• Back when my husband was still alive, we didn’t exactly have the greatest marriage; he was abusive towards myself and our young daughters, we had two; one was eight and the other was six. My husband sensed our marriage crumbling and he wanted anything else but a divorce – he wasn’t interested in saving our marriage, oh no, he came from a family where anything legal is just a bunch of busy work and you didn’t need to spend thousands of dollars to settle something you could just have easily settled yourself outside a courtroom.

    But he sensed how close I was to divorce, so he’d usually buy me some huge gift; and the night of this story was no exception – he had gotten me tickets to a beloved singer of mine. He had simply bought two tickets – one for me and one for him as our daughters really couldn’t care about this singer. My younger daughter was staying at her friend’s house, but our older daughter had some real issues making friends, so we decided to leave her at home with a babysitter.

    The babysitter knocked upon our door a good five minutes before we had to leave, and she seemed a bit odd. Her long black hair seemed very unkempt and greasy underneath her hat as she hid her facial features from us.

    She wore an oversized green jacket with skinny jeans. When I could catch glimpses of her eyes, they were ringed with heavy mascara. I don’t know she just seemed odd, but I instantly felt bad for judging her, maybe the water was out at her house? Happens to the best of us. I introduced her to my eldest daughter, and she simply smirked down at my little girl and said, “hello, Amanda.” I felt creeped out by her tone, but then again, the agency wouldn’t have recommended her if she wasn’t good, but still, she was a weird fucker.

    My husband and I went out and our first stop before the concert was dinner at a restaurant at the end of a pier – he’d pull out all the stops when he’d try to patch things up between us and I will admit it worked for a while. Our server had just placed our meals before us – swordfish steak for the lady and a beef steak for the gentleman – when my phone danced and wiggled within my purse. The place was nice so I had silenced my phone, but I heard the phone vibrating against my compact and I excused myself from the table to answer the phone.

    It was starting to grow even dimmer outside and the breeze was now chilly. I answered the phone. “Hi, this is Adriana from the babysitting agency, I am so sorry I am late!” came a hurried voice. “Traffic was horrendous; I am so sorry I am late. I pulled up to your address and all the lights are off.”

    My breathing became locked in my throat. I could barely choke out words. “What?”

    “The door is locked, there’s no car here, did you and your husband leave Amanda home alone?” A chill of fear ran down mine body.

    Her tone sounded accusatory, and rightfully so. “No…no! We let you in the house. You came on time!”

    “No, ma’am, I just got here.”

    My husband and I rushed back to the house, and by the time we got back home, red and blue lights twirled and flashed in our apartment complex. Adriana had remained, and we spoke the officers. It seemed that when I posted my want ad on the agency’s website, someone had nabbed our address and posed as the babysitter, the girl we let in our home. The cops set up amber alerts and shut freeways down, but we never heard anything. Amanda could still be alive. But if she is dead, I hope and pray to God it was quick and she suffered nothing.

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    • The idea itself is interesting, but the story needs some work. 

      At the moment, there are too many details that don't earn their place.  For instance, the entire beginning---the stuff about the marital problems, the husband's family, etc.---none of it's necessary and it detracts from the story.  It's not even necessary for your narrator to have two children.  These things only distract without making your story more realistic.

      The phone call from the real babysitter needs some tweaking.  If she's just arriving, the only reason she'd call the mother's cell phone is because she senses there's a problem.  Think realistically about what she would have done.  She would have tried the doorbell and gotten no answer.  Then she would have called and immediately asked if there was a problem or a change of plans.  Details like this matter and will give your story the realism it requires.

      The scare factor also needs a bigger punch.  It's very unsatisfying as it is.  You don't have to tell us exactly what was up with the fake babysitter or what exactly happened to the child, but right now, you give us nothing to work with.  Nothing for our imaginations to go on.  We need something.  Maybe the fake babysitter says something slightly off color, but dismissable when she arrives.  Maybe she leaves a menacing note or a video or something.  In your own mind as the writer, you should clearly flesh out what happened, and then decide how much you want to reveal in your story and how you want to do that.

      Finally, you have a lot of sentence structure issues.  Your story is loaded with run-ons and semicolon abuse.  It's really important to fix these issues, so I strongly suggest looking for some resources online to help you.  Without a solid foundation of the basics, it will be really difficult, if not impossible, to write a strong story.

      I really hope this helps you.

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    • I honestly think the plot as a whole is pretty solid. Reduce the stuff about how the husband was abusive and what not. It's just random and doesn't help the plot. Just go for "we went on a date and left the kids home" sort of scenario. Married couples do actually do that. Usually the ones that work really well to be franked. 

      You could add in a bunch of details about the date night to make the readers to kind of sink into a false sense of security. Don't over do it though. Then add the stuff how the narrator gets the call, and make it less dramatic on the end of the babysitter. "Oh, hello Mrs. I'm calling to let you know that I'm sorry I'm late" something like that. 

      Follow that by having a dialogue between a shocked mother and the late babysitter. 

      Cut the ending too; all we need to know is that the "babysitter" in the beginning wasn't a babysitter and that the kid is gone. Cut it off in the middle, less is more in this situation. 

      Also, having the first babysitter be unassuming works even better for the shocking ending, no one expect the goodie two shoes babysitter to be a baby snatcher. 

      Other than that, you've to re-work the whole technical aspect of the story. The language is all over the place unfortunately and there are a bunch of online language checker-correctors that you can use to work out issues you can't figure out on your own. 

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