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“Are you sure that you have to go Father?” Desperate hands clutched at his robes and he fought the urge to rip them off. Instead, he gently untangled them from his robes and patted each woman’s hands with a mock gentleness.

“I must. It is His will that I move on though it pains me to leave you in these times.” The words spilled out easily, his human mask looking perfectly worried. In truth, he had grown tired of this town and needed a new set of toys to play with. He’d exhausted his food supplies and all that were left were either too young or too old.

With no children left to devour, he’d wither away to the husk he was before. For the humans that believed he was a godly priest, it was another tragedy to lose him. Oh how he wanted to laugh, to tell them that he left to give them time to breed again and bring about more children for the next time.

Humans bred like rabbits but were sensitive to the events in their communities. He could return in twenty or so years and have a new batch. Now that he knew the easiest way to bring the children to him, he’d never go hungry no matter where he went.

“Do not fret my children,” he soothed, petting one distraught mother’s hair. That particular one had been the mother of the chit who set him free. Since losing both children, she spent more and more time in the church and less time taking care of herself. It had been delicious to watch her misery. “Do not let this terror keep you from living your lives. The killings have eased, now is the time to rebuild your hearts and your homes. I am not saying to replace your lost loved ones but to share that love with another.”

With a couple more heartfelt moments, or as heartfelt as he could pretend, he withdrew from the crowd and returned to the church. He had no need for material items but he had to at least look like he packed something. If he was to enter a new town then he had to play human.

Half-heartedly stuffing clothes and books into a bag, his gaze was focused out his tiny window. It was a modest little town, mostly farmers and special craft workers. Nothing special; there were many little towns like this one scattered all over the land. This town was easy prey since their law enforcers were incompetent at best.

Humans built such tight knit communities, children rarely left to settle in a new town and everyone looked out for one another. They ignored his whispers from the shadows to tell his story, to release him upon their children, but when he told the story as a priest they ate it up like a sweet.

His face stretched inhumanly and he licked his lips. If it was going to be this easy everywhere, he’d be a happy glutton. Giving up on the pretense of packing, he moved closer to the window and watched the people mill about.

Insignificant beings doing insignificant things for insignificant lives; they were terribly predictable. Though his leaving would worry them, they would eventually bounce back with more vigor than last time. He’d left them the youngest morsels; babies and toddlers had been spared.

There was one more though.

His eyes gleamed as his caught sight of one of the lucky ones. Anna was one of the prettiest girls that he’d left alone. Though he did not feel any attraction beyond the temptation of a hearty meal, he could admit that she was fairer than most by human standards.

He’d taken two of her three siblings and her terror was still prevalent in her big doe eyes. She had become fiercely protective over her younger brother when her parents weren’t around to herd them like hens.

No one had noticed yet but he’d left an even amount of males and females for future generations. Playing a game with himself to guess who would breed together had been almost as fun as hunting had been. Though this was a good stock of human flesh, there was also the chance for new settlers to show up.

Thinking about when he would return had him shivering in anticipation. The next town would have plenty of new flesh but this place would always be his favorite. This was the place that he had finally had his story told, where he’d finally be freed from the servitude to the shadows.

This place would forever be marked by the Bogeyman and so he shall return again and again to pay homage to the girl who freed him and to recreate the horror.


FR = Friday Requests

The requester of this piece was the commenter Colin. I know it’s been a long time but these things take time. It’s not quite as fun as the first one was but I wanted to try and capture the thoughts of the Bogeyman himself.

This piece is follow up on 100 Creatures Challenge–Day 23, Bogeyman