A distraught man named, Lester Billings sits in a psychiatrists office, telling a story surrounding the mysterious deaths of his children. As the story unfolds we get a glimpse of Billing's character. At first glance he seems a bit off the wall and his story crazy. He's sure that nobody will believe his story and that he'll go to jail. He constantly worries about the closet door in the doctor's office being open. And only after making sure that nothing is inside, is when he ligtens up and continues his story.
Lester continues and says that he blames himself for the deaths of his kids. All the children (before their death) said that they saw something come out of the closet. The boogeyman! And when they are murdered, Lester finds the closet door ajar. He's quick to point out that he closed the closet door before putting his kids to bed and leaving the room. Lester begins to think that, like his kids, the boogeyman is at fault and is now coming for him.
The short story ends with a pretty great twist that I didn't see coming. So I won't ruin it here on this blog.
This story was published in March of 1973 and later put in the Night Shift collection. This was a story that grabbed a hold of me and never let go. From start to finish, you're not sure whether Lester is just out of his mind, or if in fact, he's telling the truth. Of course, all your questions will be answered by the end. The story runs at about 11 pages long, so it's relatively short and to the point. It doesn't suffer the usual King treatment; being too wordy and concentrating on an abundance of back story that really doesn't need to be there. Like I said, straight and to the point. Any King fan will appreciate this classic. When King is on, he's really fucking on! This short is just one of many examples of why he's earned the name, Master of the Macabre.