Oh, um… hello. You’re… you’re probably wondering why I’m in your office, aren’t you? Sorry, I’ve made a bit of a mess with all these papers— er, don’t worry, I’ll clean up before I go. Yes, I… I do know that that isn’t your greatest concern, I was just making a little joke. Sorry. No, no, don’t shout for help. I’m not going to hurt you— no, that’s probably a poor choice of phrase. I should say “I won’t do anything.” Yes, that’s much less threatening. Close the door, will you? It’s getting a little draughty. Of course, you could call for help anyway, but what would a little girl like me do to a big strong fella’ like you, hmm?
Thank you. Alright, Dr… Rye, is it? Yes I— oh, that. I wouldn’t be worried. If it helps, your name is the only thing I know. Well, that, and your work on… “SCP-080”, I think you call it. That’s the whole reason I’m here. It’s very interesting, you know? Not like a normal bogeyman at all, yet that’s what it’s clearly supposed to be. I mean—what? Oh, yes. Well, of course they exist. Why do you think so many unconnected children, all who’ve never heard of such a thing, always fixate on the term?
Look, do you understand how gods work? No? Wonderful. Alright, I’ll put this in simple terms: bogeymen are figments of the collective child imagination. Yes. Yes, I did say figments. It doesn’t make them any less real, but they’re still made-up. They’re arrogant sods too, but I couldn’t care. Pretty shamelessly self-promoting, at least the ones I’ve met. They get off on fear.
…anyway, what was I saying? Ah, yes. Well, I’ve gone through all the literature – Howe’s Commentary on Domestic Bogeymen, Peri’s notes, Arcaon’s Letters on the Subject of Household Gods – and you know what? This, this “080” is completely inconsistent with traditional form. Usually, such entities have physical shape, and they’re friendly, child-specific fellows; not to mention quite definitely male. Definitely indeed. Why, I’ve had a few experiences that even fertility gods couldn’t… sorry.
Listen, I’ve even gone over these supplementary documents: studies of fae, trolls and whatnot, analyses of child psychology and behaviour patterns, Grimms’ tales, Clifford the Big Red Dog. Near enough— yes, I think it’s important. I mean, it serves a wonderfully direct work on the thought processes of children… no, that one was just because I was bored. That one because I like stories about horses. Still helped, though.
I suppose I am kidding. Need I say that children are odd? They’d have to be, to create such things. Off the adults run, making deities to boil people’s blood and strike down heretics and whatnot, yet children, through the same method, bring happy little monsters to life – with them wanting only terror from innocent waking nightmares. Yes, happy. They have to be. They have the mindset of a human aged ten when born. But then socialisation comes into effect and they mature quite quickly. After all, other beings don’t usually stand for that annoying juvenility. Self-righteousness is by far an improvement.
The young conceive of basic things, since they don’t have the ego to raise themselves above it. The dark, the predators, death: simple fears, without malice. Well, without complex malice. Not at all like their elders. No, fear is something different for them… for us. Er, not us specifically, actually. We both have a good deal of things to fear – which brings me back to the subject at hand. This thing, something which adults shouldn’t experience anymore…
It’s not unnatural, no. “Too natural”… hmm, I suppose that’s a way of putting it. It still speaks to a certain primal thing, fear itself. Though it does it in the wrong way, since sleep is the bane of a good bogeyman. They aren’t born from dreams, dreams are a different matter. Dreams can still terrify, but they can’t please or birth bogeymen. In fact, they provide an escape for the child, a deprivation to the entity. Oh yes, you have children scream and cry in their sleep, but I’m told it’s rather unsatisfying for the created monster. Besides, it typically results from something more perverse, something which bogeymen tend not to do with. If they did, they wouldn’t be bogeymen. They’d be horrors.
Good god, you’ve certainly got me talking! My point was, I’ve looked at everything that could give me some insight into the creation of this SCP-080, considered the matter tirelessly, and not one thing would imply that it should exist. Not one! This thing couldn’t even be a Thosk, far too inorganic… I’m rambling on again, aren’t I? Sorry.
What I’m trying to say is that this little curiosity, despite what you know or suspect, despite how it may seem, most certainly isn’t a bogeyman. Good god, I don’t what this is, as fascinatingly curious as I find the matter, but it’s just not. No, this is something else entirely. I really can’t investigate more, I’m ashamed to admit; although I'd still like to know where it came from.
Don’t call me that. Please, I know you’re a nice fellow, but just… please. In fact, I’m about to leave, so we may as well keep things professional, Doctor - Mrs. Therianthus is my title. That is, Lyta Eykos Therianthus, scholar. It’s been a pleasure.