A big brother and a little brother and somewhere a monster
|Larry collapsed backward on Ted’s bed. Lying there massaging his temples with his eyes squeezed shut, he reminded Ted of their mother when she had reached the end of her rope. Finally, Larry sighed dramatically and sat up straight again. In a painfully calm voice he said, “I’m tellin’ you, Ted, there is no such thing as The Boogyman.”
“You sure?” Ted asked. He was in his bed, the covers pulled up to his chin. He smelled strongly of Colgate toothpaste. The bedside table lamp lit the room in quasi-shadows.
“I’m sure,” Larry said.
Ted looked at his big brother dead in the eye. “That’s the truth? No fooling?”
“Yes, damnit!” Larry blurted before he could stop himself. He saw Teddy’s mouth open and his eyes grow wide with horror. “Don’t tell mom!" Larry whispered. "Please!"
Ted looked away.
Ted stared past Larry’s head. He was obviously having difficulty making this promise. He loved his big brother very much and didn’t like the idea of him going to hell for all of eternity. There was no doubt about it. His mother was going to have to be notified.
“Promise me, Teddy!”
“Can’t do it,” Ted said. He pressed his lips together firmly.
Larry knew it was no use. Ted was like a rock when it came to swear words. There was no budging him. Larry slid off the bed and thought seriously of giving Ted a head-noogie. “You know when I told you there was no such thing as Boogymen?” he asked, turning off the lamp.
“Yeaaaah?” Ted could now only barely see Larry’s outline in the hallway light.
“It’s the Bogymen that will get you."