated it when strangers touched her.

     She looked up at the man who had just introduced himself as Larry, wondering if it was his real name or if he had just made it up to make himself less traceable. He made her really nervous and she was thinking this would be the perfect opportunity to use the excuses the school and her mother had taught her.

     "I really have to go now. Don't follow me."

     "But I want to talk to you. You don't have to go, do you really? You could come back to my place. I have chocolate and chips at my house. It isn't that far, it's only a few minutes away."

     "I can't," Rosie told him. "I must be going now." She ripped her arm out of his tough grip with such force that she nearly fell over. "And if you follow me, I'll use more force than that to kick you, I promise you that."

     As she walked towards the school, she remembered what the principal at her elementary school principal had said during that safety-oriented assembly when she was in fifth grade. She made a few wrong turns on purpose, in case he was following her. She looked over her shoulder a few times to see if he was actually following her.

     When she got to school, she told the principal about the man who she had met. The principal called over the school resource officer and asked that she talk to Rosie. Rosie told the principal, normally very strict about students attending classes, that she had a class to go to. The principal told Rosie that she could go to class, as long as she promised to come back during her lunch hour to talk to the resource officer. She made her promise and made her way to class.

     When her lunch hour came around, Rosie went to get her lunch, a sandwich from the sandwich bar and carton of chocolate milk, along with some pasta salad and a brownie. Since she was skinny, she figured she could spare the extra calories and carbohydrates that this lunch contained, especially since she knew she would run a bunch of it off during gym class. She saw the principal coming to get her and walked towards him.

     "Hello, sir," she said. "I was just about to come down. Is it okay if I eat lunch in your office?"

     "Yeah, of course," he told her, putting his arm around her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her. "We want our students to be both safe and healthy, and if you don't eat, you won't have the energy for the rest of the day. We want to make sure our students eat."

     They went back to his office and Rosie talked to the resource officer. While she was giving a description of the man she had encountered, the officer looked up from her screen to stare at Rosie. She asked what was wrong, feeling a little uncomfortable with the officer staring at her. The officer explained that the description that she had given matched the description of a man that they had been looking for. The officer wouldn’t tell her why they were looking for him without her parents present. However, she asked if she could come back to the school around four with at least one of her parents and work with the station’s sketch artist to come up with a sketch to aid in the search, especially if he really was the guy.

     She went to the school that night with her mother and they went with the school resource officer to the police station and Rosie described Larry to the sketch artist. As it turned out, they had been searching for him for several kidnappings and several more child molestations. They finally found him and got him of the streets, thanks to Rosie’s help.

     For the first few weeks after the incident, Rosie felt scared to walk alone, but she was very happy to have Larry off of the streets, not harming people. For the first few days, she walked to school with a friend so that she wouldn’t have to feel as afraid, but then she felt a lot more okay with it. As the days and weeks drew on and winter came and went, she knew that she was now safe. Nothing bad happened to her on her way to or from school and she felt good about life again. Justice had been served and she was happy again.

© 2012 Elizabeth Carol Livingston

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Added on October 24, 2012
Last Updated on October 24, 2012
Tags: Stranges, horror, scary, talk, never, school, police


Elizabeth Carol Livingston
Elizabeth Carol Livingston

Burlington, VT

I love music and writing. I particularly love writing short stories and short novels. more..