Today I saw the true face of evil. No it wasn’t a mass-murderer who tried to kill me. No it wasn’t someone making terroristic threats. And no it wasn’t a random adult who was committing heinous acts in any capacity. No. It was a small child named Jason.
I know what you’re thinking: Brody, how could you say that? Is this just another exaggeration to emphasize how much you hate children?
It’s nothing like that. This child was actually evil.
Looking at him, you would never think there was anything wrong with him. He was my student, just another normal, sweet 3rd grader. And this guy was smart. He knew answers to questions far beyond his grade level. He quickly became my star student, and it seemed like we were going to have a great year of learning. He was quick to offer help to his peers, as he was often finished long before the others.
I encouraged this, since he showed potential to be a leader. I wanted to facilitate his growth. I was excited at the prospect of possibly having a child prodigy in my very own classroom…
But this excitement didn’t last very long.
Only a few short weeks after Jason joined our classroom, some of his peers began to look very obviously anxious around him. At first, I chalked it up to them being intimidated by his prowess. I figured he made them uncomfortable because he knew so much.
And then the complaints started. One afternoon, after school had dismissed for the day, a student and their concerned parent entered my classroom, both with concerned faces. Immediately I knew something was wrong, so I welcomed them in quickly and sat them down, showing that I was here to listen. I knew, based off of pure instinct as a veteran teacher, that these situations called for welcoming atmosphere and sincere, open communication.
“Mr. Abbott, Nat has told me some pretty disturbing things regarding another student in your class. Go ahead and tell him what you told me, Nat.” The mother nudged her daughter gently, encouraging her to speak up.
I gave the young girl my full attention, assuring her that whatever was said would remain between us. Something had her spooked, and I needed to know what that was.
“Well, Mr. Abbott, it’s about Jason… He… He said some things that were scary earlier today. I don’t know what they all meant, ‘cause he used some big words, but he said if I told he would hurt my momma…”
“Hold on, Nat, he really said that?” I glanced at the mother. She made eye contact with me and shook her head as if to say ‘It’s crazy right? Why would a kid say something like that?’
“Mr. Abbott, I don’t want him to hurt my momma. He said that he would hurt her like he hurt his Mommy.” At this she started sobbing; she was inconsolable. The mother sent her to the restroom located within my classroom so she could wash her face and calm down while she and I spoke privately.
“She left out a lot, you know. She didn’t tell you the detail he went into about how he hurt his mother. Even if it isn’t true, the things he said were very disturbing.”
After our meeting, which ended with my promising to follow up on this situation and keeping a closer eye on Jason, I got even more complaints from students. All of them were similar, but the threats he made were always different.
If you tell, I am going to bury you over there on the playground, just like that stray dog.
If you say a word about this, I am going to make you wish you were dead!
Keep your mouth shut, or I’ll tell Mr. Abbott that it was you!
Each of the complaints dealt with behaviors that he was exhibiting during his P.E. classes. We had heard many complaints that the coach didn’t watch the children as closely as he should, but this was getting out of hand.
I made numerous attempts to reach Jason’s parents, but I was never able to get ahold of either one. I had submitted a referral to our counselor for his disturbing behavior, but without contact from the parents, there wasn’t much else I could do.
I began to keep the other students away from him as much as possible. However, I was stumped. In my classes he was a perfect angel, still offering to help his peers. Even when I would be eavesdropping on their conversations, I never heard anything worrisome. Still the complaints came.
It had only been about two weeks, but I had gotten almost a dozen complaints from parents and students, all of them growing increasingly furious and frustrated that nothing had been done yet. I was at my wits end and decided that a home-visit was necessary.
It was our district policy to reserve these for the last resort, as we didn’t want to put anyone in any potential danger. I decided that the upcoming Friday would be the best time to try and talk to Jason’s parents at their home.
Friday came quickly, and after school released for the weekend, I typed the home address on file for Jason into my GPS and was on my way. The house itself was about a 30-minute drive from the school, and by the looks of it, was very much in the middle of nowhere.
