Pitch Black, the Boogeyman, was someone you had never truly believed in and had hardly ever heard him mentioned. Maybe you should have paid attention when Jack had mention him, but you had disregarded him and had forgot what he had mention about such a man.
He was bad. That is what you knew; Pitch Black was what nightmares were made of, or what commanded them. Your thoughts were muddled by your nightmare, by his appearance in your reality, by your mother’s and Ruben’s reaction when you kept screaming for them to turn around and look at the threat behind them.
There was another fact that couldn’t be ignored by your analytical mind, and that was how his sole presence affected the atmosphere of the room, the attitude of those inside the room, how he was able to affect the state of your mind.
I should have paid attention,’ you thought, and the previous thoughts you had had before the nightmare were partially answered; Jack hadn’t been a fixation of your imagination that craved the unrealistic. Or you could have gotten worse, becoming down right psychotic and delusional, and Jamie was to blame if that was the case.
But that blame game could wait for another moment, what mattered in the present was the shadowy figure that lay at the corner of your room. Blending with the shadows of varies objects or even your own, Pitch could appear out of the blue.
The adrenaline that had coursed through your body the first hour of his appearance had long diminished from your system and now you sat tired and frighten at the edge of your bed. He was there, he was always there in the darkness. Watching. Waiting. Then in a flash, when the light of the moon was blocked by passing clouds, he would strike.
“You can’t possibly believe they’ll simply extract Jack from your life for a short period of time.”
He would whispered into your dreams. “Young dragonfly, he’s not coming back. And if he does, your young adult mind will no longer be able to catch sight of him.”
He would always know what to say, understood what you were thinking in the most silent of moments, which were the moments when he would say such things in a soft voice, whispered into your ear.
The chills that went up your body, the thumping of your heart, and even that cold air that came with the shadows was unnerving; such were usually the symptoms associated with your favorite lab rat, Jack Frost, but these held no comparison to those he caused.
It was of no good use to let your mother know what you were able to see; you had passed the entire night trying to convince her that what you were seeing was an actual being, but the more you spoke the more questions arose in her eyes. She didn’t believe. Why would she believe you, you hadn’t believed many of the children’s stories when they tried to convince you of Santa, and the Tooth fairy, and the Easter bunny. It was the same for her; absolute foolishness.
“Of course no one will believe you, lovely—”
“. . . shut up . . .”
“I beg your pardon?”
“I said, shut up.”
He leaned forward, cupping his hand over an ear, “Come again?”
You did something you never thought you would ever do, lift a hefty biology book from the shelf and throw it towards him. You already knew he was like Jack, with no solid substance, and it was no shock to you when the book went straight through his chest and hit the wall behind him with a very loud ‘thump’.
The action had earned a loud yell from your mother in the living room, who was currently discussing your sentence with Ruben. Why she had to get that man involved was beyond your understanding, and right now your mind was occupied with finding out what it was that was here with you.
“Frost has found a very lively dragonfly.” Pitch said, striding across the room from one corner to the other. “I can’t say when was the last time any of the Dragonfly showed a bit of a backbone . . .” he chuckled, “But of course they weren’t as protected as you, or as stubborn—it might have to do with the century you were bred into.”
You chose to ignore the word ‘bred’ he had used in that last comment. He made it sound like your parents had been especially chosen for you to be the outcome, and that was absolutely impossible. But what he had been saying, that which had kept you sane from the night before and throughout the day, was that small part of his comments that kept you wondering about where it could have possibly of come from.
Dragonfly. There was always a reason for everything. Anything could be explained if you had the right factors to consider. What were his for calling you Dragonfly, and why did he give away that one bit of information that there were more than just you he had used that name on.
“It’s a title.” His cool voice called for your attention, and you all but threw another book at him. Maybe you weren’t able to glare at him directly, but it didn’t matter. You knew he could feel your eyes burning through him, through the dark cloak that created the dark floor of your bedroom.
“It’s the title that has them wary of you and has them refrain from coming into close contact.” He moved over towards the notebook section of the shelves, many which were journals of school activities, and the others of when you first met Jack. With a thin, long finger, he pulled out one of the most recent ones you had written. He flipped it open just as elegantly as he had pulled it out, and grinned at a random page.
He began to read a particular part you had wanted no one to ever get hold off: “The touch of the cold winter winds; sharp and cold and painful to raw skin. The warmth that comes from such an action (heard the description from others) never really came from that touch. The heat of my skin quickly decreased, matching his below freezing temperature; I might as well be kissing a snowman and wondering when it would not be cold to the touch.”
“Give that back!” You lunged from your side of the bed, standing straight in front of him, eyes glaring intensively into his own, your hand pulling on the open journal he held. “What do you want? Just ask for it, and leave when you get it. Stay the hell out of my home, too.”
He gently pulled the journal back from your grip, closing it slowly as he smiled down at you, and you could have sworn he had grown several inches taller in that moment, but you couldn’t be sure over the shadows covering your room.
“What I want,” he said, circling you in his shadow and grinning, “is you.”
“Well that’s too bad.” You answered, reaching over for the journal, but he simply pulled it away from your reach.
