The Boogey Man

It was the end to a perfect day: mid-spring, sunny afternoon, a cool breeze coming in from the ocean. The park was filled with children, families and excited dogs. Picnics littered the grass as families enjoyed the perfect day out. Children played hopscotch on the walkways, their parents none too far away with their watchful eyes. She always envied these parents who had little more to worry about than their children wandering out of sight. She always had to worry about more.

As time wore on and her watchful eyes passed from her children to her grandchildren, she took some ease in knowing that there were more than one set of eyes. She enjoyed spoiling her grandchildren, in giving them small comforts she never could with her children. Her children were better for it and the world she paved for them better for it but she always regretted not being able to allow them to be children for as long as they could. She knew all too well what destiny lay before them and she wanted them ready for it. Now that they've come into their own she overcompensates with her grandchildren and loves it.

Each of her three children had three children (a family tradition, it would seem, that began with her and her siblings). Her youngest, a daughter, had her children first followed by her sons; the eldest having his children last. The grandchildren ranged in age from eighteen years to 9 months. Each child held a special place in her heart. When each was old enough she began a tradition of taking them individually to the park once a month for special one on one time. In this way she could bond with each of her grandchildren individually and grant them her undivided attention.

Today she brought her granddaughter Jodie, her daughter's youngest. Jodie was a mere seven years old but already was coming into her own within the family tree. She was head fast, quick witted and resourceful. In many ways she looked at her young granddaughter as the splitting image of her sister Phoebe. Walking hand in hand around the park brought great joy into her heart. The sun beamed down on them as the wind threw their walnut and silver toned hair towards the sky.

"Grand?" Jodie asked.

"What is it my dear?"

"Have you ever seen the Boogey Man?" the little child asked.

She looked down at her young granddaughter, her brown doe eyes imploring some wisdom from her 'Grand'. Though it had been decades, she remembered being just as young asking her own Grand such questions. From time to time she still did. Jodie knew nothing of the Underworld nor the demons it housed. Though she had read the Book of Shadows, her family's tome of the occult, she was carefully watched and guided into reading only about good magic.

"I've seen my fair share, dear. Have you ever seen the Boogey Man?"

"He's standing over there," Jodie replied.

Following the path of her granddaughters outstretched arm, she looked to the horizon and saw a masked figure staring at them. She had faced many foes before but something about this figure seemed familiar and menacing.

"Stay behind me Jodie," Piper said to her granddaughter.

"Aunt Paige said the Boogey Man only comes out at night," Jodie said.

"Did Aunt Paige say that?" she tersely replied.

"Yeah, she said he lived in the basement and was a shadow."

"That wasn't the Boogey Man," Piper said, "That was the Woogey."

The masked figure stood by a large old tree. It was dressed entirely in black save for its mask which was white. Holes for the eyes were cut out but otherwise the mask was intact and in the form of a human face, expressionless. Piper thought to confront whoever it was but she didn't dare expose her magic in public or risk Jodie's life.

"Have you seen the Boogey Man before today?" Piper asked Jodie.

"Grand, I'm scared," Jodie said.

"It's alright dear. Please pay close attention though. Have you seen the Boogey Man before today? It's terribly important."

"Grand, I've seen him everyday this week. He waves at me when I see him and I think he wants me to go with him but Mommy said never to talk to strangers," Jodie said.

It was Saturday and Piper realized that whoever hid behind the mask had been stalking her granddaughter for six days. She knew she couldn't let him get away with an opportunity to lure her at a later day. She had to act now.

"Ok Jodie, I want you to listen to me," Piper said, "I want you to stay in this spot right here, do you understand me? I'm going to go over to the Boogey Man and tell him now to follow you anymore, Ok?"

Jodie nodded her head. Piper felt hesitant in leaving her granddaughter's side but she had to stop the masked figure. Piper reasoned at most Jodie would be fifty feet away from her and well within eye sight and ear shot. If need be she could always freeze the scene.

Piper slowly crept toward the tree that the figure hid behind, all the way looking behind her shoulder to keep an eye on Jodie. As she neared her steps grew softer. She hadn't gone after demons and such in years. When she finally got to the tree, she stepped around the trunk to find nothing.

Peering at the spot she was sure to find someone was nothing. She took a step back and looked towards Jodie. Jodie stood there, fifty feet away, with a questioning look on her face.

Before Piper could even ask herself what had happened the masked figure lept behind Jodie. Jodie screamed as it took a hold of her by the waist and shimmered out.

"Jodie!" Piper screamed.