An unsettled feeling began to fall over me, bit by bit the further I drove. At one point, the GPS had me turn onto an old dirt road. This road was only wide enough for one vehicle; it was rocky and difficult to drive on. I grew even more nervous when I looked at my GPS and saw that this stretch of road went on for 10 miles. There was no where to turn, no other properties to be seen.
The longer I drove, the more questions arose in my head: how does he get to and from school every day? Does the bus come out this far? That’s something I will have to ask Norma Jean at some point. How is it that any vehicle drives this road every school day? There’s no way it’s safe.
As I drew nearer to the house, I felt a feeling deep within me. This feeling was primal, an unbearable urge to stop the car and run in the opposite direction. I rationalized this to my paranoia around dirt roads and unknown areas. I had seen wrong turn, after all. Whenever you go on a road like this, deformed cannibals come and try and kill you.
Finally, I reached the house. There were two cars parked outside, but it looked as if they hadn’t been moved in months. They were covered in sap from the tree under which they sat, and their tires looked half-deflated.
I pulled up behind the cars and began to get out of my own. I walked up to the door bracing myself… for what? I knocked on the door swiftly and loudly, as it seemed as if no one was home. There was no movement in the house whatsoever.
I knocked again, this time a bit more forcefully. Perhaps they were napping or something. I glanced at the two cars again and began to wonder whether they were merely junkers, and the parents were actually away from home. I stepped over to the window and looked in briefly. At first, I didn’t see anything.
I was just getting ready to turn away and leave, angry that I hadn’t been able to resolve anything and terrified at what was going on with this young child.
Then I noticed a foot sticking out from behind the couch. I had thought it was merely a shoe, but as I looked closer, I realized that it was definitely on someone’s foot.
“Hey!” I yelled. “Hey! Are you okay? Do you need help? I am about to come in if you don’t answer me!” Already I was checking the door to see if it was unlocked. Almost to my surprise, it was.
I threw the door open and instantly regretted it. The smell that hit me was putrid. The smell of death and decay. No words can express how disgusting this smell was. It was unlike any other.
The foot that I had seen was attached to the partially decayed corpse of a woman. She was covered in maggots, which had already eaten away at her eyes and a considerable portion of her flesh. At the sight, I really did bend over and puke. I couldn’t stop. I was in tears and didn’t know what to do. I went to her, trying to revive her, stupidly, and knowing there was nothing to be done. I am not quite sure why I even tried. As I looked her over, I noticed a pair of children’s scissors laying next to her, possibly the weapon that caused the large gash across her abdomen. Shakily I took out my phone and tried to dial 911.
I dropped my phone on the body and on the writhing mass of hungry maggots.
It was only after I had come to terms with what I was seeing that I noticed the second body. This one was at the bottom of the stairs just off the small hallway at the back of the living room. This one was mangled, pieces of bone protruding from its legs and neck.
At that point I was in pure panic mode. Sick, I shakily reached for my phone. I dry heaved as my fingers grazed the maggots, but swallowed quickly and shakily punched the numbers 9-1-1.
I can only vaguely remember talking to the dispatcher, and I am sure that I sounded like a raving lunatic. Eventually I heard the words, “An officer will be over there in fiv mi—”
I didn’t let her finish. I ran outside and finally puked.
Just at the end of the driveway, I saw a school bus pulling in. My heart was pounding, but for some reason I didn’t say anything to the bus driver. I just waved and waited for Jason to get off; when he did, I could see the fury bubbling to the surface of his tiny body. As the bus pulled away, he walked slowly up to me on the porch. He spoke to me I such a low, menacing voice. I felt my blood run cold.
“What are you doing in my house Mr. Abbott? Did you meet my parents?” At this, a disgusting smile spread across his face. “They’re great, aren’t they? They really do love me. They let me do whatever I want now.”
“Jason, what happened? Why didn’t you call for help?”
He looked utterly puzzled. “Why would I call for help? My parents are acting just the way I want. But I had to teach them a lesson first. They didn’t always let me do what I wanted to. But now they do.”
At this he smiled an even more disgusting, horrifying smile. “Mr. Abbott, you didn’t do what I wanted. You shouldn’t have come here. Now I have to teach you a lesson just like Mommy and Daddy.”