The house was dark inside, so at first Clark and Steve didn’t see the man on the stairs. He had been halfway down when he heard the back door open, so he stayed where he was and stood holding his back tightly against the wall.
Clark and Steve didn’t see or hear anything, but Arf and Annie did. Arf ran past the man on the stairs and stopped at the top while Annie stayed at the bottom. This human wasn’t going anywhere.
The lights weren’t on, so the old man couldn’t see that Arf and Annie had him trapped on the stairs. He only knew he was not alone in the house.
“What’s happening?” Steve whispered. “We need to find a light switch.”
“Who’s here?” The frightened old man asked. “Please don’t hurt me. I mean no harm.”
Clark couldn’t move. He just stood there, frozen to his spot.
Arf and Annie stayed at their respective posts, growling when the old man tried to move up or down the stairs.
Steve felt around the door for a light switch. He was hoping there was electricity to the house. “That’s right Arf and Annie, keep her right where she is.”
Finally, Steve found a switch and when he flipped the first one, the light above him came on. The stairs were to his right and he was able to see well enough to tell there was a frightened old man wearing a bathrobe standing against the wall about halfway up.
Clark still couldn’t move.
“Clark, Are you okay?” Steve asked. When Clark didn’t answer, he turned back to the old man. “Who are you and where is the woman who took Katie and Jake?
“Why do you call him Clark?” The old man answered in a shaky voice. He’s named after me. His name is Butch.”
Clark walked a few steps toward the man on the stairs. “Who are you?” He asked again.
“I’m your grandpa, son.”
“You can’t be.” Clark said. “My grandpa died when I was ten.”
“This is crazy,” Steve said. “I thought we were looking for an old woman who called herself grandma.”
“We’re one and the same,” the old man answered. “I’m the one who took your kids. I can never remember their names.”
“Butch I’m not dead and I never was…except to your dad who happens to be my son. May I come down the stairs. I’m an old man and I need to sit down.”
Steve hesitated. He looked at the pathetic little man in his bathrobe.
“Annie, please go dig up the man’s pants and bring them in. Shake them out first. Let’s find a place to sit down,” Steve said as he lead the way to the living room. “I have a lot of questions for you sir, but first you might tell your grandson how you died and then came back to life.”
Arf went up the stairs. He wanted to get the picture and show Clark…and look for something else…