Crazy Eddie, the neighborhood kids called him, though no one knew his name. He moved into the Caldwell’s house that summer, after it had sat empty over the winter, following their move to Arizona. No one knew anything about him, though some said he was a family relation of Melissa Caldwell’s. He did not appear to have a job, at least not one that required him to leave the house, which he did rarely.
When he did, it was to drive up and down the streets of the neighborhood in his dull and rusted Dodge Dart. The engine rumbled oddly and the exhaust it spewed was dark and heavy. There seemed no purpose to these ventures, except to stare at passersby as they stared at him. He did not stop anywhere. No one could recall him ever going into a store, not even to buy food, though surely he must have. He became an object of fascination as a result, children telling each other more and more outlandish stories of his provenance and the unspeakable things he did in the Caldwell’s place.
As the months went by and summer turned to autumn, even the parents living on the same street began to suspect that something was amiss with Crazy Eddie. All but those suspicious of any newcomer had just assumed he was a harmless oddity. An eccentric, not worthy of much notice. But his strangeness began to seem sinister, for reasons no one could quite put into words.
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