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“Father!!’

It was late but the desperate scream and constant pounding awoke the priest sleeping in his small apartments at the back of the church. Lighting candles along the way, he made his way to the doors where the pounding seemed to never cease.

The girl on the other side cut short her next scream as the door opened and the priest stepped aside to let her in from the cold.

“What is it child? Why are you out in this weather?” The winter storms were just beginning to move into the little valley and the temperatures were beginning to drop, especially at night. But the girl sobbing on his floor was wearing only a small shawl over her nightgown and thin shoes.

“It’s all true! That story you told me is true.” She sobbed in response, holding her hands to her face and muffling her words. Looking up at the priest, her watery eyes begged for him to understand. “The bogeyman, he’s real.”

“Why would you say such nonsense?” He gently helped the girl to one of the pews to sit her down. Rubbing her back, he waited patiently until she had calmed enough to speak again. From her extreme reaction, something terrible must have happened. It was making her delusional if she thought that old wives tale was true.

“Because he’s killed my brother,” though the words were muffled by her hands, the priest heard them just fine. A gleam in his eyes was smothered by concern as he knelt down to get the girl to look at him instead of speaking into her lap.

“Tell me.”

With that one command, she opened up and spoke in small, pain filled bursts. Her brother had been misbehaving and to get him to behave, she had told him of the bogeyman and it’s ravenous hunger for children who misbehave. It only worked for a little while before he was up to no good again. She was awoken later that night by a strange noise and upon investigating; she found the bloody mess of her brother’s room.

“It’s all my fault. I should never have told him that story,” the hysterical sobs soon returned with her admission and the priest returned to rubbing her back in comfort. Once she was breathing normally again, he pointed her towards his washroom to clean up.

Once she disappeared, the gleam returned to the priests eyes and with it came an inhuman smile. The chuckle that escaped the priest would have been bone chilling should anyone have heard it. As he stood there, the darkness of the room seemed to shift towards him. Drawn to the evil that was suddenly radiating off of the kindly priest, the shadows crawled up his legs as he began a slow prowl in the direction of his washroom.

As he walked, his appearance slowly changed. His nails and teeth elongated while his face seemed to sink in on itself. The priest’s once kind blue eyes darkened to a dull red and sparkled with maniacal glee.

As the girl returned from the washroom, she bumped into a figure just outside the door. Thinking that it was the priest awaiting her, she turned to apologize.

Before she could so much as inhale from fear, the bogeyman slashed at her neck.

“Thank you for freeing me.” He murmured, a twisted smile curving his lips while she sunk to the floor in a puddle of her own blood. His head tilted to the side, his hood of shadows moving with the tiny movement, and watched quietly as she bled out on the church floor. He wasn’t as hungry as he had been when he took on the wretched form of the priest.

But who was he to pass up dessert that came crying into his arms?

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Sorry it’s so late. I’m in one of those writing slumps and it’s really very frustrating. If all goes well, you can expect both day 24 and 25 later today~

Next Creature: Familiar Spirit

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