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The Scary

published: 2014-01-07

Describe The Scary.
The Scary is black. It moves, really fast. It sits on my bed. And if I want to go upstairs to you, it stops me. It has no eyes, nor ears. No arms or legs.
A big ball of blinding blackness, is what I think.
Yes, it has teeth.
My son becomes increasingly upset. By now, there is a look of desperacy on his face. Tears gather in the rims of his eyes. Two fall down, slow and heavy as if they were made of honey.
And it also hisses and jumps around like fireworks.
My son is almost hysterical now.
And I remember the bed which had gates.
Your toddler cot?
And I couldn’t get out and The Scary only wouldn’t come if I crossed my legs.
Oh. The leg-thing. I remember now. How he crossed his legs as a toddler. And I recall how he once casually mentioned that his neighbour-friend told him something. He had said The Scary exists and only doesn’t come if you cross your legs.
My son is only mildly calmed when I tell him that he’s forgotten something. He’s forgotten how it was his neighbour-friend who told him this. And that his neighbour-friend had made it up. So it isn’t true. And that we may as well make new things up. Like how The Scary doesn’t come if we keep the bathroom light on. And that if we burn sage – which we then do – it will run away and never return.
Will it go to my neighbour-friend’s house?
No. It will dissolve.
It takes my son a while to accept this new reality, and he only partially does.
It’s hard to let go of our fears. And how we control our fears is anchored into our belief system.
But what I find most daunting: how many casual things has my son told me that I never picked up on?

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