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Kindlesticks is the ninth episode of Creeped Out's first season and the ninth episode of the series overall. It first aired on 23 January 2018 on CBBC.

Synopsis

Esme, the 'world's worst babysitter', takes a job with a nice new family – but finds herself outfoxed.

Plot

Prologue

The Curious watches as Esme arrives at her babysitting job. The Narrator says that if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well, and if only Esme had respected her job, things might have been okay for her.

Episode

Esme arrives for a babysitting job. While waiting outside, she practices saying 'I live to babysit!' in an insincere voice. As she sees off the twin girls' parents, she tells them she adores babysitting and has a whole girls' night in planned, with DVDs, popcorn and hot chocolate.

As soon as the parents are gone, Esme switches off the TV and instructs the girls to go to bed. When they refuse, she tells them a scary story about 'the Night-Night Man'. This is a monster who terrorises kids who won't go to sleep and turns their flesh into compost. As she's telling them the Night-Night Man taps three times when he wants to come in, they hear three knocks on the door. The twins run upstairs to bed in terror. Esme lets in the Night-Night Man, who turns out to be her friend Chas in a costume.

Later that week, Esme has another babysitting job at the Thorne House. The parents tell her their child, Ashley, has a cold and has already gone to bed. Esme starts helping herself to food, only for a boy – who she assumes to be Ashley – to appear in the kitchen. When he demands ice cream, Esme tells him the story of the Night-Night Man and, as before, Chas knocks on the door and appears in the costume. However, Ashley just laughs.

Ashley says Esme shouldn't be mean, as 'Kindlesticks doesn't like it when you're mean'. Chas makes fun of Ashley, asking if Kindlesticks is his imaginary friend. Ashley tells him that Kindlesticks is real, and standing right next to him. He's not always invisible, though – sometimes you can see his bright red eyes. Esme makes Ashley go to bed.

Esme and Chas order food and watch a horror film as a thunderstorm rages outside. Strange things start happening: Chas feels a tap on his shoulder and some of the food disappears. Esme fetches Ashley, and comes back downstairs to find Chas claiming he just felt someone pull his hair. The piano starts playing by itself, crockery is thrown across the room, and the word 'Kindlesticks' appears on the wall in large white letters, causing Chas to flee the house.

Ashley tells Esme that to stop Kindlesticks, all she has to do is be nice. She gets the ice cream out of the freezer for Ashley, but he says that won't work, as she must be genuinely nice to everyone, not just him. The lights go out, and Esme runs upstairs to call 911. Her phone flies across the room. As Esme watches, Kindlesticks sends an insulting message to Chas, then displays a series of photographs of the children Esme babysits, all looking distraught or crying. Kindlesticks then smashes her phone. Ashley says he doesn't usually go this far.

When Esme closes her eyes for a few seconds, Ashley disappears, and she hears him calling for help. As she searches for him, Esme sees Kindlesticks' red eyes shining in the dark and breaks down, admitting that she is selfish, a terrible babysitter, and only cared about getting Chas to like her. She begs for mercy, and Ashley turns on the lights, revealing the red 'eyes' were two small torches he was holding. He says the whole thing was a trick to teach Esme a lesson. Esme and Ashley hug; she sends him to bed and clears up alone.

When the parents return, they look in on Ashley in bed. As they're talking, Ashley's mom refers to Ashley as 'she'. Esme expresses shock that Ashley is a girl. She runs out of the bedroom and sees the boy she thought was Ashley standing on the stairs, his eyes glowing red. Unable to see him, Ashley's mom approaches and asks what she's looking at. Esme answers 'Kindlesticks'.

Epilogue

The Curious searches the Thornes' bins and finds the torches 'Ashley' used to trick Esme. The Narrator asks whether you ever had an imaginary friend – and whether you can be sure they were really imaginary. Maybe they're still standing next to you right now. As she says this, another version of The Curious appears in the frame.

Cast

  • Esme Curtis (Romy Weltman)
  • Ashley (Justin Paul Kelly)
  • Chas (Jesse Adam Lowell)
  • The Curious (Jaiden Cannatelli)
  • The Narrator (Aurora Aksnes)

Trivia

  • This is the third episode of Creeped Out to mention Zucco's Pizza (after Trolled and Marti).
  • Esme asks if Chas is texting Patty Peterson, a character who appears in Slapstick.
  • Ashley's house is on Elm Street, a possible reference to Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street.