Hey, thanks for checking out this story. Um, okay, the lyrics here are from the Scary Song, byFrankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13

Enjoy!


THE BOOGIEMAN

I had chosen this song somewhat defiantly, futilely trying to prove to myself that I wasn't frightened. I sang along half-heartedly to the lyrics, pretending the words weren't affecting me, fighting off my feeling of trepidation.

There's something underneath your bed,
Pull the sheets up over your head
…"

A loud crash from downstairs, that not even the pulsing music could mask, interrupted my feeble singing. A feeling of unease washed through me. I tried to push the apprehension down, but to little avail. While I was deliberating on what to do, the song ploughed on,

"You hear something what was that?
Boo!
"

Even though I could feel the blood drain from my face at the thought, I decided to go downstairs. While there was a certain element of safety in the familiarity of my room, not knowing what could be prowling around downstairs was worse. Not that there would be anything there, I told myself firmly. But going down would only confirm that.

I stomped heavily down the steps, as if acting bravely would make me fearless. The encroaching shadows seemed to stir and shift as I passed, so I flicked on any light that I could find to banish their darkness.

It was in the kitchen that I found it.

What was once going to be my dinner was knocked onto the floor. The spaghetti was in a tangled mess, the bolognaise sauce running down the cupboards like blood. Slightly spooked as to why my dinner was throwing itself off benches, I bent to clean up the ruined meal.

As I was throwing the food away, I heard the soft patter of footsteps as something – or someone – walked on the floorboards above my head; only no one else was meant to be home. My stomach flipped uncomfortably and I froze. But I was just being stupid – no one could get upstairs without passing me in the hall, could they?

Apparently, yes, they could. This was proven by the loud thump as something, again, was thrown from a height. The CD player was my guess, as the disk jumped and began playing the same lines over and over again,

"He walks tall and carries a butcher knife
The boogieman only wants to take your life…"

Before I could even think what to do the front door – which I clearly remember firmly locking earlier – slammed open. An unnatural, biting wind whipped its way throughout the house.
"…only wants to take your life…"

I remained immobilised for a heart beat. True terror then took hold and I couldn't think, only run. My mind only registered the soft murmur of footfalls overhead.

I locked myself in the linen cupboard. There was no light in here, only darkness. I floundered around frantically in the gloom, trying to find anything remotely resembling a weapon. The only article that I could come up with was a sheet, which I clasped desperately in my hands though it wouldn't even make a crude defence, at best.

A cold sweat swept along my body, a shiver creeping its way down my spine. Breathing deeply didn't help. No matter what I did; I couldn't calm the erratic pounding of my heart. It thumped deafeningly in my chest, so noisy I was sure that you could hear it from miles away. A choked sob came to my lips; I'd read that line a thousand times in books, but never thought it was true. Clamping my teeth together, I bit back a hysterical giggle, vainly trying to veil my whereabouts.

"He walks tall and carries a butcher knife-" the lyrics rang our clearly, before abruptly cutting off, ending their terrifying mantra. In their wake, a deadly silence rang out, before the shrieking of the wind intensified and again, I could hear the ominous creak as something stalked along the flooring. Searching for an object unknown.

I ignored the whispered voice in my mind that suggested it was hunting for me.

The complaining moan of the floorboards became louder and, with a horror that pinched at my insides, I realised that the thing – whatever it was, whatever it wanted – was approaching. Soft steps, lightly slinking down the stairs.

Creeping. Sneaking. Closer, ever closer.

As dread took over my mind, I realised that trying to conceal myself was hopeless, my discovery was imminent. I could feel my impending detection looming ahead of me with every soft footfall. Still coming closer, always closer.

Suddenly, what little security the cupboard offered was twisted, perverted. The walls seemed to close in around me ensnaring me in their hold. The blackness was suffocating. In the panicked jumble of thoughts that burbled through my mind, I could almost imagine the silken sheet I had clasped in my hands was the fabric lining of a coffin. The solid doors of the cupboard were encapsulating me, creating my tomb.

With a strangled cry that caught in my throat and ended up sounding more like a wheeze I tumbled out of my imagined crypt, gasping desperately for air. I couldn't stand it any longer, the feeling of being trapped, of not knowing.

Before I could decide if facing my assailant head on was any better, I saw luminous green eyes, the pupils' vertical slits. A tangle of midnight black fur. Thin white teeth, sharp claws…

It was my cat, Charcoal. I sunk to the ground, breaking down into a flood of violent tears, overcome with relief. It had been Charcoal all along, I thought. Just my daft old cat.

But not even my cat could explain why the lights flickered once, twice, then went out. Immediately I was engulfed in darkness. Again I heard the groan of someone treading ever so slowly down the stairs...

"The boogieman only wants to take your life."