Jim's memory bus came to a halt, and back in Shadowland
he looked round for the girl and found his shadow's outstretched hand
"You may as well resign yourself, you're here forever now."
Jim's shadow grinned and said to him, "Forget that stupid cow."
Jim thought awhile and stared into the fearful groaning woods
where darkness crept, and nothing slept, unless it slept for good
"I'll make a deal," he said at last, "there's two things I require."
The shadow laughed and jumped for joy: "Whatever you desire!"
"First fetch for me a turnip, round on top, flat underneath
Then bring your finest ferret, but take care it's got no teeth."
"A turnip and a ferret? What on earth d'you want them for?"
"It's not for you to reason why," Jim said, then asked for more:
"And while you're at it, dog breath…" for the shadow's breath did smell
"…some chimp and chocolate-chip ice cream would go down very well."
The shadow frowned but sauntered off, and in a trice was back
clutching in his evil hand a dusty squirming sack
Jim took the sack and felt inside, then gave a mighty shout -
the ferret still possessed some teeth, as Jim had just found out
"You great fat sweating heap of stink!" Jim cried and sucked his thumb
"you've brought a vampire turnip, or that ferret's got sharp gums!
Now sort it out and make it quick, I'm getting really tired."
The shadow winked, and in a blink, produced a pair of pliers
Jim plugged his ears and didn't watch the gruesome operation
Which, incidentally, didn't fill the ferret with elation
But soon the beast was toothless, lying dazed and in a dream
so Jimmy stuffed it down his pants and fed it some ice cream
Then turnip on his shoulder, secret whistle on his lips
toothless ferret down his trousers, he began the magic steps
He danced and danced and danced and danced
and then he danced some more
And then he stopped…
…and then he did
the dance he'd done before
And when the dance was over, he did the dance again
He did the dance until his feet were crying out in pain
Within an hour or several, sinking weary to the ground
to Jim's ears came creeping strange and unfamiliar sounds
A tinny drum and clatter, a slurping, grunting groan
then howling wind raged round them and they knew they weren't alone
A monstrous shadow crossed their path, the earth began to quake
all teeth began to chatter, all knees began to shake
The ground beneath them shuddered under massive pounding feet
Jim's shadow wept and cried out, "Don't eat me, I've got no meat!
Little Jim is soft and juicy, he's a crunchy little snack
Please don't eat me Mister Giant, I've just had a heart attack."
And as it wriggled on the floor, pretending to be ill
an awesome sight came into view - a throbbing heap of swill.
A heaving, dripping mound of muck, of steaming stinking dregs
a snorting slimy stink of yeuck - a Bogeyman, on legs
It blundered here, it staggered there, destroying as it went
and all the while it left behind a sweet decaying scent
The creatures of the Shadowland ran screaming from its path
it seemed that nothing could escape its terrifying wrath
And as each foot descended on some frozen wretched form
the blackened forest seemed to flee the fast approaching storm
Without their coward's cover
the shadow beasts appeared
crouching down behind each other, or the children they held near
For the little girl was not the only child to be enslaved
there were hundreds trapped by shadows
never dreaming they'd be saved
The Bogeyman crashed on ahead, appearing to be blind
not caring what it crushed beneath, nor what it left behind
Young Jim lay stunned and bleeding, and cursed his wretched luck
for as it passed, upon Jim's head, the Bogeyman had struck
The shadow, sensing half a chance, as Jim half conscious slumped
had seen his hand unguarded, and on his hand had jumped
"I've got you now, you little tramp, I've got you now forever
and if we live or if we die, we live or die together."
"Well do we have to live round here?" Jim innocently asked
"I mean, just look around you now; the neighbourhood's been trashed."
"That doesn't worry me, young man, in fact I think it's better
Now where's that nasty little girl? I think we should upset her
We'll give her stupid hair a wrench, we'll give her legs a kick
we'll make her eat disgusting things, and laugh until we're sick."
This wasn't Jim's idea of fun, it has to be admitted
but since the Bogey banged his head, his head had been half-witted
He wasn't quite sure where he was, or where he'd been before
or who he was, or tell the time, or speak the half time score
"I may be gone some time," he said, "I must unpack the shoes
I mustn't shave the donkey's legs, or take my gran to school
I must obey the highway comb, and brush up on my math
I'll eat the liver after tea, or take it for a bath
I'll swim the English flannel,"
Jimmy rambled on and on
"If toothpaste cheesecake marzipan
I'll take my dog to France"
"Just shut your flaming cakehole!" Jimmy's shadow was enraged
"we've got no time for drivel, in the homes of furry mice…?
Get on your feet and chip shop -
What the ding-dong's going on?
We're a walking talking lipstick
for the finger prints of whales!
"Jimmy, what is happy to I? I be blind but I can see?"
Jim gave a stupid grin and said, "You're twice too daft than me!
