(My two-year-old started talking to "Pretend Daddy" while I was out yesterday evening, sort of an imaginary friend version of me. I think this is pretty much how that came about)
They found a way in, last night, when I didn't come home until after my two-year-old daughter went to bed. The Clever Ones that usually linger just out of sight
around her saw their chance and took it. They fashioned a doppelgänger from her bright, carefree thoughts of me and started to whisper to her. She began to speak of Pretend Daddy.
She says that Pretend Daddy -- "Ysh-Hothur" in the
Unspoken Tongue -- sings better than I do. I can only imagine what
perversions he croaks to our daughter in that broken language while she
sleeps. He's taller than me, too, she says: she can sense the raw force that's there, hidden for now, just barely invisible to adult eyes.
As he binds more and
more of her small being to his will, he will be able to gather more of
the Clever Ones to him. We've seen this beginning already: her stuffed Burt the Bee now
has... friends... with him, in his plush, yellow hive; to call those twisted souls
"other bees", as our child does, is to make a mockery of all that is sane.
We ignore this Pretend Daddy at our hazard; he must be dealt with. And, so, we have an uneasy truce, perhaps even a diabolical bargain.
On the one hand, Ysh-Hothur clearly means to use
our daughter as an entry point into this world. He puts our daughter, our family, perhaps the whole of the mortal realm in deadly
On the other hand, he's really useful at mealtimes. "Look, Pretend Daddy's saying you
should eat your oatmeal, too!"