Author’s Note: Rebobs are an urban legend from Napa Valley, California. Learn more about Rebobs here >>
“Bye kids! Be safe!” the parents called, on their way out the door.
“Remember! Get your sister to bed by 9:30. You get to bed by 10:00,” said Dad.
“But can’t we wait up until you get home?” Craig asked.
“You heard your father,” said Mom. “Normal bedtime rules.”
“We’ll be home too late,” said Dad. “And we’ve got a Sunday full of chores tomorrow. Early to bed, for you two!”
“Lock the doors!” Mom called.
Chrissy and Craig listened to the old family Volkswagon rumble down the street.
“Popcorn!” yelled Craig.
“Ice cream!” yelled Chrissy.
“Zombie movies!” they both yelled together.
Two ice cream cones and three bowls of popcorn later, the second film of the Creepy Monster Double Feature came on TV.
“These movies are so lame,” Craig said.
“I think they’re scary,” said Chrissy.
“You think anything is scary,” said Craig.
“So so,” said Craig. “If so not, then how come you won’t walk down Patrick Road by yourself. Scared of Rebobs, that’s why.”
“I’m so not scared of Rebobs,” said Chrissy. “It’s just. It’s dark out there. There’s pot holes and stuff.”
“Anyway, it’s my bedtime,” said Chrissy.
Craig followed her into the bedroom, telling her tales of Rebobs.
No one knows how they got there, whether they’re some genetic experiment gone whack. Or whether they escaped and then mutated. Or maybe there’s a crack in the lava rocks that leads all the way down to H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks and when there was that big earthquake in 1906 the lava rock split open and they crawled out.
The only thing anybody knows for sure is that they’re flying demon monkeys. With fangs. And giant long fingernails sharper than knives that can claw a person to a bloody pulp.
They come out at night, and when they see boyfriends and girlfriends making out in the old cemetery at the end of Patrick Road, they swarm, gouging out their eyes and reaching through the eye sockets to pull out the brains and eat them! Their arms are so long, then they reach in and pull out their guts and eat them!
“That’s stupid! I got nothing to be afraid of those flying monkey dopey-heads!” Chrissy said. “I’m not kissing anybody!”
“Oh, but you know what they like even better than people making out? Little girls that have never been kissed because they’re too fat and ugly!”
Craig tickled her.
She crawled into bed to end the tickling.
“Fraidy cat,” Craig said, turning off the light and closing the door.
Downstairs, he turned up the volume on the mummy movie.
“I am so not afraid,” said Chrissy. The moonlight shone in through her window.
Rebobs fascinated her. Chrissy knew most of the animals in these woods: the deer and foxes, the bobcats and squirrels. She knew all the birds, even the hawks and owls. But she’d never seen flying monkeys, except in the Wizard of Oz movie. If there really were Rebobs up in the highest boughs of the trees, it might be neat to see them. Moonlit nights in late October were the times they were said to come out most often.
Chrissy knew there was only one way to find out if Rebobs were for real.
She changed quickly into her jeans and a sweater. She could run to the end of the road and back again well before her parents got home–and probably even before her dopey brother went to bed.
There were potholes everywhere, and she had to watch her step.
The moon cast creepy shadows along the lane.
Sometimes, she thought someone was following her, but when she turned around, it was just the shadow of a branch or tree trunk.
She heard owls hoot and foxes digging in piles of dead leaves. She wasn’t afraid. She’d have to go to the end of the road if she hoped to see any Rebobs.
Something about the night made her feel both excited and peaceful. When she looked up at the stars, she felt wonder.
She heard a scratching sound. Was it just the wind in the branches? Was it an opossum? She couldn’t see anything above her, but she began to feel that she was being watched.
When she looked into the shadows, she felt a little bit afraid. Maybe, for once, she’d see Rebobs. Then she could tell Craig they were for real, and they were nothing to be afraid of!
There in the canyon, leaves rustled. She could see the tops of the trees. Something was moving!
She made a noise like a monkey and listened as it echoed through the canyon.
What was that calling back?
Something was definitely in the tree.
Something was watching her from the canyon.
She could see the eyes shining!
She could hear something breathing! Or was that her own breath, so loud in her ears because of her fear?
“I know you’re there!” she called. “Why can’t I see you?”
Craig was finishing another bowl of ice cream when the late night news came on.
“First up tonight, more reportings of crimes by the serial rapist known as the Night Man, this time in the sleepy town of Napa, about sixty miles north of San Francisco.”
“Several women claim to have been attacked by him in recent weeks, with most of the attacks occurring along desolate country avenues such as Redwood Lane and Patrick Road.”
“Women–and even young girls–are advised to stay away from isolated areas, especially at night. Most attacks have happened to young women under 17 years of age, with a few victims as young as ten. And Bob? What’s up with the weather for Sunday? Can we expect fog?”
Craig switched off the TV and headed upstairs to check on Chrissy before going to bed.
He found the bed empty and the window open.
“Of course she’s OK,” Craig told himself, as he walked down the front steps. “She’s just trying to prove herself. She’s OK. Of course she’s OK.”
He began to run. She wouldn’t really go out to the end of Patrick Road alone, would she?
She’d be OK. There were no Rebobs. Maybe Night Man was just a myth, too.
Finally, he saw her, wearing her red hand-me-down sweater, there at the end of the road.
“Eeee!” he screamed, in his best Rebob imitation.
“Craig! You scared me!” Chrissy yelled.
“Did you think I was a brain-eating flying monkey?”
“No,” she replied. “Maybe there’s no such thing.”
“Yeah. It’s just a story told to little kids to keep them inside at night. But all the same, let’s head home.”
As he hugged his little sister, Craig felt he was being watched.
They ran home, and he tried to shake the sensation. It was just him and his little sister. No Rebobs. No Night Man. They were almost home. They were safe.
“No such thing as Rebobs,” he said with every jog.
“What?” called Chrissy.
“No. Such. Thing!” He called.
As soon as they got inside, Craig closed all the windows and locked the front and back doors.
“What about the basement door?” Chrissy asked.
“I’m sure it’s locked,” he said. “Dad always keeps it locked.”
“But we better check.”
“I’m not going down there,” he said. “Are you?”
Chrissy noted fear in his voice.
“In all those zombie movies,” Craig said, “remember what happens in the basement?”
“That’s where the zombies are waiting, ’cause it’s cold and dark.”
“That’s just in the movies!” Craig laughed. “Nothing bad ever happens in real life. Let’s go to bed before Mom and Dad get back.”
They left all the lights on, just in case.