Dear Mr. Man, or perhaps Mr. Boogey,

I would like to think that we are friends, or at least associates. Our working relationship of "scarer/scaree" concluded many years ago, largely because of my advancing age and less elastic view of reality. It was a natural process, which I am sure you have endured countless times during your existence as a faceless concept of horror. I fondly remember our time together and the many late nights I spent cowering in terror while watching my closet. Send my regards to your colleague "Monster under the Bed". What I would like to discuss today is a delicate personal matter, one which I feel should be addressed in the interests of all involved. I thank you in advance for your consideration.

I'm not sure what my rights are vis-à-vis our previous contract, but in the interest of maintaining our personal relationship, I wonder if we could establish some new ground rules. The problem that we face now is one of changing roles. I find myself in the new role of father, and I make this entreaty on behalf of my newborn child. Far be it from me to try to dictate how you would do your job, but I have a small request. Could you see your way to maybe scaling down your campaign of nighttime horror a small bit? I was thinking maybe you could divy up the work a bit more evenly with the "Monster under the Bed" or even "the Thing in the Drain". I only ask because of the excellent work you did on me. Really, after a few years of staring into your forbidding closet home, I forgot about all other phantasms. You were the Cardinal Fear of my childhood, and I applaud you for that. I am just looking for a more robust experience for my daughter, with a bit more variety.

I apologise for the lack of closet doors in her room. That was partly because of a structural limitation in the room we chose for her, and partly an homage to your mark on my psyche. Kudos.

I understand it is a hard time for a fictional horror these days - cutesy movies, books, etc... fables just don't garner the respect they used to. I feel terror is an important building block in a healthy developing mind. Today's children live with stress, perhaps moreso than previous generations, but I fear that they do not know true primal terror, and are worse off for it. Nightmares of nuclear war and mysterious entities lurking just out of sight made me aware of the scope and variety of life in a unique way, and I feel I am better for it. Let's work together to bridge this gap between the old and the new. Superstitions and fears for the next generation!

On a personal note, I just wanted to thank you for being such a creative nemesis. Your commitment to new and exciting hiding spots and night noises was truly a pleasure to endure, in retrospect. Experimenting with hiding in the dryer in the basement inspired many flights up the stairs during my youth, no doubt strengthening my growing cardiovascular system, and the visitation you made while I was deep in a dangerous fever inspired me to scream out with such intensity as to alert my parents to my condition. The memory of your blank voidlike star filled form haunts me to this day, and I am forever grateful.

I look forward to working with you again, and I appreciate your consideration in this matter.

Terrifiedly yours,

for the I Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Text: The 2005 Halloween Horrorquest - Happy Halloween!

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