Bedtime Stories

I haven't re-posted a story in a while, but I thought this one was too cute to pass up:

From: Danny Sichel ([email protected])
Subject: [rec.arts.sf.written] Re: Lovecraft: Horror or SF?
Date: 2004-04-28 12:33:42 PST

My four-year-old found an abbreviated version of Wells' _The_Time_Machine_ last week, and insisted I read it to her. Having just seen the movie a month ago on AMC or TCM (I forget which), I was hesitant, but I decided to give it a shot, figuring she'd get bored by the end of the first chapter. On the contrary, she decided to skip The Berenstein Bears that night so she could get me to read the second chapter. (This edition has six-- the Morlocks are coming!)

My wife is horrified. Me... I'm not sure yet. We've already gotten some great discussions out of the book-- she now understands the terms "past", "present", and "future"-- but she does have an active imagination, and her exposure to the darker kid movies generally results in shutting them off. What to do? My current plan is to continue until she asks me to stop.

I am, quite probably, a horrible father.

I have a friend who is looking forward to his (currently hypothetical) kids having night fears. See, he'll take his book...

I should explain this book. It's a bunch of printouts of various random text, in some fonts that I found for alien languages (Centauri, Klingon, ... do I still have that site in my bookmarks? Why yes I do:

... and also Vorlon, Minbari, etc, etc), as well as eldritch illustrations of his own. The pages were soaked in a solution which included black tea, and then dried in an oven on a low setting, giving them a very brown, aged look. The pages were then bound into a leather cover which bears a strong resemblence to "The Book of the Dead" from "Evil Dead". It is one scary-looking book.

So he plans to take this book, and start asking the kid questions:

"OK, so was it under the bed or in the closet?"

[flips some pages]

"Did it have scales or fur or feathers?"

[flips some more pages]

"How big was it, approximately?"

[flips some more pages]

"What color was it?"

[flips some more pages]

"How many eyes?"

[flips some more pages]

"Did it have fangs, claws, and/or slime?"

[... other random questions go here ...]

[flips some more pages, nods decisively]

"Excellent. OK, I'll need the black candles,
some chalk, and a few more ingredients, and
then I'll follow this ritual. Trust me, this
thing will be banished forever to the nether
hells. No monster is going to get away with
scaring my kids."