Short Story: Stranger Danger
“Don’t accept sweets from strangers.”
It was a common life lesson parents gave their children. Most parents taught it verbally, some favoured a more intimate approach.
Like hiring him to play the role of a dangerous stranger.
For purely educational purposes, of course.
The job paid him well, and he loved that he could be super creepy and not get thrown in jail.
It wasn’t just drugging kids and snatching them off the street. Even before he met them, he basically had full permission to stalk the children to study them inside out. To find out how far to push, what kind of experience to give them, how best to send the message home.
Most of the time, all he needed was one meeting to teach the child a life-saving lesson.
Then there were children like this girl, whom he had tricked with increasingly nasty treats under difference disguises, who still trustingly accepted his lolly when he offered one to her.
Maybe what this girl needed wasn’t a lesson but a bodyguard.