As the years passed, she sought revenge in much more imaginative ways, but the major revenge was the Boogeyman! He lived in the closet of our bedroom, a rather large walk-in closet that not only held our clothes but also had a roll-top desk in one end, but also a large trunk which my Grandmother had brought over from Sweden when she and her family emigrated to the USA. It was in the further end of the closet, and the light didn't get down there very well. The whole closet was lined with dark wooden wainscoting walls, with silver insulation backing them. The small bits of silver insulation would 'peek' through the wainscoting in certain areas, and this was described to me by my sister as 'Fairy dust'. I was fascinated to know that these walls were the entrance to fairy land! In my very own closet! I was probably about 4 or 5 when these stories started, so I believed everything that Joyce said.
But while the idea of fairies in my closet fascinated and excited me, there was also danger. Joyce told me that hiding in the trunk in the other end of the closet was a Boogeyman, and a very scary one at that! She told me about how he really didn't like me, and that I should never go into that end of the closet or even attempt to open that trunk. If I did he may jump out and try to grab me, and hurt me really badly. When he got angry he would turn many awful colours, and could even try to eat me! So although it was exciting that there were possible fairies to be seen in one end - the other end of the closet scared me to death!
One particular day stands out in my mind. We were both in our bedroom, and I was just sitting on my bed, playing with one of my dolls. Joyce suddenly announced: " I think I'll go to Fairy Land today. I think they are missing me!"
"Oh really?" I replied, "Would you take me too? I really want to meet them--please!!"
"I've already told you...they don't really like you..I think it's because you are taking up too much room here."
"But, I won't! I'll do anything. I promise!"
"Well, I'll ask them. If they say it is OK, I'll come back and get you straight away, but if not - well--I'll just stay there for a while and play with them and eat their Fairy sweets."
"Oh, Please, Joyce! Tell them that I'm just little and won't take up any space anywhere--I just really want to meet them - you know that I believe in them and love them so very much!"
Smiling, Joyce just warned, "Well, I can only do what I can do! But remember about the Boogeyman! Don't go into the closet, and whatever you do--don't go anywhere near that ol' nasty looking trunk! I know he doesn't like you, and it's getting harder for me to get him to stay inside there, and not come out and get you during the night!"
With tears running down my cheeks, I cried out " Please don't leave me. I'm scared! Don't go!"
"But I have to! The Fairies keep calling me in their fairy voices! Can't you hear them?"
I sat and listened very closely, and then really crying now I blubbered " No! I can't hear them. I can't hear anything except for noises in there...."
"I'll have to go quickly now--I think the Boogeyman is getting angry--I'll have to try to put something on the trunk to keep him in there---don't go anywhere near there--I mean it!"
And with that she was gone. She opened the door to the closet, turned on the light, then closing the door--she yelled out "Go away! You're a nasty thing! Don't hurt my little sister- she can't help it she is here--go away!"
Then it was quiet. Very quiet. I sat there for a long time, and listened and waited. Nothing happened. I was so scared. What if the Boogeyman had eaten Joyce because he hated me so much! I really didn't know what to do....I wanted to run and get Mum, but she would be busy watching her Soaps, and I knew she wouldn't believe me. I just layed down on my bed, and cried, and hoped that if I stayed very quiet, the Fairies would know I was a good girl, and they would let Joyce come back and get me....I waited, and I cried.....
But a lot of time passed, and Joyce was still gone. I was getting scared that something had happened to her. So, getting up and wiping my eyes and nose with my arm, I carefully and very quietly opened the closet door--the light was still on, but I couldn't see Joyce anywhere--I very carefully looked down towards the trunk, but couldn't see anything different. If the Boogeyman had eaten Joyce wouldn't there be a bone or hair or something left? I looked as hard as I could without getting too close to the trunk, just in case.
Then I came up towards the Fairy end, where the light was. There was more Fairy dust on the floor, and I figured Joyce must have been rescued by the Fairies! I was happier now--I knew that if I went back and sat down very quietly on my bed, she would be back and take me to Fairy land with her. So I went quietly back to the bedroom, and shut the closet door behind me. I sat very patiently on my bed, trying very hard not to cry anymore, so that the Fairies would like me, and I waited ...and waited.
After a long time, Joyce opened the closet door and holding a lollipop in her hand, she smiled and said:
"I tried very hard to talk with the Fairies--especially when they came to help me fight with the Boogeyman! Boy! He really doesn't like you! Anyway, the Fairies helped me get him back into the trunk, and then they took me away!"
"But why didn't you come back and get me?" I sniffled, looking at her with tears starting to run down my cheeks again. "I was being very good, and very quiet!"
"They just said No!" she replied, licking the lollipop and said "Sorry! I'll try again next time. Just don't go near that trunk ever! The Boogeyman was very ugly this time!"
"But why don't the Fairies like me?" I asked in a shaky voice, "I'm not a bad girl!"
"I dunno. They just don't --c'mon--let's go downstairs and see what Mom is doing"
With that, she was up and heading for the stairs. "Oh, and by the way -- don't say anything to Mom--the Boogeyman doesn't like her either!"
Then she was gone, and I quietly followed, wiping the tears on my arm again.
At times I think though, that I still hear the fairy laughter, and the boogie man sometimes snorts in the dark corners at night.....no matter where I am!
Footnote: After thinking about it, I decided to include the fact that the Joyce that was then in my childhood, isn't the same Joyce that exists in my present life. She is loving and caring and understands what damage she did to me. Doesn't excuse it though! There are other stories of other things that she did over the years--but I think that you get the idea from this one!!