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A Girl and Her Imp

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Kyra’s Dad, was in her own words “weird”. He had always been. That was just how he was. She wasn't really sure what he did for a living, not exactly. He worked from home and kept odd hours. He would just sit in this huge room at home he called his “office”, doing what he did and not really being seen much by anyone. Including Kyra, who just so happened to be home schooled.

Kyra was an extremely advanced reader and even though she was only eight, could read at high-school level. She had a love of books that had been born in her dad’s office, since she was big enough to crawl. The walls in her Dad’s office were lined with huge bookshelves that went from floor to ceiling, shelves bent by the weight of all the books they held. He had also managed to put all the fairy tales and books with lots of colorful illustration on the first row of shelves, strategically placed so her little hands could reach the big volumes with ease.

Kyra would sit in a corner for hours on end, paging through the volumes, lost in their pages as her dad worked the night away. For the most part he would be completely oblivious to her presence either typing on his computer or consulting something in one of the “serious books”. Those were the ones he kept well out of her reach and that Kyra always wondered what was written in them. But her dad never let her see one and whenever she asked, he would redirect her attention to some random book he would dig from some other shelf hand to her.

She would then forget completely about the musty old books and lose herself on the one her dad gave her. It was a low blow and she was catching on to it. But the books her dad managed to pull out of nowhere always happen to be exactly what she wanted to read at the time. Almost as he could guess what she was thinking.

But eventually Kyra could be distracted no longer. She just had to know what was in those books! She’d been wanting to know as far back as she could remember. So one day she decided to use the gift of re-direction she inherited from her father and finally see what was in those books. And no one was going to know about it!

Since her dad never got up until at least noon, she waited for her mother to start cooking lunch. She then tiptoed into her dad's office and closed the door. She then wheeled his office chair against the one of the bookshelves and stood on her tip-toes to reach the top shelf. There she grabbed one of the leather bound books and scampered down the chair, and pushed it back to its place. She then hid the book in her stuffed toy chest. She pulled it all off just in time as her mother went to wake up her dad and call her for lunch.

Dad never noticed the book was gone, at least not until she went to bed. She almost couldn't sleep all night thinking about how that book was just a few feet from her, inside her toy chest. But she knew very well her dad was going to be up all night again. It’s easy to hide a book, but you can’t read one in the dark. The next day she rushed through her math and reading assignments so fast that her mom gave her some free time to play or read what she wanted to until lunch time. Her mother then went on to do a few chores around the house and left her alone. After all, how much trouble could a kid get in by herself in her room? Even if that kid was Kyra.

Kyra did not know what to make of that strange book. It was old. Very, very old. From the time when they spelled things weird. Olde with an “e” she giggled. It had all these weird drawings too and it strangely read more like a recipe book than a story book or a “facts” book. Some of its illustrations were downright scary.

But even so she decided to try one of those recipes, just to see what would happen. She kind of suspected this was a spell-book, like the ones in the fairytales she liked to read. To her, the thought of doing a spell was too exciting to pass up. She picked the spell using two criteria: that it wasn’t for anything too scary and that she could manage to get all the ingredients. Finally, she found one that involved a mirror, some candles and a few things she was sure she could smuggle out of the kitchen when her mom wasn't looking. Getting the stuff was easy. Finding the right time window when her dad was sleeping and her mom was engaged in something that would take a while proved to be much more of a challenge. Eventually the chance came up and Kyra took it.

She placed the mirror and the candles in the right position and used some sidewalk chalk to draw the strange symbol on the back of her play-mat. After checking that Mom was still in the laundry room, she ran back and closed her door. She didn't want them to see her lighting candles in her room. They would classify that as “playing with fire” and give her a sound spanking if she got caught.

She lit the candles and then tried as best as she could to pronounce the words that were part of the spell. There was a puff of stinky smoke that seemed to come from the mirror, and when it cleared she saw there was a little man, not much taller than a Barbie doll or a teddy bear in front of the mirror. “Kyra what’s that smell?” she heard her mom shout from across the hallway.

“I was playing with my chemistry set, Mom,” she shouted back and quickly put out and hid the candles and flipped her play-mat over. She gestured the little man to be quiet and managed to convince him to get in the toy chest before her mom came in the room.

“I told you I don’t want you playing with that inside the house, Kyra. If you want to use your chemistry set go do it on the porch. Now the whole house stinks to high heaven!”

