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Little feet shuffled across the pink tiled kitchen into Mom and Dad's room. The white door was closed slightly, with a bright light filtering from a table lamp in the room. There was gruff snoring on Dad's side of the bed.
The four-year-old's red pajamaed feet jumped onto the now carpeted floor and ran to Mommy who was reading a People magazine on the bed. The covers were pulled all the way up, covering Dad's balding head.
'I saw him! I saw Bogie! I did!' Lexi half-yelled and half-whispered with excitement. Dad grumbled and turned in his sleep.
Mom put the magazine down and pulled Lexi up onto the big bed. To her, the bed looked like a big tan garden of flowers. The covers were thick underneath her. 'Lexi, now what did I tell you about that?' Mom gently warned.
'But I did see him! I did. Come look. He's still there.' It seemed impossible to get Mom to believe. Lexi wasn't lying. She was telling the truth. The boogey man was in her closet and her mother appeared to have no problem with that.
Mom sighed. She quietly slipped off the bed and turned off the bright light. Their eyes widened from the sudden light change, but Lexi's widened more from the surprise that her mother was actually going to go see Bogie. They walked down through the kitchen, tripping over kittens in the process. Then they trolled through the living room, with its huge French doors billowing out from the side. The walk seemed longer than usual as Lexi imagined what 'Bogie' could be doing right now. Was he still hiding in the closet or had he come out to go investigate other rooms?
They finally reached her door and Mom slid it open nonchalantly.
No scuttling like before. No weird noises that sounded worse than her dad's snoring. Just an eerie silence that only bothered Lexi. Her mother guided her closer to the closet. The proximity to her nightmare was too close. Lexi began to whine.
'I told you, honey. No boogey man, see?' Mom boldly went into the closet and stood there for a few seconds.
How can she not see him? He was right there next to her. His blue-gray skin glinted from the outside light and his loose hand was hooked onto the door handle. And worst of all, he was glaring at Lexi. She could just hear him whispering, I'm gonna get ya when your mom leaves, little girl!
Mom left the closet and told Lexi to try looking in there. But there was no way she was going in that black closet. Who knows, maybe Bogie would carry her off to Monsterland. Yeah! What if he did that? Then mommy and daddy will be sad. 'Oh why didn't we believe her when we still could?' They would say. What's worse is that she'd be stuck with Bogie while he scared other people and she wouldn't be able to protect her brother when he turned four and found a monster in his closet. No'way!
After a few protests, Mom gave up and told Lexi to get in bed. She did as she was told but reluctantly. As the cool, white sheets were pulled over her head and the safety bar on her bed was pulled up a little higher than last time, Lexi felt tears forming in her eyes. She wasn't ready to leave Mom and Dad behind. She didn't want to go to Monsterland.
Mom laughed quietly, to Lexi's surprise then leaned over and kissed her cheek.
'Okay, if Bogie comes back again, you tell him to leave you alone, okay? Maybe he's a nice monster and he just wants someone to play with. Monsters don't always have to be bad, sweetheart.'
'Oh no, mom! I know he's not a good monster. He tried to eat me!' She made that last part up. If mom actually believed her now, then perhaps she'd let Lexi get a new room if she found out that a monster was trying to eat her precious daughter.
' You know we would never let that happen to our little girl. Trust me okay? Goodnight.' She walked out of the room, blowing a kiss while closing the door behind her.
Lexi and Bogie were alone now.
The only sound that could be heard was the rapid thumping of Lexi's heart. Beads of sweat formed on her brow while she strained to adjust her eyes to the darkness. Fear grasped Lexi in a chokehold until she thought she would pass out. She squeezed her eyes closed willing herself to sleep to no avail. Should she summon her parents again and risk their anger or should she just lay there and wait for the Bogie to claim her?
Neither option looked especially promising so Lexi sat up and swallowed hard. Before she could talk herself out of it she pulled her safety bar down (she was getting better at that as the nights progressed) and jumped off her 'big girl' bed. She pulled her hair back, wiped her forehead, and stomped over to the open closet. Then, with all the courage that her little body could muster, she shouted, 'Alwight, Bogie. Get out o' here!' No answer'
She marched closer into the blackness and took another step towards the entrance of Monsterland.
Just then, the weird noise started again. 'Vrrrrrroooooooooooooooooooooooooom! RRRrrrrggggggaaaaaaaaaaughhhhh!'
The noise startled her and she tripped into the closet. Falling, falling, falling, closer and closer to Bogie. No! She wasn't ready for this!
The sound was louder than it had been before. It was next to her ear now. Something was pulling her down, down into the floor. Her cries for mom were muffled by something covering her open mouth. It felt like cotton and it was itchy. It was Bogie. Bogie was pulling her down!
'Moooo-' The sound pierced her ears and drowned out her screaming. How could no one hear all the commotion? The monster was suffocating her. She fell into a pile of something sharp. Her toy set? Yes, it was her toy set. She reached up as far as she could, her hand clawing at the light switch. Further'further'.made it!!!
The light switched on and revealed Lexi in her red pajama suit, all covered in toys and a blue shirt. A blue-gray shirt. A blue-gray shirt with its hand hooked on the door handle.
Bogie was a shirt. And the strange noise was a toy car that had revved up. There was no Monsterland. There was no Boogey man.
Lexi could not believe it. Her mom was right! There was nothing to be afraid of in her room. 'Stupid ol' shirt,' she grumbled. Feeling very relieved, Lexi, who was suddenly very tired, jumped back onto the big girl bed and hopped under the covers. She yawned and her now droopy eyes gazed at the closet. It might've been fun to go to Monsterland, Lexi thought as her eyes drooped and sleep carried her to the land of dreams, where the only real monsters lived now.