I spent years trying to find my place in the world. Psychopaths are supposed to brim with chameleon charm. I might have inherited Donnelly’s psychopathic genes, but I didn’t get that one. I am not charming. I am not capable of hiding in plain sight. I was high functioning, but I wasn’t going to be bringing down any seven or eight figure salaries running a large company. I didn’t have the ability to charm and persuade for that.
The moment Xavier and Lucas showed up at my door and said they were there to offer me a job, not arrest me; I knew. I had found my purpose. Tracking down serial killers was the only thing I was ever good at and here were people telling me they would pay me to do it? Oh hell yes, sign me up.
I was ten when Eric began referring to me as der Butzemann. Our father was still alive. I was having a sleepover at Isabelle’s. She was married with kids and Eric was about to go to college. Isabella had always been extra nice to Eric and I. Our parents had wanted to go on a second honeymoon without us kids tagging along. Izzy had a 3 year old and a newborn and her husband was off administering the word of God to pygmies or something for two months. Izzy would love an extra couple sets of hands for a week while our parents enjoyed the Hawaiian sunshine.
It was like one in the morning, but the wee ones needed diapers. Izzy packed me up, left Eric in charge of the babies, and we went to the 24 hour Walmart to get diapers. A tweaker came up, demanding Izzy’s money and her purse and her wedding room. He had a knife. He brandished it at me and I stepped forward and grabbed his wrist. I held the knife over an area of my torso near my side and told him to go ahead and stab me. It wouldn’t kill me, he’d lose the knife to the suction of my body and then I’d pull it out and kill him if he didn’t walk away. He walked away. We filed a police report and nobody at the station believed Izzy when she told the cops what we said or at least, maybe they tried not to believe that Donnelly Clachan’s cute little girl was as demented as he was.
Eric had brought the babies down the police station and come to sit with us. While we waited, they brought in the tweaker. He’d tried the same trick on a woman who stun gunned him. He fell over a desk when they walked him past Izzy and me. He started ranting and raving that I was a demon disguised as a little girl and that I was there to collect his soul. Eric was learning German in high school, he wanted to do a semester abroad in Germany once he got to college. The very sight of me had made a grown man become hysterical. It cracked Eric up. No doubt the drugs helped fuel the man’s hysteria, but Eric took to calling me der Butzemann anyway.
Looking back, I think it made Eric proud that I had stood up for myself and Izzy. And that I had scared the crap out of that tweaker, just by sitting in the police station when they brought him in. Izzy and I both got stun guns for Christmas that year from our parents. Eric had a sign made up for my bedroom door: The Boogeyman Lives Behind this Door, Open With Care.
There were a few more incidents, some as dramatic, some far less dramatic over the years where would be muggers changed their minds about targeting me or Nyleena when I was with her, or Izzy when I was with her. After I began working for the SCTU, my brother began to spread these stories within The Fortress. At first, it was just my fan club that called me the Boogeyman. But somehow it spread outside those stone walls. And the nickname Eric gave me all those years ago stuck. Some still call me der Butzemann, some just call me Boogeyman.
And my brother is still proud of all those events and likes to tell them to people. He is the charming chameleon type of psychopath. But his baby sister, she’s the kind of psychopath that reminds other psychopaths the Boogeyman is real and walks among them.