Never make eye contact with them. Momma always said if you make eye contact with them, they got ya. Nothing you can do about it. Truth be told, even at my age, they caused me to tremble like no other.

I knew it was the season for them when I headed out that night, but it was night after all. They inhabited the daytime. Surely they wouldn’t be out that late.

I backed my old Harley out of the driveway as twilight snuggled itself over city. Proceeding towards Main Street, I spotted a cluster of them. They stuck close together as they dutifully crossed at the corner of Oak and Elm. Momma always said they would behave like everyday folk. They wanted to blend in. Crossing with the light was one of their tricks.

Well, I wasn’t about to be taken in by that trick. Momma always said, be prepared and you won’t be suckered into their snare.

Yeah, I love my momma and take her advice. What of it!?! You don’t like me talking about my momma, go find another story.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah.

Negotiating my way through the intersection after they passed, I took a glance back over my shoulder and saw them watching me. It was like they were marking me. A shiver danced down my spine and set my 6 foot, 250 pound frame to shaking.

Get a hold of yourself, Bob. You’re a grown man. This shouldn’t give you the willies. What would the guys down at Lou’s Watering Hole say if they saw you now?

They’d laugh, that’s what they’d do. Flat out laugh until they pissed their own pants. Then the jeers would start.

Sissy boy.

Fraidy cat.

I turned into the parking lot at the ShopMart to find a band of them at the entrance to the store. Some lounged in plastic lawn chairs while others stood at the ready. Just waitin’ for a poor unsuspecting schmuck to make eye contact so they could pounce.

Weatherman said it was gonna rain, and as I slowly dismounted my bike I could smell it on the air and hear distant thunder rumbling. Hopefully, it will rain while I’m shopping. That should clear out the buggers by the door.

One sidled up to a tiny, white-haired woman. Sad to say, I used this as my opportunity to slip into the store unnoticed. Not proud of the fact that I left that poor woman to be devoured, but what else could I do? During the season, it’s every man, and little old lady, for themselves.

Inside the store, I grabbed a red basket and proceeded to the produce section. As I bounced a honeydew in my hand to see if it was ripe, I heard the tell-tale sign of a group of them behind me. My breath caught in my throat and the musty smell of the melon tickled my nose as I tried not to sneeze.

Finally they moved on and I hurried to find the few other items I needed so I could get the heck out of there.

I paid for my groceries and headed for the door, trying to size up the best way to get past the gaggle that roosted there. I was just going to have to go for it. Sliding my eyes to the left, away from them, I sped up and aimed for the Harley.

Almost made it, too. But there was a straggler on the left. It was too late. She spotted me. Dressed in brown with her blond hair tied in pigtails with orange ribbon. I looked straight into those blue eyes. A toothless grin crossed her face.

“Hey mitha, ya wanna buy thome Flower Thcout Cookies? We have Minty Chip and Peanut Butter Thandwich.”

Momma was right. Once you make eye contact, they got ya.

Disclaimer: No tough, Harley driving men named Bob were harmed in the making of this story.