Editor’s Note: We love this story by Cherise, Age 15! A great lesson for the New Year at the end, so be sure to read it all the way through!
A Bogeyman Tale
Written by Cherise S., age 15, Colorado
You know those scary movie where your worst nightmares or deepest insecurities are finally revealed and made real, bringing you to the brink of insanity? Well, those movies are nothing compared to the horrors of school, whether it be elementary school, middle school, or especially high school. The students that you’re expected to call your peers end up being archnemesis, even friends can begin to turn their back on you.
My friend Hailey, a girl I had valued above many because of her supposed loyalty, had spent months hanging out with me, convincing me that maybe there’s something great about reality, even if most of it is spent at school – for now anyways – and she convinced me that I wasn’t as alone as I thought I was. Then, she gets her old friends back after a sincere apology that sounded more like a political speech that was made to convince you of something with a speaker that was less sincere and more focused on the endgame that benefits her instead of the majority of people.
Life was kind of dull having lost the one person I leaned on and counted on to make things better…
Life was kind of dull having lost the one person I leaned on and counted on to make things better and more full of life, the fact that my dad was leaving me alone in an empty house to go hang out with his girlfriend didn’t help the newfound pessimistic outlook I had on life, but I couldn’t stay mad at him. He was a single parent of two kids, a teenager and a six year old surrounded by three different environments, one being school where you’re bound to learn stuff that you’d never dreamed about hearing previously, and he worked like there was no tomorrow. He kind of had to be the only person that could support the kids and our needs and take care of himself too. Didn’t make life seem any less dreary and lonely though.
Drawing by: Arooba T.
I wasn’t expecting much to come out of this night, just the usual plain pasta or toast and a movie or TV show marathon, though I should probably have been doing my homework, but what I wasn’t expecting was a knock to pound on the door repetitively as thunder echoed through the sky and house and rain poured out of the once cloudless and sunny skies.
I got up from the couch and stretched out my stiff limbs that protested loud and clearly. My arm was even asleep from having lay on it for so long, hours on end, in fact. “Coming, hold on a second!” I called out to the door and whoever was standing outside of it. The knocking didn’t stop though, if anything, it got more consistent.
I rolled my eyes and hurried over to the door, fully prepared to give the person a good scolding, like I expected a mother would do to a disobedient child, but when I opened the door I was met with silence and nothing in sight. There was only one explanation for this: Aliens! Just kidding, there was only one explanation for this and that was: “Children.”
I slammed the door closed and went to walk away but the insistent knocking started again instead. I stomped back towards the door and swung the said door open before screeching in annoyance. “What?” And then I saw the book that I hadn’t seen before laying on the porch that looked like the book in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with fur and creepy eyes, I almost believed it would try to much on my hands and face. Luckily, and more realistically, it didn’t. I took it inside with me, conflicted on whether I should open it or not and whether it was mine to open in the first place.
“Eh, why not? What’s the worst that could happen? It starts screaming like a book in the forbidden section in Hogwarts?” I shrugged dismissively before opening the book and a confused frown settled in place. “Accitis rationarium imperii vulgo? Summon the bogeyman? What is the bogeyman, some tale to scare children? Huh. Whatever.” I muttered before slamming the book closed and carelessly tossing it on the couch.
Suddenly, the lights went out and the sound of shattering glass bounced off the walls. The sound of maniac laughter pierced the eerie air before the lights suddenly came back on. Silence followed. I took deep breaths to calm my racing heart. It was probably just the neighbors being loud again. Yeah, that’s it. But what if it isn’t? My heart continued to race, but I ignored it and turned around, and the sight before me made me jump a mile into the air.
There, only a few feet away, stood a disfigured shadow that seemed to pulse like a heartbeat.
There, only a few feet away, stood a disfigured shadow that seemed to pulse like a heartbeat. It stood with red eyes and black long claws that could slice pieces of meat with ease, a great asset in the kitchen, but I had a feeling that that wasn’t what his intentions with his claws were.
