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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Things That Go Bump In The Night


Thunder rumbled in the distance as the trees swayed to the ever increasing wind.  Lightning lit up the sky as though it were day.  A large storm was coming.

On a quiet street, surrounded by large over grown trees, was a small weatherboard house.  The black tiles of the roof blended in with the night sky while the white siding lit up with each flash of lightning.

On the second floor, right at the front of the house, overlooking the street, was a small bedroom belonging to a young boy.  Trent Anderson was only twelve years old and, like most children his age, was scared of the dark. 

He always heard horrible noises at night, banging and crashing, coming from his closet and under his bed.  Every time a shadow looked ominous, he ran screaming from his room, down the hall, leaping from the doorway into the safety of his parent’s bed.

Each morning, his father would walk him down the hall, back to his room and proceed to show him that there was no such thing as monsters.  “It’s all in your head,” he said every time.  “Your imagination gets the better of you.”

Trent did have an active imagination.  He knew that.  He was always dreaming up stories or fun things to play when no one else was around.  He was the sort of child that could entertain himself for hours on end.  But when the sun went down, his imagination went with it, and all that was left were the shadows and the things that go bump in the night.

As the storm approached, Trent stared out his bedroom window, huddled under the sheets, his eyes and his spiky brown hair were all that was visible.  He wanted to climb into his parent’s bed, but they were out at a movie.  His babysitter, Mrs. Harris, was a grumpy old lady who resented having to look after him.  She told him that she wouldn’t put up with any of his nonsense and to go to bed in his own room.

She had tucked him in and turned on the night light.  Trent’s eyes widened as the shadows came to life.  Why couldn’t she have just left the big light on?  As Mrs. Harris closed the door, Trent sat up, arming himself with his Transformers and kiddie league baseball bat.

Trent glanced at his closet as a creaking noise flooded his ears.  A flash of lightning lit up the room, the shadows dancing on the walls and ceiling.  He cried out, diving beneath the covers in an attempt to shield himself from the dangers of the night time monsters.

The wind howled outside, rustling the leaves on the trees.  A branch scraped on the gutter.  Trent held his breath, counting backwards from ten.  His father once told him if he could count backwards from ten and get to one, then all the problems would just go away.

“Six.  Five.  Four.  Three.  Two.  One.”

He lowered the sheets.  The scraping noise had stopped and the wind has died down.  Trent looked out the window.  The rain had started.  He watched with interest as the raindrops bounced when they hit the pavement.  Forming neat little puddles that come the morning he would want to splash in.  The dirt beneath his window turned to mud and the road was slick with running water from the sky.

Trent turned his attention back to his bedroom.  Toys littered the floor.  Cars, trucks, books, an old baseball glove.  He even saw the collection of Barbie heads he had taken from his younger sister, Jane.  They didn’t look so scary.  Maybe his father was right.  Maybe everything did look better after counting backwards from ten.

Wiggling around in his bed, Trent laid his head on his pillow.  He closed his eyes, feeling safe for the first time. 

A clap of thunder shook the house, causing him to jump and cry out in surprise.  He looked out the window again, seeing the sky light up.  He could hear the rain pelting down on the roof.  It sounded like a raging waterfall.

The feeling of uneasiness washed over him as he slowly turned around.  He screamed, burrowing his way back under his blankets as a large shadow with long fingers and an eerie smile leaned down over him.

The big light snapped on and the shadow disappeared. 

Trent poked his head out to see Mrs. Harris standing in the doorway.

“What’s wrong now?” she demanded, her voice creaking with age.  A couple of strands of her silver hair poked out from beneath her flowered hat.  “The shadows,” Trent stammered, pointing to the wall where the mean shadow was last seen.

Mrs. Harris groaned, rolling her piercing blue eyes as she made her way around the turrets of toys to his bed.  She tucked him in, pulling the covers so tight that Trent couldn’t move his body.  He wiggled and was promptly scolded by the cranky old lady.

Once he was tucked in, Mrs. Harris moved back towards the door, kicking a couple of cars out of the way.  One rolled under the bed.  Trent protested.  “That’s my favourite,” he whined.  Mrs. Harris stared at him from behind her thick glasses.  “I don’t care.  Go to sleep!”  She slammed the door shut, muttering under her breath something about bratty children.

Trent wiggled, pushing his hands against the sheets, hoping to free himself.  One corner of the bedding slipped free, allowing Trent to push it back.

