There's a creepy man on our block named Mr. Templemen. He's been in the same abandoned house on the end of the block since my parents were children. Rumor around town he's a cold murderer. This rumor came about because 30 years ago a little girl named Cindy Albertson went missing. People in the neighborhood had said that the last time they've seen little Cindy she was riding her tricycle past Mr. Templemen's house. People even said that her tricycle was in his front yard & that later on that night he was in his backyard chopping something with a machete.
Since the incident with Cindy Albertson, no one on Water ave liked Mr. Templemen.
A bad seed is what those around town mention him as.
Children weren't allowed to play near his home. Parents told their children to never speak to him. People crossed the street when he was walking on the same sidewalk. When he gets in his vehicle people get out of his way instantly.
Last Summer I got in trouble because my friends & I were bored so we decided to sneak into Mr. Templemen's house when he wasn't home. That didn't go too well because Mrs. Smith an 80-year-old woman who lives right across the street from Mr. Templemen yelled with her cane in the air "Aye Boys! Run for your life!".
My friends & I had gotten startled & ran off. Our parents ran outside, grabbed us by our collars & threw us into the house.
after that summer I have been hearing lectures from my parents every time I decide to play outside with my friends.
" You must stay away from Mr. Templemen's house! Do you understand?! That man is evil!"
I nod my head yes & run outside.
I arrive at my best friend Jesse's house to play video games. As we both play video games in his cars themed bedroom we start to talk about Mr. Templemen.
"Hey, Jesse what do you think about Mr. Templemen?" Jesse pauses the game & looks at me with a startled look upon his face.
"What?" I say trying to figure out the confusion.
"What do you mean What? Have you not heard the stories about him?
" I mean yeah I have but what if those stories are made believe. Maybe he isn't a bad guy"
"What happened to Cindy Albertson 30 years ago?! People said that she rode her bike near his house & vanished!"
"I know the stories, Jesse it's just that I've been curious that is all."
" Well don't be! listen to your parents don't go anywhere near that house! Because next thing you know you'll be the one missing!"
After I left Jesse's house I arrived home just in time for supper. My parents & my little sister Rosie are sitting at the table while I join them.
My mother then asks me "How was Jesse's house? ". Before I answered her I piled mashed potatoes, on my plate along with peas. " it was good we just played video games". My father chimed in & replied "Well I'm glad that you boys decided to do other things besides snooping around that house"
After Supper, I headed to my bedroom preparing myself for bed when suddenly I saw Mr. Templemen from my bedroom window chopping something. I moved closer & closer to the window to try to see if I could identify what he might be chopping. "Maybe he's a hunter?!" I whisper to myself.
My mother entered my bedroom & saw me looking out of my window. She pushed me out of the window & slammed the window shut. "What is wrong with you? Do you want to be his next feast?"
"I-I was just looking"
"What's there to look at Andy?! He's a murderer! That poor Cindy Albertson. I use to play with her when I was a child! We would've been the same age! Ugh, she didn't even get the chance to grow up & be a woman!"
As my mother continues to sob & shout I asked her how did she know if Cindy Albertson was dead! She told me that people around town had said that the police found her body in the playground by the swings.
"Now do you understand why your father & I are so overprotective over you & Rosie it's because we still have a murderer on the block!".
My mother kissed me goodnight & left my bedroom. I lay in bed thinking about all of these things such as if Mr. Templemen is a murderer then why didn't the police arrest him years ago? Where did Cindy Albertson's parents go? Did they leave town because no one has spoken of their name since their daughter's death?
The Next Morning I had thought of a plan to interview all of the people on the block to see what they had thought about Mr. Templemen.
I first interviewed Betty she's a single mother of 6 children who lives just 3 doors down from me. While interviewing her she had mentioned that Mr. Templemen use to be a police officer in the 70s which is how he got away with the murder of Cindy Albertson.
I next interviewed Mr. Willie he lives right across the street from me. He said that Mr. Templemen had a wife but ended up dead. No one ever knew what was the cause of her death & people were too afraid to speak to Mr. Templemen about his wife's cause of death.
The last person I had interviewed was Mary! She was the hippie on the block. It was very difficult interviewing her because she kept passing out from the loads of blunts she had smoked before I went to her house.
I do remember one thing she said.
She said that if it doesn't involve Mary, Mary doesn't know! & then she passed out.
When I arrived home I tried to put all of the pieces together that I had collected from everyone that I had interviewed & realized none of the information that I received today was helpful. If I wanted to get down to the bottom of this I would have to interview Mr. Templemen myself.
The very next day I lied to my parents about being sick so I wouldn't have to go to church.
Soon as my parents left I jumped out of bed, threw on my clothes & headed out the door.
I wanted to know the truth about Mr. Templemen. As I walk closer & closer to his house my hands begin to shake & sweat.
