"Don't leave, Dad," said the kid, all tucked up in bed.
"I'm frightened of things and they're not in my head."
"I know young boys like myself ought to be brave,
When facing black bears or a big tidal wave.
I admit it, I'm scared. To you, I posit:
I know there are monsters hiding in my closet!"
Dad sat on the bed,
With a smile on his face.
"You know, son," he said,
"I've been in your place.
"There's no shame in fearing those creatures Satanic,
But you're scared of an outdated mechanic.
Hiding monsters in closets? That's yesterday's news!
That trick doesn't work, it's been overabused.
"Sliding panels and invisible triggers,
Monsters spawn behind me, no shock, it figures.
It's too easy a fright, a cliché, no surprise.
Once I ran screaming, now I'll just roll my eyes.
"I'll tell 'em, 'No sir! You don't scare me too much,
No, not your red eyes, green horns, blue claws and such.
With greasy skin, you look like a teen at the mall,
Not a towering serpent, five hundred feet tall.'
"Don't let them get to you,
It's mind over matter:
You just say get lost,
Get outta here -- scatter!
"Don't give them respect, 'cause their scares are old hat,
And they can do better, so much better than that.
There's smarter ways to make your hair stand on end,
Your skin to crawl and your disbelief suspend.
Psychological terrors, sound and atmosphere,
Bloody visions of corpses that then disappear.
Static on the radio heralds your doom,
Not junior high bogeymen camped out in your room.
"Headcrabs and lurkers attaching to faces,
That's just the small stuff, now we're off to the races.
The doors slam shut and the lights are a-flicker,
Isn't your heart beating a little bit quicker?
Growling in the dark, make sure you have a gun,
But no flashlight, no map, you don't know where to run.
A chase through a hospital? The thought reviles.
Now do it in the fog while moving some tiles.
"Screaming monkeys are experiments gone wrong,
Creepy apparitions were dead all along.
Uncover dark secrets that fill you with dread,
the Shalebridge Cradle and the Pyramid Head.
Villagers in shantytowns worship Cthulhu,
Is that a cute little girl? No, she's fooled you!
Watch her dash like a spider over the ceiling,
She leaves mental scars from which you'll be reeling.
"Don't shine lights on witches,
You'll end up with stitches,
Don't get trapped in castles,
The staff there are assholes.
And don't go down tunnels
The mutants in there have
A viral affliction.
"There's so much to be scared of, don't settle for less.
Sophisticated techniques can cause real distress.
Look at your window, a hound could come through there!
Better block it at once with a bookcase or chair.
"But you'll do fine, 'cause you're a smart enough sort:
You'll conserve your resources and put in some thought.
If you're alone and you're scared, that's no way to be,
Remember I'm your father, you'll always have me."