Before I start off with the story(That’s right, it’s another story.) I figure I’d share this quote I came across while combing through the vast sands of the internet. I can’t help but completely agree with it. “I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” – John Lennon
Monsters Are Real
By: Andy Lucas
When I was a kid, my parents always told me that there were no such things as monsters. They were nothing more than bad dreams brought on by too much junk food or a scary movie before bed. Monsters were a product of my over active imagination. When I was a kid, I was told that there was nothing going bump in the night. It was just the house settling, and I believed it; all of it. I believed every word of it. Now I know the truth; the truth that all parents try to hide from their children or ignore. Monsters are real.
“Mommy, mommy!” I yelled in the middle of the night. The lightning flashed furiously outside my bedroom window as I lay there in my bed, deeply afraid. The faint light from my carousel night light cast long spindly shadows across my bedroom. “What is it?” said my mom as she entered my room, opening the door cautiously. “I’m scared” I said, as I brought my head from beneath the covers ever so slightly. Comfortingly she came into my room to sit with me. “It’s just thunder” she assured me as I lay there telling her my fears. She neatly fixed the covers around me as I asked her to leave my bedroom door open. The light from the hallway was always a comforting sight. “You’re a big boy now” she’d say, “it’s important that you learn to act like one.”
I sat up and looked at my mom, whispering. “I don’t like the dark, that’s when he comes out.” She looked at me with warmth in her eyes and a smile on her face. “Honey” she said “there’s just you, your dad and me here. It’s just a story, ok? Nobody’s coming out to get you.” She patted me reassuringly on the head. “But…” I began to protest. “Don’t worry” said my mom, interrupting my protestation, “I’ll prove to you that there’s nothing to be afraid of.”
She got off of the bed where she sat and bend down on one knee, lifting the bed sheet high enough to look under my bed. “Nothing down here but a few toys” she said, “do you want to look for yourself?” I shook my head emphatically no. Beneath my bed was one of the last places I wanted to see in the middle of the night.
The lightning outside my bedroom window continued to flash brightly, followed by the rolling sounds of thunder. “I’ll leave the door open for you a little” she said, just so I’d feel safe. “Ok” I said, nodding my head excitedly; glad to have that one comfort at night. She got up and kissed me on the forehead, leaving my room with the door cracked, as she’d promised.
The light from the hallway, streamed into my bedroom, almost battling back the feeling of gloom that had caused me to call for my mom. I started to feel safe, I started to feel secure. I knew that if anything happened, my parents would hear me and they would come save me. They always did. Maybe it was that feeling of overt security; that feeling that I was completely safe no matter what that called its attention. Maybe it was always paying attention. Always waiting in the dark for the right time. Or maybe it was all a vivid nightmare.
When my mom left the room, the long shadows cast by my night light continued as they had even before she left the room. It was ok though. I was safe. I nestled my head into my pillow and started to forget the worries of the night. The storm outside continued. As I lay there peacefully, almost drifting off to sleep, my bedroom door slowly began to close; shutting me away from that comforting light in the hallway.
I looked around the room, anxiously. “Mommy!” I yelled, hoping she would hear me beyond my eerily closed bedroom door. My only answer was the creeping darkness in my room. My closet door slowly crept open; groaning with every inch till it stopped moving all together. The blue and red toy robot on my bedroom floor turned on, walking mechanically towards my bed. Its small circular eyes lit up with each step it took. Then it suddenly stopped, falling over onto its side. “Mommy, mommy!” I cried as loud as I could, but she never came. There was only the cold silence of the dark in my room. The cold, hungry silence right before an animal pounces on its prey.
A noise beneath my bed made me gasp as I pulled my sheets closer. ‘He’s under my bed’ I thought. I gathered what little courage I had and reached out for the flashlight on my night stand. It wasn’t powerful by any means, but it was a little beacon in the ocean of shadows and darkness that was my bedroom. Slowly, as quiet as I could, slipped over the side of my bed, lifting my sheets so I could peer beneath my bed. It was as dark as the rest of my bedroom, no, it was darker. It was like a sea of ink. I clicked on my flashlight, shining it back and forth slowly beneath my bed. It was just my imagination. There was nothing but a few toys I’d been too lazy to put away.
The lightning flashed again, accompanied by a crash of thunder louder than when the storm had begun. That’s when my closet door began to open even more, till it was completely open. The darkness inside was complete. I could see neither my clothes nor my shoes; only the darkness. I heard it long before I ever saw it. A long scratching sound came from inside the closet, as if long nails scraped against something hard. The sound lasted only for a few moments, and then stopped, just as suddenly as it started. It was as if it was playing a game with me. It knew I was afraid.