“You first have to listen to what I’m offering you. And, who knows, maybe you will get so much more with what I am offering you than you would have gotten with Frost.” He had caught your attention, knew he had done so when you would not look away from his face. “Why study the youngest? Why not go for some of the eldest that can answer much more that Frost ever could. There are some Guardians as old as time, and then there’s that little fairy that you would surely enjoy dissecting.”
It was silent, something that had yet to happen from the moment he had appeared in your dream. There was always a constant yelling or things being thrown from one side to the other but this silence didn’t alert the adults in the other room. You had finally stop being hysterical and gone to sleep, they thought, except that wasn’t entirely true.
You were very wide awake this particular night, mostly because Pitch would always drift into your sleep and cause you to wake, but mostly because this night he had spoken more, given more things to wonder about instead of sleep. When you were asleep, he couldn’t help himself but twist your mind into having a nightmare and every time your eyes closed it would show. It was unintentional, just partially, and it was done so to keep your eyes open and looking at him from the corner of them.
This information he was giving, these new thoughts he was offering your curious mind, could not be easily erased. Originally your curiosity about myths, legend, and folklore had lead you to keep a small belief towards Jack because he had been the reason behind such thoughts. Meeting Jamie had intensified that belief and had kept it from perishing to a mere child’s overactive imagination.
It was Jamie who had told you of the Guardians, but he had never said some of them were as old as time itself. What answers did they hold after living for such an amount of time, and then there was that fairy. It was intriguing how she was described as being part human and part bird; it was absurd! A human-bird hybrid; it was something to witness, and to your knowledge, only Jamie had been so lucky.
“You’re not considering trying to catch the little fairy, are you?” his soulless eyes shone with amusement. “She’s not overly fond of you—”
“That’s not surprising. Not surprising at all.” You said, turning your back to him and walking towards the door as if you were about to walk out, but Pitch stood in your way. With a wave of his hand, he locked the door. “What do you want from me?”
“It’s not what I want, little dragonfly, it’s what you’ve been wanting since Christmas.” He grinned placing a hand on your shoulder and twirling you around to face the window. He only had to push a little to move you towards it, the curtain blocking the moonlight from him but not from you. “He knows you mean well, that you only want what the other kids bred like you want; to believe that which you weren’t allowed to believe. They’ve neglected you for all of these years, they owe you at least one act of kindness, right? And you only want a small amount of time with Frost; because that’s what it amounts to us. A mere second equals your lifetime.”
A mere second to Jack, you thought, is my entire life.
You looked over your shoulder at Pitch, his sinister smile still playing on his lips when he caught your eyes. You then looked at the moon and remember that Jack had once spoken of a man there, and this apparition spoke as if there was someone there too, and it wasn’t Neil Armstrong, apparently.
The moon wasn’t as bright as you remembered it when you were a child. Back then it was huge and as bright as the sun, but it now look small and dulled. How they managed to believe it held some magical powers was strange in every sense. The moon was just the moon; it didn’t bring werewolves out of hiding, it didn’t help witches with their magic, it couldn’t help anyone with its light. The moon was just the moon.
“They owe me at least one act of kindness . . .”
Pitch wrapped an arm around your shoulders, held you close to his body as he walked out of the shadows and to the light of the moon. He smiled his trade mark, sinister smile as he looked towards the moon as you averted your eyes towards a light shining from a window. In that window you could see a group of small children shushing each other because they weren’t supposed to be up so late.
You thought nothing of it. Many nights when you were a kid, you would stay up all night and only slept when your eyes could no longer stay open. That is what these kids were doing, but why they caught your attention while being hugged by Pitch was something that didn’t cross your mind. Your eyes only returned towards Pitch when the kids fell asleep in the middle of reading a picture book.
Not everyone is afraid of the dark. was your thought, because in these parts children rarely cried Boogieman. Those who did weren’t originally from here, but came from somewhere else.
“You should visit that boy.” Pitch said. “That one who kept your mind precisely on Frost.”
“Yes, Jamie.” His grip tighten around your shoulders. “He’s got a special connection with Jack Frost, and if anyone can get the attention of the Guardians, it’s him. So, little dragonfly, what will you do?”
You didn’t answer, carefully thinking before responding, and when you did it was with another question. “That depends; what are you willing to give for me to actually accept your insight on searching for Jack through Jamie? Why should I trust you more than I trust any of them? Tell me, why refer to me as dragonfly, and don’t try and lie. I know that it's exactly why they called Jack. He might not even know the origin of that name either.”
Pitch grinned even wider, even colder, even more frightening that in your nightmares. He lead you back to the bed, gently pushed you down and tucked you in. At this point your mind was screaming danger, your fear paralyzing you as he sat on the edge of the bed and reached to lay one cold hand on the top of your head.
“Allow me to tell you a little bed time story. A story not told to most and often, when it is told, twisted in such a way no one could ever possibly know the truth. A story of when your reality happened to mix with our existence.”
The shadows covered his face, but his eyes still held your attention. To you, they were even brighter than the moon.
“Once upon a time,” he paused with a smile, “there was a place of wonder whose children were above the smartest of all humans. They lived of curiosity and of believing with their whole heart; magic was the main source of learning to them. White magic, pure magic. . . You, my dear, are a descendant of one of their runaways.”