Placing his feet on the cool wooden floor, he paused.  Did he really want to get his favourite car back while it was dark and a storm was brewing outside?  He glanced down at his feet.  If he didn’t get it now the monster that he was convinced lived under the bed might get to it before morning came.

Dropping to his knees, Trent wrapped his hand around his baseball bat.  If there was indeed a monster under his bed, he was going to be prepared for a fight.

A noise from the closet across the room caused Trent to turn around.

Feeling brave, he gripped his bat and walked carefully over to the closet.  Sucking in deep breaths Trent looked at the double doors.  “Ten.  Nine.  Eight.”  He placed one hand on the door knob.  It was shaking.  “Seven.  Six.  Five.”  He turned the knob slight.  “Four.  Three.  Two.”  He pulled the door ajar.

“One.”

He ripped open the door, closing his eyes tightly, swinging his bat and letting out a war cry that could have been heard in Africa. 

Something crashed to the floor.  Opening his eyes Trent saw his old magic tricks spilling out of their box all over the floor of his closet.  His eyes scanned the darkened interior.  There was nothing but coats, shirts and pants hanging proudly in his closet.  A couple of sweaters were neatly folded and his shoes were placed neatly in pairs. 

“No closet monster,” he muttered to himself, bending down to pick up his magic tricks.  “Dad was right.  There is no closet monster.”

Once his magic tricks were neatly stacked back in the closet, Trent turned to the bed.  “There’s no such thing as monsters,” he said aloud as he cautiously walked towards it.  “There’s no such thing as monsters.  Monsters are not real.  Monsters are not real.  There’s no such thing as monsters.”

He took a deep breath as the room lit up once again with another flash of lightning.  The wind had changed direction, howling through the trees, the rain now slamming against his window. 

The room lit up again.  Out the corner of his eye Trent saw the shadows spring to life.  He gulped, swallowing hard as he turned his head.  This shadow had five long and narrow ribs.  Trent gripped his bat tighter, his eyes darting around the room.

A clap of thunder caused him to jump.  He licked his lips as his eyes locked on his desk chair.  Round and smooth, it had five runs on the back.  Quickly, Trent looked at the shadow.  The five ribs were the five runs.  He smiled a gap-toothed smile.  “It’s just the chair,” he told himself.  “A chair can’t hurt me.”

Feeling proud of the way he handled himself, he turned back to his bed.  He couldn’t see what was under it from where he stood, but he knew his car hadn’t rolled under that far.  Mrs. Harris only nudged it with her foot.

Dropping to his knees, Trent peered under the bed.  All he could see was pitch black.  He scooted a little closer.  Still nothing.  Lowering himself so he was now lying on his stomach, Trent army crawled his way across the floor until he was just shy of his bed.

There it was.  His bright red car looked back at him from the darkness.  Grinning gleefully, Trent reached out, his short chubby fingers wrapping around the cool metal of the car.

As he pulled his arm back, something under the bed moved.  At first Trent couldn’t be sure of what he saw, but he knew there was something under there.  He could hear the scampering of feet on the wooden floor.  He froze, his arm still under the bed, his eyes wide with fear.

BOOM!

A loud thunder clap shook the house just as another large flash of lightning lit up the room.  Trent screamed as two large red eyes stared back at him from the darkness.  Even in the low light of the lightning, Trent could see the razor sharp teeth of a monster as it edged closer to him, its forked tongue sliding between its jagged teeth and dry, cracked lips.

It was hideous.  Its body was like one large blister, red and filled with pus.  Trent could barely make out the veins that ran along its body, pulsing and throbbing with each breath that it took.  Its eyes were redder than the car he held in his hand and its teeth were so sharp they looked like they belonged to a shark.  A string of drool trickled from its mouth as it inched closer to the young boy.

Closing his eyes, Trent began to count backwards, hoping when he opened them, the blister monster would be gone.

“Ten.  Nine.  Eight.  Seven.  Six.  Five.  Four.  Three.  Two,” counted Trent, his eyes firmly shut, his knuckles turning white as his gripped his car tighter.

“One.”

He opened his eyes and screamed as the blister monster lunged at him, spitting some kind of goo in his direction.

Scooting backwards on his bum, Trent moved across the floor, throwing toys at the monster in order to defend himself.  His toy soldiers bounced off the horrid creature as it chased him, its nails scraping along the floorboards. 

