“Now Timmy, you have to start cleaning up your room! If you don’t, the Hobgoblin will come into your room and steal your toys!”
Timmy rolls his eyes. He’s sitting on his bed, playing with toy cars, ignoring the sea of clothing and toys scattered all over his floor. His mother’s face is red; this is clearly not the first time she’s walked into his room to find the place a mess. At 10 years old, he should be able to clean up at least most of this stuff without an issue. And yet, that never seems to be the case.
“Don’t you roll your eyes at me, young man! Clean. Up. Your. Room!”
But he doesn’t. He continues to play with his cars. A few hours later, his mother makes him go to bed early, without supper, as punishment for his dirty room. As she turns out the lights, she tells him, “The Hobgoblin knows you’ve been bad. Watch out; he might come and take your toys tonight!” Timmy rolls his eyes, and drifts off to sleep. He’s surprisingly tired for only playing with his cars all day.
When he wakes up the next morning, his room is spotless. Somehow all of his laundry has been done and put away; the floors have been swept; his toys are stored. Even the sheets he’s been sleeping on are clean, and smell like a comforting blend of vanilla and ginger. How did this happen?! He runs around the room, checking out all the freshly cleaned corners. Then he realizes: his cars are gone. The Hobgoblin!!
Crying, he runs out of his room and to his parent’s bedroom. He throws open the door and crawls into bed beside his mother. “The Hobgoblin came! He cleaned my room; but he took my cars!”
His mother consoles him, holds him close to her. “I told you, darling. Will you keep your room clean, now?”
Timmy sniffles and snorts. “I will. I promise, I will.” She looks over at Timmy’s father, and gives him a wink. He smiles back. They both know that, of course, it wasn’t a Hobgoblin, it was them. They had cleaned his room and gotten rid of his toys as punishment.
Years go by. Timmy grows up into an exemplary young man. He’s clean, neat, and orderly; but he lives with a great fear of the Hobgoblin sneaking into his room in the night to rob him of what is most precious to him. That night 15 years ago has scarred him in a way his parents never suspected.
He’s 25 now, and seriously dating a wonderful woman, Sally. He asks her to move in. She accepts.
What he hadn’t realized is that Sally is a slob. He spends hours a day cleaning out of his own anxiety, and it puts a definite strain on their relationship. She tries to pick up some of the slack, but as a naturally untidy person living with someone who is obsessed with cleaning, it never seems to be enough. She has no idea what the source of his anxiety is, but she’s determined to either make him relax on the cleaning or end the relationship, because she just can’t continue living this way.
Timmy, meanwhile, has basically stopped sleeping. He’s constantly cleaning, terrified of the Hobgoblin getting into his house. “The only way to make sure we’re safe is to keep everything clean ALL THE TIME!” he yells as he does his seventh scrub of the bathroom floor for the day. He’s a demonic Danny Tanner; nothing can stop him from cleaning.
He walks into the bedroom to find that Sally has long gone to bed, and left both her dirty clothes from the day and a stack of clean clothing on the floor. Something inside Timmy snaps completely.
“The Hobgoblin! He’s here! He’s going to take her away! He’s going to take her!” Out of the corner of his eye, he swears he sees a small figure run down the hallway and into the kitchen. He gets a strong whiff of tobacco and wood, which seems to confirm his suspicion that the Hobgoblin has arrived.
Following the figure, he runs to the kitchen, but there’s nothing there. Timmy grabs a large butcher knife from the knife block, just as he sees the figure run out and back into the hall.
“Come back! Come back here; I see you!” he yells as he runs down the hall. The blur darts into the bedroom. No, no, he can’t take Sally!
By the time he gets to the bedroom, Sally is gone. The Hobgoblin is in her place in the bed, taunting Timmy. He’s dirty, filthy actually, and ruining the sheets. And where did he take Sally?!
“NO! I WILL NOT BE AFRAID OF YOU ANYMORE!” Timmy yells as he runs into the room, and brings his knife down directly through the Hobgoblin’s chest.
He only realizes the mistake he’s made when he hears Sally scream.
Scent notes: Oud wood, pipe tobacco, real vanilla, sandalwood, freshly cracked black pepper, finely grated ginger root.