"Alright young lady, time for bed!"
"Ahhh daddy! But it's still early. Can I please stay up one more hour to watch cartoons?"
"Nope, it's 7:30 PM, time for bed!"
"Listen to your dad sweetie."
"But mom, daddy is being not fair."
"See! He even corrected me.... that's not fair! I'm 8 years old and... and... and... I know things too!"
"Uh-huh, bed, now young lady! Otherwise you'll be drowsy in the morning and cranky and neither of us are interested in dealing with a cranky kid."
" She stomps off to her bedroom holding her stuffed animal Cooky who happens to be a cute pink bunny that she sleeps with every night-- the boogeyman gave it to her for her birthday
two weeks ago.
"I'll be there to tuck you in in a minute Annette!"
"Don't worry daddy, I think I can go to sleep on my own tonight. The boogeyman waits for me."
"Are you sure he can handle tucking you in tonight?" He chuckled playing along with her imagination.
"Yes daddy. He's my best friend!... Good night."
"Alright. Good night. Keep your door cracked."
"Okay daddy. Good night mommy!"
"Good night sweet heart."
Annette stood in the doorway of her bedroom hesitant to step inside.
She looked back at the living room where her parents were then back toward her dark room where the only light was from the full moon that shone through her window.
She took a deep breath and quickly ran to her bed tossing the blanket over her head.
She was absolutely terrified of being alone in the dark but she wanted to be a big girl and not use a night light anymore and as of tonight she decided that her dad didn't have to tuck her in.
Immediate regret washed over her when the boogeyman didn't show up but she forced herself to tough it out eventually drifting off to sleep clutching Cooky in her arms.
*An hour later*
Annette slowly awoke from her sleep to the sound of low weeping noises and someone saying, "I'm sorry." repeatedly. She arose from her bed climbing out to search for the source of the voice.
She tip toed out of her bedroom, down the hall toward the living room- she saw nothing or anyone but she could still hear the cries in the distance.
She turned her attention to her parents bedroom carefully tip toeing towards it, gently opening their door only to find them both in bed asleep.
She closed the door quietly then shrugged heading back to her room.
Back in her comfortable bed, she no longer heard the cries or the sorrowful voice apologizing. "Huh, it was probably my imagination. Oh well, good night Cooky.
" She closed her eyes, again holding Cooky close to her chest as she slept.
**2 1/2 hours later**
Annette awoke again, this time completely irritated. The cries were louder and the voice screamed that they were sorry.
"Who is that Cooky? They need to be quiet! Mommy and daddy won't be happy with whoever that is! I need to tell them to hush. Let's go."
She climbed out of bed one last time to search for this noisy person. She walked down the hall toward the living room thoroughly scanning the area and found no one just like before.
She checked the kitchen-- nothing. The den-- nothing, even the bathroom and still nothing.
She again felt the need to check her parents room opening the door quietly like before as to not disturb their sleep.
They appeared to be still in the same position they slept in when she peeked in on them 3 hours earlier.
Just as she was about to close the door the sound of a metal object falling on the floor could be heard coming from her parents closet.
Annette's heartbeat grew, she noticed that her parents didn't react to the noise so she approached their bed slowly still careful not to wake them.
The closer she got an uneasy feeling messed with her gut. She stopped in her tracks when the appearance of a dark colored substance seemed to stain her mothers pillow where her head lay.
Her eyes stretched when she ran around to the other side of the bed to wake her daddy when the same substance was on his pillow as well. She placed her hand over her mouth gasping.
Tears began to form in her eyes but she held her composure the best she could.
The cries began again drawing her attention back to the closet...
"I'm sorry... I'm so sorry." could be heard faintly.
Annette tip toed backwards out of the bedroom then turned forward continuing down the hall.
She wanted to get to the front door and run to a neighbors house for help but before she made it to the door something or someone grabbed her.
She let out a screeching scream and then there was silence.
**The next morning**
"Come out with your hands up and no one will get hurt!!" A voice rang through a bullhorn outside.
"I'm sorry... I'm sorry..." The person sat in the corner of the living room rocking back and forth with their knees drawn to the chest.
"Did you hear me?! Surrender and no one will have to get hurt! No one wants to kill you Jim! Just come out!"
"I'm sorry... I... I'm sorry..."
