Jeff Phillips: McCluskys Must Move Again


The McCluskys had to move again. Despite a two year reprieve, they received another letter. The handwriting was too similar, and the tone was too spot on for it not to be a step closer to the fulfillment of something unwelcome.

Dear McClusky Man, Wife, and Two Little Girls,

It is so delightful seeing you sitting at the kitchen table. I like when Man McClusky is chowing down, still in his work clothes. Sure, the sleeves are rolled up and the tie is ditched, but it looks like he’s about to head back to the office for a bit. And that means it’s just a few petite ladies in the house without a tall, slightly muscular man to protect them from a reluctant villain like me who’s just a wee bit tired from suppressing an assortment of urges. The oldest daughter has great legs, and if you keep letting her wear those knockoffs of Umbro shorts, hot pinks and baby blues, halter tops showing off her freckled shoulders, gonna make me crazzzzzzy man and I might just have to bash in the bay window, kiss her hard, scratch her with my beard.

If you’re looking for a weekend project, check out the latch on the cellar door. I spent last Tuesday hanging out in the basement waiting for everyone to get home from work or school. Lady McClusky was home most of the afternoon and I heard her up in the living room with her yoga DVD. I inched my way to the bottom step, working up the courage to come up from the basement. Thought maybe I’d help her bend a little further than she’s used to. But then a huge millipede crossed over my bare foot (yes, I usually take off my shoes upon entering the McClusky residence, out of respect, and comfort). I picked up the little guy, tossed him up to the landing. It was his time to shine. I silently cheered as it crawled through the crack at the bottom of the door.

I crouched behind the furnace to watch from the shadows as baby McClusky came down to feed the cat. I thought it was sweet how she kneeled down to kiss fluffy McClusky as her necklace dangled down. The cat batted at the sunflower charm, and she giggled. She flashed that same smile I think it was when she pulled that necklace out of her stocking on Christmas morning. It was wrapped in that lavender bubble wrap, and the cat had liked playing with that too, until baby McClusky pinched the plastic and made a few go pop!

I stuck around until shortly after everyone went to bed around 10:12pm. I was feeling drained, quite honestly that furnace gets pretty damn hot. I swear, all of my electrolytes are now soaked into the fabric of my boxer briefs. I took them off, wrapped them around a screwdriver, and left them inside your tool chest. Next time I’ll just help myself to your tub of Powerade mix on top of the fridge, so that I’m revived by time your dreams are just getting good. I noticed some frozen enchiladas thawing in the crisper, so I reckon I’ll be back for margarita night. The tequila is in the hallway closet in case you forgot, Man McClusky. It’s about time we loosen your tight ass. I’ll even squeeze some lime while I rub in a pinch of salt along the tears in your anus after you and I play a little game with the stainless steel bar spoon, which is in the middle drawer to the left of the dishwasher.

Tonight though, is family movie night, right? I recommend pulling that VHS case for Disney’s Peter Pan down off the shelf. I took the tape out but put something else back in its place. Hint: there was a family I once really liked before you, but they didn’t like me so much. There are parts of the body that aren’t so necessary.



Fond Friend of the McCluskys

[The above piece was written in response to a writing prompt involving the random selection of a newspaper headline, cut out and crumpled in a bag. In this case the headline was: ‘I am the Watcher’: Stalker’s chilling letters force fearful family from home.]


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