“Yes, Mom,” she said looking down. “Sorry Mom.”

Her mom then went on a little more about how now she was going to have to open all the windows to air the house out and moved on to busy herself doing just that. Mom was a busy body and really had a hard time standing still for over five minutes. At least she didn't get grounded and her secret was safe. Kyra opened her toy chest and let the little man out. He was a funny looking little man. He was short with little stocky legs and arms and his skin was brown like cinnamon. He was dressed in what appeared to be little more than a cloth sack with holes cut for his arms and head to poke through. And speaking of head, his was huge compared to his body. He had a really big nose and big, pointy ears and his eyes looked more like a goat’s than a person's. She asked him his name, to which he replied, “You call me; you name me.” And so she did. And that is how Bobinson-boolay and Kyra met. Kyra came to really like her new little fiend. Unlike grown-ups he could sit forever and listen to her talk about everything and nothing. She told him everything. From her likes and dislikes. She went into detail about her favorite movies, cartoons and books. She complained about her mother being too strict, her dad being too distant and math being too hard. She told him about how she found this little boy she saw in the park cute, about another little boy who was mean, and a third one was goofy. She told him how she wanted a cat and how the neighbor’s dog scared her when he came up behind her and started barking. She said she wish someone would fix him so he wouldn't bark.

And everything seemed to be going fine for a while. Bobinson-boolay would spend the day with her and go off running around the neighborhood while she slept. That was fine by her, since she found the thought of him being around while she slept a little creepy. At first she was really worried that her parents would see her new friend, so she always made him sit surrounded by plush toys to disguise him. That was until one fine day Bobinson-boolay told her he could make himself invisible to all but her. He also told her that he was getting strong again, and now he could do all kinds of things for her as well. So Bobinson-boolay started at first doing a few of her chores, and quickly graduated to stealing cookies from the cookie jar to sneak back to Kyra. It seemed like a dream, until the weird stuff started happening. At first it was just little things, like the broccoli burning even though her mom was a great cook, or the blueberry bush bursting with juicy blueberries in March. Finally a little kitten appeared out of nowhere and her mom suggested they’d adopt it, even though she was severely allergic to cats. That was really weird. After that things started getting a little scary.

It all started with the lawn guy who came around every Thursday. Kyra always got very annoyed with all the noise his grass mower and blower did. So one fine day his equipment simply would no longer work. The strange part is that it worked on the neighbor’s lawn, but would go dead when he got to their lawn. He came three days in a row, always apologizing and saying he got the equipment looked at but that no one could find anything wrong with it. But once again his equipment refused to work.

Next it was Mr. Allen, the exterminator man. Kyra mentioned to Bobinson-boolay that she kind of felt sorry for the animals and bugs he killed every day. Jokingly she mentioned that it would be funny if he someday got chased by hundreds of cockroaches or some other bugs. She thought that would be funny, until one day he went down to her basement, and came out running. His face was white as a ghost, and he was running his hands frantically over his shirt as if trying to brush off something. But there was nothing on his clothes. In a panic, he ran to his van and sped off. As much as she tried not to, Kyra could not help giggling, even though she felt a little sorry for him. It was like watching someone slip on a banana peel. You know it’s wrong to laugh, but you laugh anyway.

Bobinson-boolay also took care of the mean kid in the playground that Kyra always complained about. One day while Kyra was climbing up to the slide in the playset, the kid pushed her off. Bobinson-boolay waited until he got all the way up, and turned around to taunt Kyra before he pushed him down the slide. Bobinson-boolay of course, was invisible so no one saw him do it. The mean kid fell really hard, got up with a bloody nose and ran home crying. She later found out his arm was broken as well.

Perhaps the creepiest thing that happened was that the boy she found cute, kept following her like a lost puppy. He didn’t talk, he didn’t want to play. He just stared at her with a blank smile. Like if he was sleepwalking.

Kyra couldn’t help feeling a little scared that Bobinson-boolay could do all those things, but she knew he would never hurt her. He was her own little fairy friend that she had brought into the world. He might be powerful and do some things she considered wrong, but he was a fairy, and fairy-folk were weird. Weirder than her dad, even.

Then one day, something happened. Something that changed her whole perception of what Bobinson-boolay really was, and what he was capable of. It was the day when she finally began to realize what she had let loose in the world. It was the day she really started to understand why her dad had kept those books out of reach.