As I approach the stairs to Mr. Templemen's home, I see Mindy Stewart riding her bicycle uncontrollably. Her mother begins to yell & sob as Mindy's bicycle goes into the street.
A car that looked similar to Mr. Templemens stopped in the middle of the street as Mindy fell in front of the vehicle. I ran away from Mr. Templemen's house & hid behind a tree.
Mindy's mother picks her up out of the street & proceed to say thank you to the driver behind the vehicle but noticed it was Mr. Templemen. Mindy & her mother runs off startled.
every one on water st comes out of their houses & crowd around Mr. Templemen in the street.
Mr. Willie shouts " Why are you still on this street! No one wants you here!"
Betty chimes in & say "yeah! We all know that you were the one who killed Cindy Albertson! Now you tried to run Mindy Stewart over with your car! You are so sick! Burn in hell why don't you!".
Everyone all at once yells & screams at Mr. Templemen while he gets back in his car & pulls off.
Mary comes through the crowd & begins to yell at everyone in the crowd! " what the hell is the matter with you people?! He did not try to run that little girl over he stopped his car so he wouldn't!"
Mr. Willie rudely says " you don't even know what you are talking about, you're always high as a kite!"
"High? Oh please, you shut your pothole you toothless scum! I was sitting on the porch & I saw the whole thing! How much longer are you guys gonna keep tormenting this poor man!"
"When he's behind bars!" Betty says while chewing on Tabacco.
"Oh, cmon don't you think if he were guilty he would've been behind bars?! He didn't do it! & Betty, please instead of tormenting this man why don't you go find who the father is to those rotten kids!"
The crowd goes ballistic & Betty starts bawling in tears!
Someone in the crowd shouts "Cindy Albertson is dead! "
All of a sudden a soft voice in the crowd says "Dead! I'm not dead!"
everyone looks to the back of the crowd & see Cindy Albertson all grown up!
every one looks startled as they stare at Cindy Albertson!
Betty walks up to Cindy & says "How is this possible? The police said that they found your body by the playground"
"No That was a lie! The police wanted Mr. Templemen to be guilty & so they paid my parents to keep their mouths shut & to move far away from here!"
I then shout "How did your tricycle get in Mr. Templemen's yard?!"
"I threw it in there." Mr. Willie says calmly.
The crowd then looks at Mr. Willie
"Yup I wanted that fucker to go down! "
Mary yells "You prick!"
Betty still staring at Cindy says "What made you come back?"
" Now that I am grown & not dead I wanted to tell Mr. Templemen I apologize, even though I didn't do anything wrong I still feel bad for all of this backlash he's been receiving all of these years it was wrong!"
As everyone smiles & hugs Cindy. I walk-off to get some fresh air from everything I've seen today. As I was walking I came across the playground & sat down on the bench.
As I stare amid the sky I see a man on the corner of my eye approaches me.
" May I sit here?"
It was the voice of Mr. Templemen.
I was so anxious to speak that all I did was make a sound with my lips.
Mr. Templemen snickered & sat down beside me on the bench.
"It's a shame how people treat others, isn't it?"
I still stare at him with an anxious expression on my face.
"it's ok kid you can speak to me I won't hurt you. If you Don't want to speak I'll leave you alone."
Nervously I say "Cindy Albertson is alive!"
"I know she is"
"Then why didn't you tell the others that"
"They wouldn't believe me! For 30 years I've been accused of murder by people of this town I'm over it!"
I stopped feeling nervous about talking to Mr. Templemen & I started to feel his pain.
I don't think anyone would've liked to be accused of something that they didn't do!
"I'm sorry that happened to you for all of these years! People are jerks! If you don't mind me asking whatever happened to your wife?"
"She died of Cancer 22 years ago!"
"I'm sorry "
"No it's ok it was time for her to go. I'm glad she got away from all of the evil that surrounded us at that time. I honestly feel the negativity in the air killed my wife, the constant worrying of us"
"Where you a police officer at one time in your life?" I ask cautiously
"No, I was a Doctor"
"People say anything in this town I swear!"
"This should teach you a lesson kid never listen to others! Taste the waters yourself!"
"Yea one last thing if you don't mind. Why are you always chopping something in your backyard?"
"I'm a hunter! I slaughter the animals that I catch so I can have a good feast!"
"We all eat animals! The difference is I hunt them your parents go to the grocery store & buy it."
" Anyways you should probably get home kid! I'm pretty sure that your parents are looking for you!"
"Yea I guess I should! It was great speaking to you Mr. Templemen"
As I leave the playground & make my way back home. People are still in the middle of the street of the block gathering around looking at Cindy!
I sit on my front step watching the ruckus that had been happening for about 3 hours now.
after this day Mr. Templemen finally moved from this street. I don't know where he moved to but before he left he gave me a football & some books.
Others in the neighborhood got along a little better but apologized to Mr. Templemen & never spoke to Mr. Willie again.