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Halloween Horror: The Deep-Seated Bogey

Posted on October 30, 2008 by Flames

We have another addition to the Halloween Horror series today. This time author and game designer Will Hindmarch (Damnation City, Things We Think About Games) shows us a twisted little creature with a taste for words…and other horrible bits.

The Deep-Seated Bogey

Created by Will Hindmarch

Not everyone catches the attention of a deep-seated bogey, and if you’re lucky you never will. Once you have a deep-seated bogey, it has you, too. Supposedly the only way to get rid of a deep-seated bogey is to starve it out… but no one’s ever pulled it off.

Deep-seated bogeys are attracted to clutter and junk. They get into attics and closets, where they nest in boxes of worn-out action figures and forgotten stuffed animals. They page through old yearbooks and read the letters you keep. If it’s written in, it’s fair game. Textbooks, journals, autographed novels, unauthorized guides to the Star Wars universe inscribed and given as gifts — bogeys sniff the ink and trace the handwriting with their fingers. The longer these things go unread, the greater the chance you’ll attract a bogey.

First, the bogey becomes infatuated with you. At night, it reads everything you’ve written down that day. It peers over the edge of your bed and watches you sleep. It brushes its fingers up and down your arm and watches your hairs stand up and lay down. It blows in your nose to dry out your snot, and slips hairs between your teeth to help you floss.

Once it has a taste for you, a deep-seated bogey never forgets anything you ever say or write. It learns the way you talk. It sits on the toilet and practices its impression of you.

By now, the bogey is bonded to you. It speaks with your voice. It writes with your handwriting. It reads anything you read. It answers your phone when you’re not there. It makes calls when you’re asleep. It sends email from your account. It sends postcards to people you hoped you wouldn’t hear from again. It sends out asinine requests to people you hardly know on Facebook. It posts on Internet forums and links back to your website.

If you’ve ever said it out loud, your deep-seated bogey can say it again. It doesn’t matter if you meant it or not. The bogey’s got your voice and it only knows what you said.

All this time, the deep-seated bogey’s been changing its body, adding limbs and swapping its hide for things it finds in your old books. Every bogey’s body is different. It doesn’t know what normal is, it only knows what it’s seen and read in your books.

Mine has fingers for teeth. It got the idea from a Jeff Easley painting in an old Dragonlance book I have somewhere. Those fingers grow out of spongy gums behind wide lips that roll back when the digits grope for ankles and faces. It chews with long yellow fingernails, stubborn and hard as mutant big-toe nails, curved and hard like shovel blades. It’s built squat like a toad or a bulldog and is skinned in pachyderm hide. Stiff black hairs sprout up from inside slick and sticky wrinkles. It goes around on four big, misshapen fingers, instead of feet. Its eyes are people eyes.

To shake a deep-seated bogey, never keep a book you’re not reading. Never keep letters. Never write down anything new. Never say anything you don’t mean. And good luck with that.

About Will Hindmarch
Will Hindmarch is a Chicago-born freelance writer and designer with more than fifty professional credits as author, developer, or graphic designer on games, books, and magazines. n 2007, Will co-founded the gameplay-and-story outfit, Gameplaywright Press, with Jeff Tidball. In 2008, Gameplaywright published its first hard-copy title, Things We Think About Games, to critical acclaim within the gaming scene.

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