I woke afraid. The room was dark and the wind and rain rattled against the window.
I pulled the bedclothes up tight around my neck and shoulders – an almost subconscious move on my part whilst I waited for my eyes to adjust to the dark.
A glance at the bedside clock informed me it was only two-thirty in the morning.
As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I began to recognise familiar shapes around me; The desk where I was often found drawing; The basketball I’d left on the floor; pictures of my favourite pop stars on the wall, which I recognised, even though I couldn’t fully see them.
At the bottom of my bed I noticed the walk in closet door was slightly ajar. Had I left it like that before I went to bed? I didn’t think so, but I couldn’t be sure. It was then I noticed a large shape sat on the single chair in the corner of the room.
I was frozen in fear. Part of me wanted to shout for help, part of me wanted to hide under the covers. I could not do the latter, however, as I was sure that as soon as I did, the monster sitting at the bottom of my bed would pounce and drag me into the closet, never to be seen again.
Outside the rain continued to lash against the window, the branches of the trees swaying ominously in the wind, leaves rustling as if alive.
I looked back towards the shadows at the bottom of the bed and the monster I knew was sitting on the chair, staring at me, its teeth ready to rip and rend my flesh.
Had it moved? It seemed closer now or was that just my mind playing tricks on me.
I let out a small cry of alarm when there was a creak outside my bedroom door. I was unsure where now to look, as I knew taking my eyes off the monster would cause it to pounce.
My bedroom door opened and light poured into the room, the darkness receding, along with my fear. I could now see that what I thought was a monster, was the large teddy bear my dad had won recently for me at the local fair, which I now remember putting on the chair before I went to bed earlier tonight.
A familiar figure was silhouetted in in the doorway
“What is it, Mickey? A bad dream?” my Mother asked, stepping into the room.
She tucked my bedclothes in and kissed me on the forehead.
“It’s okay, honey,” she whispered. “It’s just a storm, it can’t hurt you. Go back to sleep.”
All was well again. The monsters that moments ago seemed so real were all just in my head.
“Night, mom” I whispered tiredly, already on my way back to sleep.
From the closet, unseen by Mickey and his Mother, two dark eyes, malevolent and full of hate watched and waited.
We are delighted to nominate the following FlashFlood stories to the 2023 Pushcart Prize: ' The Doll House ' by Nathan Alling Long &...
CHICKEN +50 Buttermilk fried, the apogee of chicken, its chickeniest chickenness, rich gold with bite and crunch and tendern...
In case you missed any of the pieces we appeared during the 2023 FlashFlood, here's an index to everything. Happy Reading! ' They...
A shaft of sunlight fell across the worn herringbone floor, drawing his gaze upwards to the flawless blue sky beyond the row of windows, ...