Taken directly from the pages of King’s exquisite 1978 debut short story collection, Night Shift, “The Boogeyman” tells the story of one of the most loathsome characters (I don’t say that lightly,) I’ve ever come across, as he and his wife, Rita, are afflicted with any parent’s worst nightmare. Seriously, there were absolutely no redeeming values in Billings whatsoever. He was very easy to loathe. I think this is some of King’s strongest, most emotionally raw prose to date, and the shrink-patient format made these ten pages that much more pliable and engrossing.
And that ending, wow. I never, ever saw that coming, or even suspected something was amiss. It was completely earned, too.