She was coming home from the neighborhood park, fed up with the little boy following her around all the time. She was wondering if that is what grownups called “stalking” when the neighbor’s dog sneaked up behind her again.

She was ready to jump up and turn to face him, stomp her foot to send him off running. Then she noticed he didn't bark. She looked down at him and what she saw made her run home screaming. The dog had not barked because his mouth seemed to have been fused shut. Much as if someone took an eraser to his lips and rubbed them off like in a cartoon.

That night she confronted Bobinson-boolay. She knew he was trying to help, but he was going too far and too creepy. In tears, she asked what he had done to the neighbor’s dog.

“But you said someone should fix him,” he said with a gleam in his eyes. “Bobinson-boolay fixed him,” and he then bowed as if expecting to be thanked. “But how is he going to eat?” she asked.

“Oh, no eat,” he said. “He will starve. Bobinson-boolay fixed him good.”

“You have to undo this, Bobinson-boolay” she pleaded.

“Bobinson-boolay cannot undo what Bobinson-boolay did.” he said, wagging his finger. “Against the rules, ” he said with a nod.

“Bobinson-boolay, you are scaring me!” Kyra tried not to scream. The guilt she suddenly felt over bringing this little monster into the world was beginning to smother her.

“That’s bad, that’s very bad,” He said. “Bobinson-boolay did Kyra favor; Kyra screams at Bobinson-boolay. Bobinson-boolay is hurt with Kyra! Bobinson-boolay doesn’t want to be friends with Kyra no more.”

“I’m going to tell my Dad everything!” Kyra said, making a desperate attempt to scare the little imp into behaving.

“Oh no. You don’t do that,” Bobinson-boolay almost hissed, “You tell father and Bobinson-boolay kill both him and mother too. Bobinson-boolay will kill them in very nasty way.”

“Go away, Bobinson-boolay! I don’t want you here anymore!” Kyra whimpered as her eyes clouded with tears. She now realized she had done something wrong; really, really wrong. She felt helpless, scared and the worst part was that she knew it had all been her fault. It hadn’t been an accident. She had thought about it, plotted, carried out her plan and brought something into her life that she could not control. Now she had no idea how make it go away. “Bobinson-boolay go,” he said menacingly, “But Bobinson-boolay never gone.”

The little imp faded into nothing right before her eyes. Since they were no longer friends, he now was invisible to her. Just like he was invisible to everyone else. But she knew he was still there, because she could hear his breathing. She then saw her mattress bounce as if someone had jumped on it and the window above the bed slide open.

From the window she heard Bobinson-boolay’s voice singing, “Bobinson-boolay coming for Kyra. But Bobinson-boolay going to have some fun first!” she then heard a thump on the grass outside her window and a maniacal, high pitch laughter as the little imp ran away. And so the reign of terror began. Things started to go missing, things started breaking and Kyra was getting blamed for all of it. Kyra, like most gifted children was always a little challenging and rebellious, so her blame was always assumed. Kyra protested, and told them she didn't do it. But when asked how it happened she kept silent, fearing Bobinson-boolay’s threat. Her silence sealed the guilty verdict in the eyes of her parents.

The worst part was when Bobinson-boolay would come in her room at night. She could hear him moving, whispering taunts in her ear, but she could not see him. Some nights he hid under her bed, and grabbed her ankles when she tried to go to the bathroom at night. Other nights he would hide in her closet and all she could see were his glowing eyes, glaring despondently back at her. She knew calling her parents didn’t do any good. They could not see Bobinson-boolay, and when they left, he would start taunting her again.

She looked in the book that started all this trouble to see if there was any way she could keep him away, or better yet, send him back from where he came. In one of the pages she found out that a little sprinkling of salt under her bed could keep him at bay. Unfortunately her mom was a stickler for cleanliness and every so often would vacuum under her bed, leaving her wide open and unprotected.

Things reached a breaking point when she looked out the living room window and saw her cat dead, cut open and left on her porch. She called out to her mother, but when her mom came, the cat was no longer there. Instead Kyra saw Bobinson-boolay, with an evil smile, wagging his finger at her. Then he put the finger against his lips, signaling Kyra to keep quiet.

