Boy in the Pipes

Tell me; do you ever hear the Boy in the Pipes? I do.

He talks to me, tells me his story. Tells me how the Bad Man is coming. He hides in the walls so the Bad Man can’t find him, but he always finds him. The Bad Man always finds the Boy in the Pipes. Every night they wake me up, and I hear the Boy crying from his walls. When I ask him what’s wrong he tells me that the Bad Man is going to find him. He asks me to help him stay away from the Bad Man, but every night my answer is the same.

“What am I supposed to do?”

“Hide me from the Bad Man, please!”

“How am I going to do that?”

“Please!”

“How?”

“He’s coming!”

And then the footsteps would start. They would clunk around on the ceiling above me, heavy steps that labored with the weight of the earth. Footsteps that would echo around the house, and I know that I am not alone. Thud. Thud. Thud. They would stomp around upstairs, and I can hear the water begin to run. Water in the pipes. Boy in the pipes. Sobbing, crying as the Bad Man stomped around upstairs.

And then another set of steps would come from upstairs: little steps, fast steps and sobbing. I can hear them every night, and the heavy footfalls would grow in pace until they’re chasing the Boy around upstairs. Running, screaming, crying from the second floor until a loud THUMP would announce the end.

I would lay in bed, and hear the scraping as something is dragged above me, through the upstairs hallway, with loud, heavy footsteps laboring under added burden. The water would start to run in the bathroom, and slowly the tub will fill up. The splash of something heavy hitting the water always made me cringe.

I’ve never had the courage to go up and watch, but I always believed that the Boy in the Pipes stayed up in that tub, just under the water, and the Bad Man held him under. This happens every night, and right when I think the ordeal is over and I can get back to sleep, the Boy in the Pipes cries from his walls again.

“Help me.”

 

dark room
Photo by: Danielle Joh