I looked at my computer screen in disbelief. Could it be this simple? It seemed that it was. An invitation from a student-teacher, Wesley Ellenburg, to gather the proof I needed to back-up what many termed my “whacked out” theory was on my screen, right in front of me.
Within an hour, I had packed a bag and was on a flight to Stoneybrook, CT to view an amazing cultural anomaly – a town where no one, especially a group of 11-13 year-old girls, ever seemed to age.
Were they vampires? Wizards? Or had they merely discovered some sort of fountain of youth? I wasn’t sure whether I would encounter creatures of the night or a babbling brook of anti-aging water, but I was determined to find out. A shaken Wesley met me at the airport, dropped me off at my hotel, and got the heck out of Stoneybrook with a hasty apology and mumbled excuses. The first young person I encountered was one I had desperately wanted to meet for months. Jamie Newton was one of the younger of “the ageless” as I will refer to them, but he was also old enough to clearly express his memories of his life. I saw Jamie playing outside, without mittens as it was a warm July day. He was sitting with his sister, the “infant” Lucy Newton in his front yard, enjoying the last vestiges of a peanut butter and honey sandwich.
I approached cautiously, looking around in case Jamie was being watched by one of the Ageless Girls. However, it seemed his mother was home, so naturally she wasn’t keeping as close an eye on him as say, Kristy Thomas might. “Jamie?” I said questioningly. The little boy turned, all adorable floppy hair and cute chubby cheeks. His eyes, however, looked haunted.
“Yes?” he said around a mouthful of sandwich. He seemed tired.
“Hi Jamie,” I said. “I’m a … well I’m a grown-up who’s trying to put together a surprise for your baby-sitters. Could you help me out if I ask you some questions about them?”
“Sure,” he said. “Our lives are weirdly intertwined. My attachment to those sitters goes well beyond that of a normal child, and their attachment to me is borderline pathological. It’s sad in a way, like they have nothing better to do than babysit. Did I mention that one of them is black?”
Day One: Jamie Newton, Interview Notes
Subject is oddly cherubic, but seems wise beyond his years. He seemed to enjoy talking about the Ageless Girls, in particular Claudia’s outfits. His eyes did get a glazed over look when I brought up the topic of Kid-Kits. I have a feeling something nefarious is going on there, though his description of them seemed innocent enough.
While talking to Jamie, I encountered one of the Ageless Girls in the flesh. Jessi Ramsey happened by the Newton house, and Jamie called out to her eagerly.
I was able to converse with Jessi briefly, and this was long enough to wangle an invitation to tomorrow’s Baby-sitters Club meeting. I convinced her that I am a producer in town scouting for interesting subjects for a reality show. I informed her that Derek Masters had mentioned her club to a friend of a friend (hopefully that’s vague enough to be plausible) and that I was interested in a show about teenage (and younger) baby-sitters.
Day Two Notes: Town and Meeting
I spent most of the day in Stoneybrook walking around and checking out places I had heard a lot about. I wandered into Bellair’s department store, ate lunch at the Rosebud Café, and took a gander at the rich and middle-class neighborhoods divided by the Thomas-Brewer residence.
The town was charming, pretty … and had a faintly creepy undertone that had my skin crawling by mid-morning. Everyone and everything seemed just slightly behind the times. The people were quite strange. Everyone seemed a little too used to everything – like they’d been doing the same thing, day-in, day-out for 30 years or more. Even the 14-year old cashier at Bellair’s had a been-there, done-that attitude.
I was officially scared as I headed over to Claudia Kishi’s house for the 5:30 meeting. I made sure to be there at 5:28. I walked in and was greeted by the cold stares of the Ageless Ones, save for Mallory and Jessi, who actually seemed excited to see me. Kristy was perched in her director’s chair, a visor pulled low over her cold, almost red eyes. She was wearing jeans and a turtleneck.
Claudia Kishi was flopped on her bed, wearing a hot-pink poodle skirt with electric-blue leggings and these really cute saddle shoes. She had a white blouse on which she had painted (painted herself!) pictures of frolicking kittens. But it was her hair that was truly amazing. She had one side done up in about a million tiny little braids, then caught them all up in a barrette shaped like a bone. The other side was woven through with miniature balls of yarn (like a cat might play with). On anyone else it would be weird, but she looked stunning.
Stacey and Mary Anne also sat on the bed, while Dawn, Mal and Jessi were sprawled on the floor. I took a seat near Dawn, who bared her teeth in an alarming grin.
“ORDER!” yelled Kristy. “This meeting of the BSC will now come to order. And I see we have a guest. Girls, what do say to our guest?”
As one, the girls all turned and stared at me. “Welcome,” they intoned chillingly, as they started closing ranks around me.
NOTE: These notes were found by a Stamford-area man at a trash dump site. Authorities are currently combing the rest of the area to see if any more information about this strange, intriguing town can be found.