I know you’re awake, Bobby. I know you’ve been laying uncomfortably in your bed for the past hour. I have it on good authority that you’ve had two tall glasses of fruit punch right before your designated 8:00 p.m. bedtime (it is a school night, after all), and that all of that sweet, sweet, blood-red fluid has now made its way to your bladder. It’s only 11:30 p.m., Bobby; we both know your Batman & Robin alarm clock is set for 7:00 a.m. Now, I’m no math whiz (Ha ha! “Whiz,” Bobby…get it?) by any standard. After all, if I was, I’d have chosen a more lucrative line of work, like accounting or medicine. But, let’s see…that’s, oh, about seven-and-a-half hours from now. Even a witch in the hall closet who barely scored 400 in math on her SATs (which, regrettably, I am), knows that a little boy can’t hold his liquid that long. You’re going to have to come out of your room to go to the bathroom, and you’ll tiptoe past the hall closet—and when you do, I’ve got you.

Just so we understand each other, Bobby, I’m a hall-closet witch. I haven’t eaten in 200 years, and I’m going to eat you. Sorry, it’s just what I do. Look, if it was as easy for me as picking up a phone and ordering a pizza, I’d do it. I didn’t make the rules. You’re a little boy who’s scared of the dark, and I’m a hall-closet witch who eats little boys. Oh, I see we’ve reached the bargaining stage of the Kübler-Ross 7 Stages of Grief. I’m sure your older sister is delicious, and I’m well-aware that as a teenaged girl, she has begun to, shall we say, blossom? Yes, undoubtedly, there is more of her to eat, but you’re missing an important point here: I’m a hall-closet witch who eats little boys.

Look, you’re overthinking things. It’s not that difficult. You’ll come out of your room, sneak past the hall closet, relieve yourself in the bathroom and—now with a false sense of security after having once-safely passed the closet—you’ll head back to your room, at which time, I’ll jump out and eat you. Boom! Contract executed; transaction completed. I’ll have sated my 200-year-old appetite, fulfilled a centuries-old curse, and your family’s financial situation will stabilize.

Uh oh. You weren’t aware you were such a financial burden on your folks? Who let the (black) cat out of the bag? Was it me? Bad witch! I should be ashamed of myself. That’s right, Bobby. You’re putting quite a strain on the family bank account, with your endless orthodontic needs and your seasonal allergies and don’t get me started on all that expensive equipment for the upcoming hockey season (Hockey, Bobby? Really? You couldn’t just play soccer like everyone else?).

I’ll be doing Mom and Dad a service by eating you and decreasing their economic stress by a full 50%. Sure, they’ll be sad at your untimely demise, and your mother will no doubt be traumatized by finding your skeleton among the family’s winter coats. After all, I’m not a monster, Bobby; I’m a witch…a very hungry witch. Did I mention I haven’t eaten in 200 years? She’s a compassionate woman, your mother, but once she sits over her calculator figuring out the monthly bills at the kitchen table and finds without your added costs she now has more than enough to cover all of the bills and can even start once again joining the girls for the monthly night out at The Melting Pot, well, let’s just say, Cha-ching!

And when her Facebook post announcing your passing hits 200 crying emojis—eclipsing even the photo of Gus as a puppy peeking lovably from the just-folded laundry in the basket that garnered nearly 120 likes—your mother will finally receive the recognition she so desperately deserves. And let’s not forget the life insurance policy that Dad has through his office. $25,000 isn’t a lot, but it’ll pay for your burial and funeral expenses, which won’t be much (let’s be honest…you’re eight. How many people could you possibly know?), and there will still be enough left over for them to finally take that Caribbean cruise they’ve been putting off since you were born (sorry, Bobby!) and for Dad to complete his long-delayed plans of converting the basement into a man cave.

So, you see, Bobby, you’re looking at this all wrong. You’ll be a family hero, the little guy who sacrificed himself for the greater good. Yes, go ahead and cry. Cry it out. Call out for your mommy. She won’t hear you over Dad’s C-PAP machine.

–What?! Peeing the bed? Really, Bobby? That’s how you’re going to defeat me? That’s just…that’s just cheating. I didn’t take you for a cheater.

So, you’re just going to lay there all night in your urine-soaked pajamas? Curse you, Bobby! You’ve won this round. But you can’t elude me forever. I’ll be right here behind your snowsuit waiting for sledding season. Sleep tight!

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