Your mom lied, okay?
Hey now, no need to get upset about it. I don’t need your tears all over me, salt water’s bad for the fur. Yeah yeah, I know it works for you humans, gives you the sexy beach hair–but that’s not what it does for us. It’s like chewing gum, man. Nothing but peanut butter gets it out.
Really, stop crying. I’m not gone, am I? Look! Here I am, fur and horns intact. Did you really think a little lavender spray was gonna keep me away? Damn kid, it was all I could do to keep from laughing aloud when she started spritzing that shit all over the room with her oogity-boogity-monsters-go-away stuff. I was right there the whole time, you know, blended in with the wallpaper. She even turned around and sprayed me with it once. That’s why I’m so flowery fresh tonight. Here… smell. You should have her do that every night. Good show and it’s better than a bath, that’s for sure.
Are you still sniffling? You’re not allergic to lavender, are you?
Ahh, I get it. You thought I was gone forever. As if! I mean, I ain’t gonna lie to you. You’re gonna hit an age… oh, about the time you learn how to drive… and you’re gonna start turning into your mom. After that, you won’t be able to see me anymore, but it’ll be all right. By that time, the bogeyman won’t have any more use for you and you won’t need me here doing my old scarin’ thing.
What? Your mom told you, you couldn’t get your license until you were forty-two? Well, that’s a lie too, but I kinda like that one. Yeah, I’ll stick around until you’re that old if I have to. Hell, I’d like that, kiddo.
Look, you’d better get to sleep. I’ll be right over there in the closet under your snowpants. It’s comfy-cozy in there. Don’t worry about that bogeyman. I always sleep with one eye open. It’s easier when you have three.
Hey kiddo? I smell fine! Seriously, get your mom to do that lavender thing again tomorrow, okay?
Kiddo, wake up!
Oh good, so back to that lavender thing…
Jennifer Tatroe is a Seattle-area writer, recently transplanted from northern Colorado. Her fiction has appeared in a short list of literary journals and been rejected by a much longer list. In case you were wondering, she loves Elvis and hates olives.