You're bound to be, you stooping fool, so long as we hold hands
you're doom to speak bananabrain what no one understands."
The shadow sulked and stamped his foot, not knowing what to do:
he'd captured Jim, but turned into a useless dribbling fool
"What use is this?" he asked himself. "I'll be a laughing sock
my friends will walk behind my back, my enemas will mock
I've got no choice, apparently, I'll have to let him be
at least until his brains return, and mine return to me."
So Jim was free, but only in the sense that he was free
to walk around in Shadowland, or sit around and dream
He wasn't free to go to school, and pretty soon he'd find
he'd lost his sense of human and the will to speak his mind
His head was clearing quickly now, his heart was beating fast
he knew he had to take his chance before his chance had passed
While all the shadows, still in fear, were hiding in the bush
Jim strode in the direction he had seen the Bogey rush
"Come on you kids," he shouted, "you can leave those shadows now.
don't worry if they won't let go, just try and drag them out
They're cowards and they're helpless, they can't hurt you anymore
just leave them where you found them, flat and lifeless on the floor."
As he walked into the darkness a great struggle did arise
with the sound of screams and laughter, cheers and strangulated cries
Then children started to emerge from deep within the wood
with nothing evil trailing them, their shadows gone for good
They marched with Jimmy, catching up, an army thousands strong
of prisoners who had been locked up, although they'd done no wrong
They kissed and hugged each other, and followed on behind
the Beast they thought had saved them, the Beast they thought was kind
They thought they'd like to thank him, their gratitude they'd show;
"Oh Bogeyman, we love you! Now won't you take us home?"
But Bogeyman crashed onwards, raising clouds of blood and dust
as Jimmy tried to stop the crowd that all around him rushed
"I think maybe we should wait here, and make ourselves a plan."
but many voices shouted back: "Let's follow Bogey man!"
"But look, he's blind," Jim pointed out. "He can't know right from wrong
He can't see where he's going, we'd be mad to tag along."
"Well you stay here," a voice called out, "I'll take my chance with him."
Not everyone agreed with this, but many more joined in
"We've got to follow Bogeyman, he'll help us to escape
if we wait here and waste our time, we'll never get away."
Everybody argued now, while Jimmy stood and stared
and then a cool hand grasped his own and once more he was scared
"Oh not again," he cried out loud, "I can't take more of this."
but when he turned, instead of pain, he felt a gentle kiss
The little girl was by his side, a bruised and battered child
"I know the way to get you home," she whispered with a smile
"I saw the hole in time and space the Bogeyman came through -
if you go now you may escape." Jim said: "Not without you."
"No listen, Jim," the child said, "the hole is very near,
but shrinking fast: if you're not quick, you'll find it's disappeared."
Jim said "I can't just leave you here, and all these others too.
I'll get them to stop arguing, and then we'll follow you.
Now listen, everyone," he yelled, "listen to me please:
if you all want to get away, you'll have to follow me."
"And who are you, when you're at home," a voice called from the back
"a self-appointed know-it-all? Well listen: you've been sacked!
We're off to follow Bogeyman, he's strong and knows the way.
you're just a kid, like all of us, but if you want to, stay."
I'm sure that was my shadow's voice, Jim said beneath his breath
if they take heed and follow him, he'll only lead to death
"Don't listen," Jimmy tried to warn, "there's only one way out!"
but as the children marched away they didn't hear him shout
A handful only stayed behind, with Jimmy and the girl
the only ones with half a chance to leave that dreadful world
"Come on now, Jim," she pulled him round, "we haven't time to spare.
just wish and hope and pray to God, the hole will still be there."
They ran like lightning through the trees, encouraging each other
each boy and girl discovering a sister or a brother
And far behind them now they heard a terrifying noise:
the screams and cries of all the other wretched girls and boys
The sound they made was terrible, and Jimmy hesitated
thinking he should help destroy the monster he'd created
"We can't stop now," the girl spoke out, "there's nothing you can do.
we're nearly there, behind this tree. You have to save the few."
Jim closed his eyes, and then his ears, and took a step or two
then pushed aside the final bush and saw they'd broken through
Behind the bush there opened up a mortifying scene:
a lake of ice surrounded by a black forbidding screen
And in the centre of the lake, a giant eyeball, winking
A perfect circle in the ice, inexorably shrinking
They stood not knowing what to do, petrified with fear
while smashing, screaming sounds confirmed the Bogeyman was near
"There's not much choice," Jim told the group, "it's on the ice, or die.
If anyone is not quite sure, I'll help them to decide."
He grabbed the nearest frightened child and dragged him to the screen
he found the battered bushes where the Bogeyman had been
He pushed the youngster through the gap, then grabbed the next in line
"Come on," he yelled, "get going quick, we're running out of time."
The woods were full of thunder as the Bogeyman crashed through
destroying what was in its way, with punch and stamp and chew
Attempting to regain the ice, to shut off the retreat?
