Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Hunter's Guide to Monsters - Chapter Six

Are you scared? You shouldn't be. Not because there's nothing to fear, there are monsters out there that can rip you limb from limb; dark forces who'll creep out from under your bed at night and devour you whole. However, you shouldn't fear these beasts, because they can smell fear and feed off of it. If you're scared, you might find yourself being hunted down by tonight's monster . . . the 'BOGEYMAN':
Bogeyman /'bogeeman/ n. 1. An imaginary evil character of supernatural powers, especially a mythical hobgoblin supposed to carry off naughty children.
6. Bogeymen
  by Hunter Jeremiah

One of the strangest, yet most common creatures I've seen in my line of work has to be the bogeyman. They can be found all over the world, calling it a bogle; bag man; bugaboo; bloody-bones; brownie; bogie; black dog; boggart; bugbear; or bête noire, but I know them simply as bogeymen. Contrary to what many people believe, bogeymen are not demons. We know this for two reasons: Firstly, bogeymen don't seek to conquer and reign, like demons do, if anything their main motivation is hunger, not control. Secondly, bogeymen don't need to steal a body in order to survive, as they're not from another realm, they come from here. Bogeymen have a dark, smoky, ethereal form which they can warp and shift at will. This shape-shifting ability is the bogeyman's ultimate weapon and defense and it's what makes them so hard to Hunt. They can use this to camouflage themselves, but it is imperfect as all bogeymen are black and even when they shape-shift, they retain their dark colour. it is for this reason that they prefer to hide in darkness and shadow.
When you stand before the shifting black; with fear for the creature snarling back; calm your mind, and prepare for attack - for fear is your greatest enemy when facing a bogeyman.

The best way to think of bogeymen is as a parasite. Just as bedbugs feed off of us for blood, bogeymen feed off of us as well. They consume our dust and detritus, as well as our fear. Bogeymen have a very mild form of telepathy, almost empathic, which they use to feed off of our emotions. It is this which has lead to legends of "The Monster Under the Bed". Bogeymen thrive under beds, as they can consume the dust, discarded books, socks & rubbish underneath; and as the occupants of the bed sleep, they will seep the fear out of us. As bogeymen grow, they may even use their shape-shifting abilities to terrify the person at night, so that they can feed off the fear when they finally go to sleep.
Thankfully, although this can be terrifying - especially for young children - these kinds of bogeymen tend to be harmless. They mean no harm, they're just hungry and feeding off this veritable fount of fear. However, there have been some cases whereby bogeymen have become too greedy, and rather than feed on just fear and the rubbish beneath the bed, I'm sad to say that some bogeymen have climbed out from under the bed and devoured the sleeping occupant.
This is a most unfortunate circumstance and a terrifying death which I don't wish upon anyone. It is very rare, but it does happen, and it's in these cases when boggarts and bogeymen acquire a taste for human flesh that Hunters have to step in and dispatch the monster.

The Bogeyman diet is quite varied and omnivorous; but not infinite. Although they will eat cotten; carpet fibre; meat; animal fat; hair; wood and many other materials, they will not consume metal; plastic; water or fresh vegetables. The rule of thumb seems to be that they consume flammable materials. It's not known why, some Hunters much cleverer than myself have theorized a kind of "endothermic digestion", but as I've already said, these are some of the strangest creatures I know, so I won't pretend to understand the way these monsters work.
Now, similar to demons, the size of a bogeyman is relative to its strength and abilities. The smallest boggart I've ever encountered was a little critter the size of a tennis ball in the shape of a spider; there are reports of them being smaller, but I've not seen them for myself (or I haven't recognized them, at least). The largest I've seen was a boggart the size of a horse; but I've told they can be even bigger than that.
The more they eat the more they grow and accumulate matter, somewhat similar to a black hole. But what's most unusual is that, the more they feed on our fear and emotions, the stronger their minds become. As though leeching off our thoughts, a bogeyman can become incredibly intelligent.
Also, just as they get smarter, and larger, their shape-shifting ability and mild telepathy becomes greater as well. The strongest bogeyman not only can manipulate their form into other states of matter, like smoke and liquid, but they can project light and flames and even teleport; I've heard no less than four cases whereby a bogeyman whose telepathy was strong enough was capable of entering a person's mind as they slept and giving them nightmares, so they could feed.
Because their strengths, powers, intelligences and sizes are so varied, some Hunters even name them differently, calling the smallest creatures "bogles" or "bogeys"; the mid-sized creatures "boggarts" or "black dogs" & calling the largest, most powerful creatures "bogeymen" or "bugbears". I don't agree with this personally, not only because it confuses the issue but because this naming system is just an attempt at conflating bogeymen with demons by implying a similar "three-tier" hierarchy to theirs, it's just ridiculous - bogeymen are not demons anymore than demons are ghosts; only a fool would confuse one for the other.
But it can't be denied, if one of these stronger bogeymen turns malevolent and decides to eat people, then it will take a skilled Hunter to put them in their place.