“Someone has been a naughty girl.” it chuckled in a low tone that sounded like death and made my skin crawl. I didn’t hesitate to start running like my life depended on it, though I doubt it did much, I didn’t work out, the only exercise I got was for my brain and sometimes even that wasn’t up to par.
I couldn’t hear a sound over my racing heart and deep breathing, combine how terribly unfit I am with the fact that I was being chased after by a shadow and the fact that I was still afraid of the dark and you got a messed up night on your hands. I just hoped I didn’t die with my only company being with what I feared most.
I made it to the bathroom and rushed to turn on the light after locking the door as a safeguard to keep the bogeyman – or whatever the shadowman was – out, little did I know that I hadn’t escaped.
“Ooh, what are we doing in here? Playing Bloody Mary? I haven’t seen her in ages. Oh, you should know, you forgot the candle, but it’s okay, she’ll respond to a dear old friend. Won’t you Mary, darling?” it said before looking at the mirror where a woman dressed in a red and white dress with black hair going everywhere suddenly jumped at me.
I screamed and jumped back in surprise, but she still managed to latch onto my shoulder. Suddenly, we were somewhere else, a cemetery in fact, standing before a grave and one man and a little girl that blocked sight of the name of the grave.
The woman besides me, who had latched onto me earlier, Bloody Mary, I believe, cackled and looked at me with a dark and chilling grin before the man and little girl turned to walk away. I stumbled back in shock. The man was my dad and the little girl was my sister. and, as for the name on the gravestone, it was mine.
Claudia Elise Rosewood
February 18, 1999- June 7, 2015
“This is your future, hon. Huh, sad isn’t it? Just your name and a date, no endearing words or nothing, and you died at sixteen, such a shame.” Bloody Mary stated with a shake of her head, faking sorrow before cackling like a mad woman.
“I-I d-die? How- how is this possible? How- how did I die?” I stuttered in fear and curiosity. This couldn’t be happening. But it was.
“You saw your worst fears come to life: darkness, me, and your house was destroyed in a fire with you in it, at least, the fire thing was what happened in your head. The real cause of death was fear, your hair even turned white.” I backed away from her in fear, I couldn’t die, there had to be another way, I’ve barely even lived. “Oh, I forgot to mention another one of your fears made real: you’re claustrophobia and fear of being buried alive!” Bloody Mary snapped.
Suddenly, I was below the ground in a coffin. My air supply was cut off as I started to have a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe and it felt like the walls were closing in on me. I began to sob and pound my fists on the ground and the top of the coffin I lay in, but my efforts were futile. I couldn’t get out. At least, not alone. “Bloody Mary, please, please spare me! I’ll do anything!” I begged and pleaded.
There was then a glowing figure, Bloody Mary, besides me, and she was clucking her tongue. “Hmm, you know, your life, at least as of late, has been filled with moaning and groaning, you’ve been all ‘the glass is half empty’, so what’s the point of living, huh? Why should I bother saving you?” she asked with a raised eyebrow and a smirk.
I sputtered before the solution came quick. “I’ll live life to the fullest, I’ll even make friends, no matter how hard it will be. I promise!”
Bloody Mary suddenly turned into the bogeyman again, before darkness filled up the coffin. “Deal, it was nice scaring the living daylight out of you.” he said with laughter before the coffin exploded and flew out of the ground with me in it and the top went flying off in who knows which direction. I could still hear the bogeyman’s laughter fill my ears.
“Aah!” I screamed from my laying position on the couch having fallen asleep, “Oh, it wasn’t real, thank goodness that wasn’t real. What a weird dream, though, that’s for sure.” I mumbled before seeing the note on the coffee table besides me. Hmm, my dad must be home and wanted to leave me a note.
Remember your promise, Claudia Elise Rosewood-
or I might just have to visit you again. I wonder what
form I’ll take next time, maybe a creepy doll or clown.
P.S. Be nice to my book, it’s special to me,
and it has feelings you know.
So for all of you boys and girls, remember to live life to the fullest or the bogeyman might just have to visit you.