Or simply to escape the place, or find some more to eat?
The children watched it coming as they slid across the lake
some crying in their terror, wondering which one it would take
The hole meanwhile diminished to a few square feet in size
and watching from within it were a thousand tiny eyes
Never blinking, only staring, from the strange mysterious well
like creatures of the forest, or the demons down in hell
The children shuddered backwards as the hole beneath them shrank
then screamed as Jimmy pointed to the Bogey on the bank
As the Bogey stumbled forward, absorbing all it touched
the children grabbed each other, as a shield or as a crutch
There was, of course, just one way out, but who would be the first?
Of all the nightmares ever dreamt, this surely was the worst
Jim looked around, then down the hole, and wondered could he do it?
one thing was sure, if they weren't quick, they'd never all fit through it
The hole was even smaller now, the Bogey yards away
Jim heard a whisper in his ear: "We'll meet again, one day."
He turned, but only just in time to catch her final wave
the little girl was in the hole, and Jim knew she was saved
For just before she disappeared, the darkness seemed to end
and to a child's bedroom he saw the child descend
The other children must have caught the same impressive sight
for now they rushed towards the hole, abandoning their fright
And one by one they tumbled in, with joy, relief and laughter
leaving Jim to wait his turn, with luck, to follow after
Two more to go and now the hole was disappearing fast
Jim cursed his grandpa, then himself, for waiting to be last
The final child squeezed through the hole
Jim watched as she was swallowed
then placing one foot in the void
prepared himself to follow
He saw his foot begin to fade into the room beneath
he felt the hand of Bogeyman, and heard its grinding teeth
The slimy fingers grabbed his neck and then they slid around
and tried to drag him backwards as the bedroom pulled him down
He smelled the rancid Bogey breath, he choked and gasped in pain
he felt his muscles torn apart and stitched back up again
The tug of war went on and on, there seemed to be no end
Jim felt his body bent in places never meant to bend
He looked and saw his cheerful room, inviting down below
he struggled in a grip he knew would never let him go
He felt the hole constricting round his aching lungs and back
crushing all the breath within him, turning all around him black
The battle reached crescendo, the end was now in sight
the hole grew stronger even though the Bogey's grip was tight
It pulled Jim through the opening, the Bogey's hand came too
poking up through Jimmy's carpet in his topsy-turvy room
The Bogey gave a mighty scream and pulled its angry fist
toward the hole, which closing, chopped its arm off at the wrist
Jim fell into his bedroom, landing neatly on his head
which fortunately had the sense to land upon the bed
Around him splattered greasy rain - spitter, spatter, spot
a shower of Bogeyman remains, a steady drip of snot
The evidence of what went on, that proved it was no dream
now Jimmy had an hour or so to get his bedroom clean
For though his mother loved him, he felt sure there would be blows
if she found herself next morning standing ankle-deep in crows
And as he laboured tirelessly, his mind still in a whirl
he felt a sadness grip him as he thought about the girl
He hoped that she had told the truth - she said they'd meet again
He wished he could believe those words. He wished she'd told him when
He scraped the last of Bogeyman from off the bedroom floor
and careful not to tread upon the shadow of the door
He went into the bathroom and flushed the dregs away
then sank into his mattress as the dawn began to break
And as he pulled the covers round his tired and aching head
he finally remembered something else his grandpa said:
"It's important to be wary if you set those bogeys free
they're not like anyone you know, they're not like you and me
They're made from dust and bits of brain and old discarded skin
and who knows what would happen if they ever left those tins
They're heartless, mindless, soulless, unpredictable as weather
So wander lonesome through your life, and try to stick together."
Jim asked him to explain his words, they'd left him quite confused
His grandpa said, "That's fair enough," and generously refused
"Look out! A bear!" he cried out, and began to run away
but Jimmy grabbed his eyebrow and persuaded him to stay
"Ow! Ow! Okay! Okay! Just tell me what you want to know."
"The secret of success," Jim said, and let his eyebrow go.
"You're asking me?" his grandpa said, "who's never done a thing?
Or been ten miles from where we sit? You must be desperate, Jim."
"Grandpa!" Jimmy shouted. "You are old so you should know
all sorts of things to help me out as through the world I go."
His grandpa thought and finally came up with this advice:
"I don't know everything," he said, "but I do try to be nice
To everyone, and then I find they're often nice to me
Apart from that, and what comes next, the rest's a mystery
"Your life will have its ups and downs, Champagne will lose its fizz
good things will come, bad things will go, that's just the way it is
Never think a situation is so bad you won't get through:
things have a way of working out no matter what we do
"The world might say I'm lying, Jim, don't listen what they say
with passing time, things work out fine. It's always been that way
So Jimmy, keep your chin up even when the road is steep
and here's my last suggestion, lad
…Shut up and go to sleep!"