The Man in the Dark Blue Tossle Cap
© SL Sullivan
Tossle Cap: A colloquialism specific to Pittsburgh natives. Generally known as a toboggan, beanie, or skull cap by everyone else.
Timmy and his friends were walking home from school, when they noticed a man in a dark blue tossle cap across the street, watching them. He was about six foot tall, had a grungy, starter beard and wore a long flannel, hooded jacket. He kind of resembled a logger or woodsman. The man had sinister, dark brown, almost black eyes that seemed to just peer right through you. Attempting to ignore the creepy guy, Timmy and company kept walking as well as continuing their conversation. Not being able to shake the image of the man from his mind, Timmy looked back to see if he was still there. He was not. Relieved, he rejoined the conversation. The group stopped at a crosswalk and checked left, then right for traffic. Seeing it was all clear, they began to cross and immediately stopped when they saw the man in the dark blue tossle cap standing across the street from them. Frightened, they all decided to go a different way. They also agreed to stay as a group and all go to Timmy’s house. They would just call their parent’s to pick them up from there.
For the last couple of blocks they saw no further sign of the tossle capped man. Just as they arrived at Timmy’s house and were making their way up the sidewalk, Timmy looked back and gasped. The others turned back and saw that the man was standing there, once again, just watching them. He wasn’t moving. He showed no emotion, he didn’t even blink. It was one of the scariest things Timmy and his friends had ever witnessed in this town. Suddenly, the man lifted his left hand to his head and grasped the top of the tossle cap. They could see his fingers trembling as he gripped the cap tight. One of the friends shouted, “What is he doing?!” Not really wanting to find out, Timmy opened the door to his house and they all ran inside, slamming the door and locking it behind them.
They quickly moved into the living room and onto the couch by a large window that faced the street; and cautiously opened the curtains. They looked out to see what the strange man was doing, but he was gone. They all sighed and backed away from the window with eased minds, until they heard a noise that sounded like a wisp of air behind them. The five boys turned around, only to see the man in the dark blue tossle cap standing in the hallway. They froze in terror at the sight of him. Timmy’s first thought was of how the man was able to get into the house, knowing he locked the door behind him. He realized that the man possibly could have entered through the back door. The man once again reached for his head and grasped the tossle cap. “The backdoor!” Timmy whispered loudly to the others as he jumped off the couch and headed to the other side of the living room that connected to the dining room. The rest followed. Quickly, the group moved through the dining room, into the kitchen and then out the backdoor.
Running out to the middle of the backyard, the boys became aware of their mistake. The backyard was completely enclosed by a six foot tall wooden fence to keep the dog from running away. “Where was Blister?” Timmy thought. “Why wasn’t he out here?” He heard the smallest of the group, Ricky, scream. Timmy turned to see exactly what he expected. The man was standing on the stoop to the backdoor. “Scale the fence!” Timmy screamed to the others as they ran in the opposite direction of the stubborn stalker.
The five reached the fence at the far end of the yard and leapt to grab the top and pull themselves over. All, but one that is. Ricky. He was too small to reach the top of the fence. On the other side, the rest of the group remembered that Ricky was smaller and they boosted Timmy up to lean over the fence and stretch a hand down to him. As Timmy reached down, he saw the man in the dark blue tossle cap fade into a black smoke and disappear. Almost as soon as the smoke faded, it returned directly behind Ricky as he reached upwards to Timmy. The man appeared and instantly grabbed the tossle. Timmy stretched his arm as far as he could. He could feel Ricky’s hand in his, but just as he was about to yell to the others to pull him over, the man removed the tossle.
Timmy froze in horror at the sight that has just been revealed to him. The top of the man’s skull, absent of hair, had a navel like orifice on the top. It sort of resembled the mouth of an octopus. The hole began to open to about two or three inches. From within the opening sprouted a tentacle with a bulbous, cone like end made up of tightly bound fibrous hairs. It moved in a snake-like fashion towards Ricky, as the man closed his eyes and tilted his head forward. The man reached out with his right hand a grabbed Ricky by the back of the head and held him tight. When the tentacle was about a half a foot away from Ricky’s face, it reared back and paused as the hairs unfolded, revealing an opening within, and then instantly snapped forward toward his forehead. The fibrous hairs clasped on, digging themselves into Ricky’s skin while the suction-like opening attached itself. The tentacle then started pulsing and pumping as if it were sucking something right from poor Ricky’s head.
Timmy felt a jerk on his pant and snapped out of the terrified trance state. He let go of Ricky’s hand and jumped back down off the fence. The others shouted questions asking what happened and where was Ricky? All Timmy could say, with terror in his eyes, was, “Run!”
Minutes, then hours passed, but there was no sign of the creepy man, or whatever he was, giving chase. Timmy tried to explain in as much detail what happen to Ricky, as they took refuge in the local library. None of the boys had ever seen the man before, nor have they ever heard of such a thing. Strange things went on in this town, but this was the strangest they’ve ever witnessed. They all decided to keep it quiet and tell no one what had happened that afternoon; for fear that they would be made to look like fools, no matter the town’s history. They decided that if Ricky’s parents, or the police, asked them, they would lie and say that he left them while they were at the park and haven’t seen him since. It was getting late and the now four boys would have to go to their homes. Timmy asked Alex if he could spend the night, as his parents were out of town for the weekend on business, as usual.
He was also afraid to return to his house, where they last saw the man in the dark blue tossle, still out there, somewhere. Timmy had a terrifying feeling that they would definitely see this creature person again.