The second of the Halloween tales and my favorite.
“Mom! Mr. Chase is scaring me!”, the child insisted tearfully, “Make him leave!”
“Hush, honey. You know Mr. Chase isn’t real. You made him up, you can make him go away.”
The woman patted the child and rose.
“Now tell Mr. Chase to leave you alone and go to sleep.”
As she passed through the door she threw a “goodnight” over her shoulder.
“Good night, mom.”, the terrified child responded.
“Good night.”, echoed Mr. Chase from his dark corner of the room. The woman didn’t hear him. No one ever did.
Mr. Chase waited patiently while the child resisted sleep. He knew sleep would win and he would be able to leave his corner.
The night deepened…
…but eventually morning came.
The woman breezed into the bright bedroom and sat on the bed. She rubbed the child’s back.
“Good morning, sunshine!”, she murmmered into the child’s ear.
The child yawned and stretched.
“Sleep well, baby?”
“Did Mr. Chase bother you?”
“See. I told you you could handle him!”
“Now come to breakfast.”
The woman left the room. The child got out of bed and padded to the corner. Even in daylight the corner was dark.
“It’s your turn now, brat. Your turn to wait while I walk the world freely.”, the thing in the child’s body hissed to the small shadow in the corner.
Mr. Chase went to breakfast.
In the corner the child cried. No one heard.