74 pages of supernatural gaslighting in which aaaaaancient beeeeeings pull a parent trap on happily childless everyman phil pendleton—shoehorning an eight-year-old demon shriek of a child into his life with wide-eyed disingenuity, “who, dis? he is ur child, don’t u remember? everyone eeeeelse in ur life remembers him! also, he’s in ur photographs haha we’re so bad!”
so phil is saddled with this creature who calls him “daddy” and drags him to all of those child-distracting places like museums and parks and science centers and the like where, once a day, unprovoked and without warning, he will become that kid—the tantrum filling a public place, scattering everyone in the vicinity except the helpless parent tethered to the situation, shattering inward.
and it takes its toll.
i mean, there’s plenty of other horrific things happening to poor phil, including a sudden allergy to all food except sour candy, which diet contributes to the physical decline described in the book’s bomb-ass first line: Four months to the day he first encountered the boy at Walmart, the last of Phil Pendleton’s teeth fell out.
but scoop out the lovecraftian horn’ed beast bits, and it’s a cautionary tale reminding you that parenthood is exhausting and children are parasites. oh, but only if it is a deeeemon child. not your little punkin’. really, your kid is aces. not creepy at all.
anyway, we can all agree that i would be a lousy mother and also that taking candy from strangers is a terrible idea,
even especially if the stranger is a nattily-dressed little boy.