I hadn’t scheduled something for Halloween, as I hadn’t really found something appropriate this year. Then, I came across this short story by Kittenwhiskers on Tumblr and I fell in love. Even though Halloween is now officially over, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
First, the writing prompt by Writing Prompts:
You’re in charge of assigning every child on Earth the monster under their bed. One child in particular has caused every monster assigned to him/her to quit. You decide to assign yourself.
And now Kittenwhiskers’ short story:
I stare at the file and realize I have no options, over the last 2 years every monster assigned to Charlotte Dower has quit, every last one. Her first monster; a giant goldfish-faced humanoid named Bubba, had been with her for four years, and then she wasn’t scared of him anymore. After that, it was a string of different common, uncommon, and rare monsters… I even assigned a sentient sock monster to her. He came back crying!
I look on my tablet, only one assignable monster left; myself. Fieldwork has never been my cup of tea, but desperate times call for desperate measures. So at 8:03 pm, after Mrs. Gideon tucks in Charlotte and her little brother Daniel; I slither into the space beneath Charlotte’s bed.
Across the room underneath Daniel’s crib is a rookie, Chico, a standard Creep kind of monster.
I turn my attention to the bed above me, Charlotte is still awake but barely, I reach up over the bed and run an ice cold finger over her cheek, silence, so I do it again.
“I’m not afraid of you monster!” She whispers, but her voice is shaking. I can see a small clock on the wall 8:14, a door somewhere in the house slams and there is an audible hitch of breath from above me. A few minutes go by I can hear Francis Gideon yelling at his wife. There are heavy footsteps on the stairs, and loud panting breaths, Charlotte scrambles off the bed and…
She. CRAWLS. Under. The. Bed. With. Me.
“Move. Over!” Charlotte hisses at me. I do.
The door to the bedroom slams open and I smell the stench of human intoxicants before the man even steps inside.
I know why Charlotte isn’t afraid of any of my monsters; she’s afraid of her own.
Francis reaches a hand under the bed and I thrust my wrist into it, he starts to pull, I slither out.
“What the…” I cut Francis’s next words off by unfolding to my full 12-foot height. Looming over the drunken man I caress my cold fingers down his face.
“If you ever touch, scare, or harm my child again, I will find you, and I will do the same to you, for all eternity,” I promise to him.
As Francis runs from the room he soils himself.
I pull Charlotte from under the bed, tuck her back under her covers and kiss her forehead goodnight. “I’ll be back tomorrow night, sleep well darling.”
Charlotte Dower is my child, I am the monster under her bed.