Police officers swarm the home anxious to break inside.
Jim was Annette's biological father. He escaped the state hospital with thoughts of getting his family back together.
The night he arrived at the home where he once resided he was upset to find that his ex-wife had since remarried and had no intention of ending that marriage to be with him again.
He tried to convince her that he was well and that he left the hospital on his own accord (Which was a lie. Authorities had been searching for Jim for a month).
She turned him away and threatened to call the police if he didn't leave.
He pretended to leave but hid in Annette's room every night waiting for the perfect moment to kill his ex wife and new husband.
This particular night he got his chance murdering them with a butcher knife he grabbed from the kitchen as Annette slept.
In a state of panic, he hid in their closet where his weeping could be heard.
"We just want to return you to the state hospital Jim! You'll be better there."
One officer saw that the back door was left ajar and snuck inside finding Jim in the corner crying and beating himself in the head with his fist. "Put your hands up where I can see them!"
He slowly looked up at the officer with a genuinely sorrowful expression on his face. Lifting his hands above his head- another officer ran over to place him in handcuffs.
The neighbors gathered outside to see what all the commotion was. Some gasped when they saw Jim emerge from the front door being escorted by a group of officers.
"What happened?" One neighbor inquired.
"What's he doing back in that house? Wasn't he put away two years ago?" Another chimed.
"Folks! Please! Back up!" An officer demanded.
"Officer! What's going on? This is a quiet neighborhood, we don't see this kind of action often." Some punk teenager inquired sarcastically.
"I'm not at liberty to say kid. Now please, back up!!"
A coroners van was called for once the bodies of Annette's mom and step dad were found.
"Has anyone checked on the daughter yet?" The police sergeant asked.
"Anyone have an address on where the emergency call came from?"
"Yes sir, 1300 Sherman Hills Rd. Which appears to be 3 houses down from this one."
"Thank you. I'll go and check on her. Please continue to take care of this and keep these insatiable neighbors back."
He took the short walk down to the house where Annette was being held-- knocking on the door awaiting someone to answer.
"Yes? Who is it please?"
"Uh, yes... this is Srgt Park of the Busan County PD.
Is this is Yung residents? I believe this is the address where a phone call was made about an incident we're investigating as we speak, am I correct?"
"Yes." Mrs. Yung spoke from behind the door.
"Okay. Is there an Annette Kim with you?"
"May I speak with her please? I would like to ask her some questions if she's up for it and to make sure she's alright."
The door opened, "Please c-come in srgt. She's on the couch in our living room."
"Annette honey? This is Srgt Park, he's come to check on you."
Annette stared at the carpeted floor clutching Cooky.
"Hello Annette." He said in a gentle tone.
"You know Annette, it's okay to talk to me. I promise nothing will happen to you. I will do everything in my power to protect you."
Still no answer.
"Honey? Annette? Tell the nice man what you told us. It's okay."
Annette slowly lifted her head staring directly into the sergeants eyes...
"I'm sorry... I'm sorry... That's what he kept saying. Then he ran me here, banged on the door until Mr.
Yung answered then he made me promise to call the police to tell you who he was and that my mommy and daddy were dead because of him then he ran back to my house."
Srgt Park, took a deep breath and knelt down, "Don't worry, we've arrested the bad man and we'll make sure he never escapes again."
Annette quickly spoke up as if something popped into her memory that she should share, "I thought he was the boogeyman, but a nice boogeyman.
He used to wait in my bedroom every night to keep me company because he knew I was afraid of the dark. When he didn't show up last night I was scared and hid under my blanket.
I was a little sad that he didn't come."
Srgt Park's eyes stretched, "He's been in the house before?"
Annette shook her head, "Mm-hmm! I'd leave my bedroom window unlocked so he could climb in. He showed up a month ago, I think, tapping on my window so I let him in.
He would read me bedtime stories and lay beside me until I fell asleep and then when I'd wake up the next day he'd be gone until night came and we'd do the same thing again at bedtime.
I told my daddy about him but he thought it was an imaginary friend."
"Your parents never knew he was there?" Srgt Park asked.
"Well, I told them, like I said already, but because my daddy would tuck me in the boogeyman would hide in my closet until daddy left."
Srgt Park and Mr and Mrs Yung stood in shock, with no words escaping their lips.