The Bogeyman

“Maggie says that he really loves little children. And his favourite time is when you’re falling asleep in a nice cosy bed.” The dim light accentuated the worry in her brown eyes..
“Is that what Maggie says?”
“Yes and that James seen him.”
“Maggie’s younger brother?”
“Yes Daddy. He never lies and I’m scared. Really scared.”
Philip cuddled down close to his daughter. “Well. Jane, honestly there no such thing as a Bogeyman. Ask any grown up.” Jane didn’t answer, just slid her arm under his forearm and gripped it.
“Jane, could you get past the house alarm, the sensor lights and the CCTV cameras outside without being seen?”
“I dunno, maybe.”

“Or Rover? How could anyone get past Rover. He’s in his basket downstairs, listening, on guard. No way, impossible.”
“I suppose so Daddy.”
“Good girl, now hug Fluffjig and go to sleep. I’ll be in the next room.” He slowly pulled his arm out of her grip.
“Okay Daddy. But Daddy…”
“Yes?”
“Will you stay outside my door until I fall asleep?”
“Jane – “
“Please Daddy”
“Okay…”

Philip sat uncomfortably on the ground, a sliver of light from the bathroom shining across his legs. He flicked through blogs on his phone relating to “the bogeyman”. One quote on the wall of a discussion page made him roll his eyes and sigh. “The bogeyman hasn’t ceased to exist, we’ve just become better at keeping him out…” Philip gave the message the thumbs down and thumbed up replies questioning the sanity of the contributor. He’d sit for another ten minutes and she was bound to be asleep by then.

Outside, rain fell relentlessly. The garden was dark, especially where the drooping branches of the dark green cedar trees overlapped. There, motionless, stood a hooded figure, watching as the lights in the house were being extinguished, slowly, one by one.

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