"It grabs the little girl, dragging her under the bed before eating her up. All because she refused to obey her bed time.” Robert says brushing away a stray strand of blonde hair from his daughter's face.
Emily looks up at her father, beaming with innocence,
"Dad, There is no such thing as a boogeyman so quit trying to scare me. I'm a big girl now; I even sleep with the door closed."
"I know sweetheart; Sweet dreams, my angel.", He kisses her forehead before leaving the room.
- - - -
Robert stirs from an already restless sleep. It's been years since his night terrors but the noise coming from the corner of his bedroom let bad memories resurface. Robert rubs his eyes and leans over to turn on the lamp.
"Don't think about it mister.", came a low growl.
Panic stricken, Robert pulls back his hand.
"That's of no concern now.", the voice growled; coming from the corner of the room.
From the edges of his vision, Robert noticed movement of shadows but nothing more.
"Why do you scare your daughter with vile stories of boogeymen?", asks the unknown voice.
"Who the fuck are you? I am going to call the police, you better leave now." , Richard tired of the situation swings his legs to the side of the bed. A hand, warm and rough to the touch grabs his ankle.
"One more word and I'll devour you! Lay back, shut up, and listen.", the voice full of venom shakes the windows and mirror in the house.
"You and others like you, have no idea how much progress we lost by your actions. A millennia of hard work wasted by actions of a few parents.", The unknown intruder sits at the edge of the bed , pushing the mattress and bed-spring to the floor under its girth.
"We, the boogeymen, hide in the darkness of children’s rooms and whisper to them as they slumber. We see their problems and help them before it's too late. Columbine, Pearl, and other countless tragedies happened because parents made their kids afraid of us!", menacing red eyes flared staring straight at Robert.
Wiping tears from his eyes, Robert sinks into the pillows and pulls the cover higher. As a kid, this was sure to keep the boogeymen at bay but now the monster sat at the foot of his bed. No hiding, crying, or sleeping will save him now.
"Manson, Dahmer, and countless others; failed projects of our group. We tried our best but once the parents instilled the fear of the boogeyman into them, our job was hopeless; the children stopped listening.", the boogeyman eases toward Robert extending a mangle claw covered in fur and lesions.
Robert contemplates reaching out and touching the beast but the kid in him remains adamant.
"Did you know Emily blames herself for your wife’s death?", asked the creature.
Robert detects sadness in the creature’s voice and lowers the cover.
"Why doesn't she talk about it?", he asks, tears still falling but for a different reason now.
The boogeyman pulls the cover lower and takes Robert's hand.
"She's afraid Robbie, just like you were afraid all those years ago when your brother died. You didn't tell anyone but I was there and I heard it all.", It places both of its mangled claws and caresses Robert's face as a mother would do.
"I talked you through all your problems for years, and then your parents made you fear me and the others. There is still a chance for her; if you stop turning her against us. Together; me and you can help her through this.", The boogeyman removes his hands from Robert's face and stands up.
Robert, shaken and near breaking down, musters the courage to speak, "Can I see your face?"
The red eyes flared once again but soon dimmed, dying coals of a fire.
"To see me fully, would lead to your death. Your brain would liquefy and leak from your nose. Eyes would burst and your skin would disintegrate. A truly horrible way to die, one that you do not deserve." , now just a shadow once again the boogeyman retreats back to the corner of the room.
"Everything will be ok Robbie; Go back to sleep and worry no more."