Trent threw his bat at the creature.  Like the plastic soldiers before, the bat bounced straight of the hideous sight without affecting it.  Frustrated and scared, Trent reached into a pile of toys and began hurling them across the room the best he could.

Baseballs, tennis balls, trucks, cars, Lego.  Nothing seemed to slow the creature down. 

Trent’s back hit the wall.  A quick glance behind him confirmed his worst fear.  He was backed into a corner.  The door to his bedroom was on the other side of the room.  And so was the big light.

His hand skimmed across the wooden floors, searching for something, anything, he could use to defend himself.  The monster leaned in, its foul breath wafting up Trent’s nostrils.  It smelt like rotten fish, boiled cabbage and his father’s sweaty old gym socks.

In a last ditch effort, Trent’s hand wrapped around something furry.  It was his old teddy bear from when he was younger.  Balding in parts, missing an eye and some of its stuffing, the bear had been in many wars when Trent was growing up.  When he reached the age of ten, he decided he was too old for Bear and had placed him at the bottom of his toy chest.  Now, with every other toy scattered about the floor, Bear was Trent’s last hope of survival.

Holding Bear up, Trent watched as the monster’s eyes grew bigger, popping out of the sockets.  It hissed at him, eyes trained on Bear. 

Trent stared at the ragged old teddy bear with its missing eye and bald patches.  How could something so heinous be scared of a silly old teddy bear?  Not waiting to find out, Trent threw Bear at the monster.

An animalistic scream bellowed from the blister creature as Bear bounced off its head.  Trent grinned as the teddy bear landed on its side next to the monster. 

The monster roared before lunging at Trent, wrapping its slimy tentacles around the boys arms, pulling him closer to the jagged teeth that were grinding against each other like cog gears.

The frightened boy let out a wailing ear-piercing scream as the monster bit down on his body.  Blood spurted across the room, coating the walls and floor and all that stood in between.  Kicking and screaming, Trent tried to pull away, but the blister creature held him tight, chewing on his legs and arms before biting his torso in half, killing him.

As the storm outside let up, the creature slowly moved back to its home under the bed, waiting for its next victim.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

“That’s not a scary story.”

Kate sat on her sleeping bag on the floor of her best friend’s bedroom.  Her friend Jane looked at her solemnly, her blue eyes studying the faces of her friends.  “I swear it’s true,” she said, holding up her hand in a ‘scout’s honour’ salute.  “It happened in this very room.”

“Yeah right,” scoffed Jasmine.  “It’s just a scary story.  There’s no truth to it.”

“There is too and I can prove it,” Jane said softly. 

“No you can’t,” said Mina, braiding her long blonde hair. 

Quietly Jane climbed off her bed and made her way across the room to the closet.  Carefully she pulled it open.  Standing on the very tips of her toes, she reached up, her hand feeling blindly around on the top shelf.

After a couple of minutes, she let out a triumphant cry as she pulled down the object she was looking for.

She turned around.  Each of her friends gasped in shock.

For in her hand, Jane held a teddy bear that was missing one eye, had bald patches and was coated in blood.

12 comments:

  1. Well now you've done it i have to sleep with the lights on and thats with my bed being flat on the floor with no space under it now wheres my Teddy

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  2. I stay awake to read this. Guess I won't be sleeping tonight. Does anyone have a teddy bear I could borrow? Well done chicka!

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  3. Bit worried about how this young boy was named Trent...

    In any case, this is a fantastic story aimed at a younger audience and yet still entertaining for an older crowd. Rhiannon Irons, you've done it again.

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  4. There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters.

    Does anyone have a nightlight?

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  5. DIS IS Y KIDDIES WET DA BED! FUCKIN' SCARY SHIT!

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  6. If I print this off for my son, he'll have nightmares. I'm starting to think him sleeping in our bed isn't such a bad thing. Throw him at the monster and run for the hills.

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  7. Ooooh jane at the end was the little sister of trent. cool twist. freaky story.

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  8. Glad I gots me a teddy bear :P

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  9. OK, what's wrong with you? This is just chilling. I'm already afraid of the dark and now I have to worry about monsters under the bed.

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  10. Eeeekkkk. Freaky

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  11. I'm so not showing this to my kids. They have trouble sleeping as it is ha-ha. Fantastic story, even if it was a little on the creepy side.

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  12. Wow!!!! That's really amazing!!! And I love the ending! Such a great idea!!!!

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