Bogey Nights

on January 3, 2012 in Horror

Every night when his mother turned out the lights, there was a brief period when the darkness seemed total, with everything except for the squares of light behind the window shade draped in total blackness. And every night the child’s eyes adjusted, as eyes do, and the familiar features of his room returned in their shadow-drenched form.

But one night it began to seem to him that even as most of the darkness faded somewhat, some of the shadows not only remained resolutely dark but became darker still… more solid, more real… as the night wore on. More, they seemed to move and grow. Never when he was looking, of course, and never in too obvious a way, at least at first.

After night after night of this, he eventually managed to convince himself that he was seeing nothing out of the ordinary… that it was just his imagination, or that this was just how darkness worked, and he’d never noticed it before.

Then the night came when it didn’t happen, and that tender illusion was stripped away, though all he felt was relief that whatever had been transpiring in his bedroom every night was over.

That relief lasted until the next night, when it all began again. The darkness crept out from under his dresser, from beneath his closet door, and from behind the chair in the corner. It pooled together and slunk slowly across the floor towards his bed… never quite reaching it, though coming quite close. There was no kidding himself about it now. He’d seen what his room was supposed to look like in the dark, and it had seemed too right and natural for him to pretend that what he was seeing now was anything like normal.

That first interruption wasn’t the only time he was given a respite. Sometimes they happened quite frequently, and other times weeks would go by without the unnatural darkness taking over his room. At first he prayed each night that the darkness would pass him over, but eventually he came to dread those nights just as much, if not more.

The beshadowed nights had become normal to him, and on those nights he could at least see the darkness reaching for him. He knew better than to let his foot hit the floor on those nights, or relinquish the protection of the covers. He could see his doom coming. He knew where the shadows were.

The other nights… who knew where the shadows got to on those nights? Who knew where they lurked? Who knew where they waited for him? He certainly didn’t, and that terrified him in a way that all the tendrils of darkness creeping across his floor never could.

He dutifully bade his mother goodnight as she turned off the lights. He closed his eyes involuntarily and ducked under the covers, not willing to see at once what sort of a night he was in for.

Beyond the covers, the shadows in his room were just shadows… but outside his window, a pool of darkness deepened, and then seemed to straighten and stand up. A figure strode out towards the sidewalk, carefully skirting far around the circle of amber light cast by a lamp pole. Another dark figure flitted across the street towards it. The two came together in what could only be seen as an embrace, had any human eyes been watching.

“So, where do you want to go tonight?”

“I don’t care, I’m just happy to get out of the house for a while.”

“I know what you mean… it’s a good job, and an important one, but it’s like, we can’t spend every night scaring kids.”

“Yeah. Honestly, I think their little minds can use a break. We’re supposed to be teaching them how to cope with fear, not driving them up the wall with it.”

“True that.”

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