Most of these can be found at Michael’s.

Pencils and pencil case

A new school year means a fresh batch of #2’s and something to put ’em in! Your son is really into neutral colors these days, mostly black, so grab a nylon zipper pouch and throw in some freshly sharpened pencils. Don’t forget to sneak a little love note in there, too!

Sharpie markers

Get a twelve pack for those kooky art projects he’s been doing after school with his friends! He’s really into art lately, which is good. You just hope he’ll also make some friends who play soccer, or at least don’t hiss when you enter the basement.

Spiral notebook

Seventh grade is full of pre-algebra and grammar exercises so get wide-ruled for some serious note taking! Although part of you knows he’ll just fill it with the strange doodles he’s been drawing in the diary you accidentally found in the back of his underwear drawer under all the socks.

Temporary hair dye

Sure, you dyed your hair when you were younger, too. Granted your color wasn’t called “GanGREEN!” but then again maybe you’re not as adventurous as you used to be.

Fake cat ears

He says all the other kids are wearing them so you ask some of the moms about it at your next Cookie Lee trunk show. Most of them just quietly shake their heads and grab more crudités. Everyone buys something from you that night.

Barbed wire

Your husband Daniel gets him a few yards without consulting you first. You ask him what it’s for and Daniel says he didn’t ask, he figures it’s for a school project or something. You argue a little and go to bed angry.

Real cat ears

You let your neighbors take care of Blinkie for a couple weeks. Maybe longer.

A bag of your husband’s hair

When you ask your therapist about this one he just shrugs. You don’t tell Daniel.

Pig’s blood

If you can’t carve it straight from a hog’s stomach, store bought is fine.

Six ravens, “black as midnight”

His words, not yours.

The ashes of your mother sealed in a jar

She’s not even dead yet. You were all there for her 80th birthday last week. Well, Daniel wasn’t. You’ve been having issues lately.

One of your kidneys

If you try giving him someone else’s he’ll know.

A gypsy’s eye

Just remember how much you love your son. You love him very, very much.

Grave, adult-size

You haven’t seen Daniel in a while. It’s not unusual anymore for him to go missing for a few days. Sometimes you see him sleeping on the couch when you get a glass of water in the middle of the night. But he’s never been gone this long before, and you gently ask your son about it. He doesn’t say anything. He just looks up at you from under his hood with a hollow pair of eyes and smiles. It’s a sinister smile, the kind that could hurt you if it wanted to. This is not your son. This is not the boy you raised. You sleep with the lights on now, unable to rest until the whirring and moaning coming from his room down the hall has stopped for the night. Sometimes you think you hear screaming, but you’re so exhausted it’s probably all in your head. Your head swells with dark thoughts before you’re finally able to fall asleep. Maybe if this were all over things could go back to the way they were. You could all be happy again. This has to be a cry for help, right? He must be suffering. You could take away his pain. You could end the blood, the moans, the screaming. It would be so easy to…. You stop yourself. How could you think like this? You lie awake crying because you’re no longer able to tell who’s the monster: you, or your son?

Googly Eyes

No crafts project is complete without a big, goofy pair of googly eyes!