The Nemesis

She’s disemboweling the blanket. The brown one. The blanket I was just under. She is Zelda. My nemesis.

My name is Clarence and I am a bogeyman.

Not the Bogeyman. I am not so arrogant as to claim to be s/he who is the Bogeyman. There are a number of us around, you know. Usually when there are small children in the area. The monster that supposed to be in the closet or under the bed? Probably one of my colleagues. Not me. Well, maybe the closet. But only if it’s regularly vacuumed.

It’s the dust bunnies, you see. Vicious, malicious dust bunnies. I avoid them like they carry the plague. Because they do. That laughable bit of fiction humans tell each other? That the bubonic plague was spread by rats? Lies, all lies. I’m telling you, it’s the dust bunnies. It’s a part of their ongoing nefarious campaign to take over the world. And not just the plague. Oh no, not by a long shot. The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic? Dust bunnies. Think about it, they make you sneeze. The 1952 Great Smog? Dust bunnies, airborne.

Maybe it’s time for my pills. I’ll take it in a bit. She is still patrolling the room. I am safe, for the moment, under the child’s helmet. It’s small, dark and completely devoid of dust bunnies. It’s perfect.

Everything used to be perfect. I’d rattle the blinds, make suspicious shapes in semi-darkness, and be rewarded with the child’s terrified screams. Angelic music to a dedicated bogeyman’s ears. The child was never able to sleep alone in his own room. At least not for long.

And then she came. Zelda.

Now, she patrols every shadow, chases me from my every hiding place. No scrap of darkness is safe from her claws or teeth. She doesn’t even deign to hiss at me anymore. And she feeds the evil dust bunnies by shedding fur everywhere she goes.

And the child? He sleeps soundly the whole night. Alone. It’s enough to make me want to hand in my cape.

In fact, I am handing it in. I quit. Maybe I’ll try being a Tooth Fairy. I hear they’re hiring. I’ll even wear the tutu and sparkly wings.

Fab’s note: To the best of my knowledge, dust bunnies are not responsible for spreading the bubonic plague, the flu (Spanish or otherwise) or for generating smogs, both great and small. 

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