If you find yourself face to face with a bogeyman, don't panic, there are some simple steps to keep you safe:
  • A Taste for Fresh − If you leave sweaty socks, dirty clothes, toe-nail clippings & other matter stained with your smell on the floor, bogeymen may become accustomed to your taste. It may seem silly, but you can stay safe by cleaning up after yourself.
  • Don't Fight at Night − At nighttime, bogeymen can hide in the shadow, and feed off our innate fear of the dark. Wait until daylight, find a torch or run away.
  • Fire with Fire − Bogeymen not only fear the light of fire, but they are severely harmed by the heat of the flame. Even a lighter can scare off small bogeymen.
  • Trust your Nose − When bogeymen feed, it smells like burning, if you can smell burning, keep an eye out for monsters.
  • No Boggarts Allowed − Bogeymen are attracted to people, as we create mess and feel fear, so keep them outside by offering food outside of your house, don't let them feed inside, or they will make it their home.
  • Face Your Fear − Bogeymen will attempt to scare you by shape-shifting into what scares you. But it's not real. Face your fear and you'll see it's not real.
  • Don't Panic − Fear feeds them, if you keep your mind calm and focussed, you will be stronger and they will be weaker.
  • Watch the Shadows − Bogeymen hide in darkness, so try to reduce them and keep an eye on any shadows around you, In daylight, that's where they'll be.
  • Safety in Numbers − Bogeymen prefer solitude, they feel safer when they prey on people that are alone. Hang around in groups, and they can't harm you.
Bogeymen aren't devious creatures, they just want to feed, so if they're not doing any harm, leave them be. However, if they've taken a liking to human flesh, or they're terrorizing innocent people unrelentingly, it's your duty as a Hunter to step in and deal with the creature. More often than not, a simple reprimand will pacify the monster, capture them, speak to them if possible then move them elsewhere. However, if you need to kill the monster, the method is described below.

When bogeymen make a nuisance of themselves, they're pretty obvious. After all, if you're not being bothered by their presence, they're not worth hunting - leave them be. But they can be subtle, sometimes reports of unusual domestic disturbances; strange noises or even some cases of supposed "hauntings" are caused by bogeyman interference.
When investigating these cases, the first step is to see the victim. If they've been killed, the body will be missing entirely, but you can still check for any fillings or inorganic medical devices they make have had implanted. Sometimes, with weaker bogeymen, they can't burn teeth, check for half-burned teeth. However, when victims survive the attack, ask what it is that they've seen, so as to gauge the strength of the bogeyman.
Next, check the location of the attack, if the area smells like some kind of ash, or if there are even charred remnants around dark, shaded areas, this is most likely where the bogeyman comes to feed. You should also check for cracks, open windows and holes in walls. Bogeymen aren't ghosts, but they can travel through shadow check for those tight spaces they can sneak through, or hidden shadows.
Once you've determined that you're dealing with a You only really have two suspects, strong bogeymen or weak bogeymen. The stronger bogeymen are larger, more powerful and more dangerous; the weaker bogeymen are small, weaker and less dangerous. But if you treat them accordingly, you can still remain safe.

Bogeymen may be able to shape-shift and consume almost anything they come across, but they're still physical creatures bound by physical laws. When they are making a nuisance of themselves, you can simply capture them and move them somewhere safer. To accomplish this, You will Need:
"Lantern" - Not only are bogeymen stronger in darkness, but light tends to stifle their telepathic and supernatural abilities. To capture a bogeyman, do so in the light. You can use sunlight, but bogeymen hide during the day, so I prefer a mobile floodlight or a powerful handheld lantern to catch them.
"Leash" - Although they can shift and warp, a bogeyman can still be bound up with chains. Never use rope, they can just bite through it, but if you're well-practised you can bind a bogeyman just by casting your chain.
"Laughter" - You don't literally have to guffaw, but don't take bogeymen seriously. Remember, they fight in solitude and in the dark because they are scared of you. If you're not scared of them, you have the upperhand.

Other equipment you might need includes a vehicle. It's a good idea to relocate captured bogeymen to somewhere far away from their victims, and as I've mentioned before, if they can speak it's a good idea to reprimand them verbally. Fire is always useful, but if your goal is merely capture, then just be careful with it. They're not fond of Loud Noises, as they are solitary creatures, so loud noises tend to unsettle them. Also, although it might seem odd, Alcohol not only makes bogeymen feel full, but it can inebriate them, Lastly, I recommend you wear some form of flame resistant clothing, it's rare that they will "eat" to fight, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

When a Bogeyman kills a human being, or even attempts it, just like a mad dog your only choice is to put them down. Killing a Bogeyman is considerably simpler than other monsters:
Heat will burn a bogeyman, especially naked flame, you can easily burn a bogeyman to death. Light, when it is bright enough - especially sunlight - will ignite a bogeyman and - just like fire - burn them to death; and certain other lights have been known to burn weaker bogeymen as well, it is a useful tool. Although it can be difficult, making a Bogeymen drink Water can cause them to disintegrate; it's a cruel way to go, but if they are willing to eat children, then they should be willing to pay the price.

Final Notes
Do not even attempt to confront a bogeyman in the dark. You wouldn't fight a shark underwater, it is folly to fight a bogeyman in their natural habitat of the darkness. Also, don't be afraid to talk to your bogeyman. They can be quite intelligent, so if you are scared of your bogeyman, talking to them not only will familiarize you with them, but you might be able to convince them to leave. They're not demons after all, they're just hungry.

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