Kyra never felt so scared. She screamed and her mom came. The scariest part was that even though her mom was looking straight at Bobinson-boolay, she could not see the little imp dancing in front of her. And Bobinson-boolay knew that only too well and taunted Kyra before fading into invisibility again. That night, Kyra woke up from a terrible nightmare to find Bobinson-boolay sitting cross-legged on top of her chest. “Bobinson-boolay very angry with Kyra,” he said with a snarl. “Kyra calls Bobinson-boolay. Bobinson-boolay comes. Then Kyra likes Bobinson-boolay no more.” He looked at Kyra straight in the eyes. There was burning hatred in them. Hatred that went way beyond what humans can feel.

“Kyra tells Bobinson-boolay to go away, but Bobinson-boolay cannot go home. Bobinson-boolay trapped because of Kyra.” His weight was crushing her, she could barely breathe. She wanted to jump, to scream but she could not move her limbs and she could barely breathe, let alone scream.

“Bobinson-boolay going to fix Kyra. Fix like Bobinson-boolay fixed bad dog.” he said as he started leaning towards her face and slowly move his hands towards her face. She could feel his saliva dripping on her as he drooled, she could smell his rotten breath as he inched closer. “Maybe Bobinson-boolay can go home then. So say rules. Bobinson-boolay follows rules.”

Kyra noticed for the very first time how sharp his teeth were and how cruel his goat like eyes could be. She was terrified. She could not move; she could not scream. The only thing she could do was close her eyes and think real hard how she wished her dad would come save her. Maybe if she tried real hard, he could hear her thoughts, just like he always seemed to know what book she wanted. “Kyra cannot scream. Bobinson-boolay took care of that,” he chuckled. “Now it’s time for Kyra to die!”

He raised his hands and she could see his nails slowly getting bigger and sharper. His hands started twisting and shaping themselves into talons. He raised one hand and was about to slash her throat when the door to her room opened up.

“What is going on here?” She heard a voice say. It was her father. He looked into the bedroom and saw the imp sitting on his child’s chest, smothering the life out of her. With unexpected clarity of mind he leaped towards the bed, grabbed Bobinson-boolay by his neck and threw him hard against the wall. Dizzily, Bobinson-boolay got up and sprang up at Kyra’s dad, but he ducked just in time and the little imp flew past him and hit the wall on the opposite side of the room. Bobinson-boolay stood up slowly, clearly stunned by the rough treatment.

Kyra still could not move, but she saw her dad take out a twisted stick out of his jacket’s pocket, point it at Bobinson-boolie. He chanted something in a language she could not understand and the room suddenly got very cold. Bobinson-boolay's eyes opened wide, he clutched his throat and tried to scream. He looked at Kyra, his eyes white hot with hatred and then tried once more to leap at her dad. He jumped, claws extended and mouth open screaming with rage. But before he could reach her dad, there was a blinding flash of light, and when Kyra’s vision returned, she saw that Bobinson-boolay was gone.

Her dad put the wand away, crossed his arms and tilted his head towards her. “Is there something you want to tell me, Pumpkin?” He asked. Strangely, there was no anger in his voice. Unlike other grownups, he seemed completely unfazed at seeing fairy. Then again, her dad was weird.

“You know how you always tell me that books are my friends, Daddy?” She said, noticing her voice was back.

“And they are, Pumpkin,” he said, sitting on the bed beside her. “And I always tell you that all my books will one day be yours too, don’t I?”

“Yes, Daddy,” she said, hugging him hard and letting her tears flow. “It’s just I really wanted to see what was in those books…” she whimpered.

“It’s okay, Pumpkin,” he said, hugging her reassuringly. “Daddy's not mad. That’s something I’m afraid you got from my side of the family,” he said almost apologetically. He then looked her straight in the eyes and smiled and made a goofy face. That’s what he always did when she was scared, and it always worked. “I’m just glad Mom is a heavy sleeper. Explaining all this to her would have been… challenging.”

“I won’t do it again, Daddy.” Kyra volunteered before her dad made her promise.

“Oh, but you will, Pumpkin,” he said with a mischievous smile. “But let’s wait until you are a little older, and then I’ll be glad to show you.” “You promise?” Kyra’s eyes lit with excitement.

“Pinky-promise,” he said. “But you have to promise me something very important first.”

“I promise I’ll never take those books behind your back again,” she insisted.

“It's not that, Pumpkin, I know you won't.” he said. “What I want you to promise is that whatever you do, do not tell Mom!”

They both laughed real hard, and then he laid there with her until she fell asleep.



Written by Booboofinger
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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