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The Sand Man

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"Now we've got eyes - eyes - a beautiful pair of children's eyes," he whispered." - The Sand-Man - Ernst T. A. Hoffmann

Is a short story written by E. T. A. Hoffman in a series of letters from a man named Nathaniel in which he recaps the events of his childhood and his fear of a presence in his house he believed to be the Sandman. At a young age he was told the Sandman would steal the eyes of children who wouldn't go to bed and feed them to his own children who lived in the moon. Nathaniel was determined to catch a glimpse of what frightened him so and one night snuck into the room in which he often heard the Sandman move about. He soon came to discover the Sandman to be his father's ill-natured business associate Coppelius. Nathaniel was caught upon learning the truth and Coppelius punished his act of eavesdropping by threatening to burn out his eyes but settled on giving him a severe physical beating. After this Coppelius was run out of the town and wasn't seen for a long while until one night he returned to the house to call upon Nathaniel's father who reluctantly received him. Nathaniel's mother quickly put him and his siblings to bed before the nasty man entered the house. Shortly thereafter a huge explosion was heard and Coppelius fled the house. Nathaniel and his family discovered his father's dead body in the same room where Nathaniel had first learned the truth about this Sandman. The rest of the story is about Nathaniel's slow descent into insanity, his strange infatuation with an automaton named Olimpia, and his eventual suicide.

Both stories involve a creature that preys on the innocent, throws (or blows) dust in their eyes, and leaves them blind. Although in "Mr. Sandman" it is a Wesen that devours tears, and the dust is actually a series of parasites.

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