“Mommy!” I cried out, again. I hoped that eventually she would hear me; that she would run into the room, opening the door and dispel the darkness that it lived in; sending it away…for another night. I heard a deep almost raspy breathing, coming from the closet. I shined my flashlight into the darkness of my closet, but the light seemed unable to penetrate it. My flashlight started to short out. I shook it, hoping that somehow that would stop the light from dying, but it didn’t. I pulled the covers up above my head as quickly as I could. I remembered what I’d been told the night before… it couldn’t hurt me if I was underneath the covers. I never bothered to ask how a few flimsy bed sheets could protect me from the horror that had taken up residence in my closet.
I could try to be brave. I could try to leap out of my bed and run for the door, but would I make it. Maybe it wanted me to try. Maybe that was a part of its sick game. As soon as I would leave the safety of my bed and my covers, it would grab at me, snatching me up into the waiting darkness to who knows what fate.
All around my room, there was silence. Then a scurrying sound replaced the silence. It was to the left of me, then the right of me. Then it sounded as if it came from everywhere all at once. I could almost feel it’s hot, sickly breath on me through the covers. It smelled like dead things. I lay there, imaging what creature could cause such a smell as I saw its shadow almost on top of me. It’s shadow, that’s all I could make out. Not its face, eyes or any other thing. I dared not pull the covers from over my head. Fear gripped me tight in its vice-like grip. As I lay there, image after image filled my mind of what it was waiting for me beyond my covers, but I refused to budge.
The shadow over top of me vanished, along with its heavy, dead breath. I thought heard my bedroom door opening. I could see a glimpse of light from the hallway, that beacon of safety. “Danny, why’re you hiding underneath the covers?” my mom asked me. ‘She came’ I thought to myself, ‘I’m saved.’ I slowly pulled the covers from above my head, and then froze. The bedroom door wasn’t open. My mom wasn’t standing there ready to comfort me. It was a trick. I dared to look around the room from where I lay and that’s when I saw it, or part of it at least. It was waiting, still in the closet.
My covers quickly slipped from my grasp as they were pulled from my bed. I was left defenseless. “Mommy!” I yelled at the top of my lungs, but the sound seemed to never leave the room. I strained my ears listening. Trying to hear some movement from the hallway. I couldn’t see it all that well, but it reached for me from the darkness of my closet. It’s long arms and sharp clawed hands; and it grabbed me…pulling me into the darkness of the closet.
I clenched my eyes tightly closed as tears rolled down my cheeks. My small fists swinging frantically to fend off the thing from my closet. I yelled and yelled till my voice was nothing more than a thin whisper. “Danny? Danny!” I heard, as I continued to swing away at the thing that had me. “Danny!” I heard again. It was my mother and father, or was it another trick, some part of its game? I wanted to show it that I wasn’t afraid, that I could face it, but I was afraid and it knew I was. Hands grabbed me, lightly, cautiously. They were warm and a little calloused, but not claws. They were familiar.
I chanced opening my eyes, though I never stopped swinging, hoping I would hit it at least once before it took me away. I was halfway in the my closet, my bedroom lights on. When I looked around, there were my parents, gently pulling me out of the closet. “What’s going on?” my dad asked, the look on his face showing as much worry as the look on my mom’s. “Huh?” I asked as I slowly dropped my small hands; unclenching my fists. “What’re you doing on the floor, half way in the closet?” they asked me. “We walked by your room and heard you screaming up a storm” said my mom.
They helped me up off of the floor and put me back to bed, the entire time, my eyes always on the closet; always looking, waiting for something to happen…even when they closed the closet door. When I finally calmed down, I told them what happened and as usual, they reassured me that it was all just my imagination. My dad left to get me a glass of water, leaving just my mom and me in the room. She came over to sit down on the bed, by me. I jumped up quickly to hug her, and I hugged her tight. “You’ve got to grow out of this” she said, patting my hair as the hug had ended. No matter how many times I would tell her what happened and how real it was, she just wouldn’t understand. She just wouldn’t believe me.
While she sat on my bed, talking to me, I noticed the doorknob to my closet slowly turn. I swallowed hard as I watched the door slowly creak open. My jaw dropped as I started pointing to the closet. “What?” my mom asked, “What is it?” Inside my closet the darkness had returned. I could barely get out the words “the…closet” as my mom turned around to see what had me so frightened. “The closet?” she asked. “This again? Danny, it’s just the wind from your window making the door open” she said. She glanced slightly at my bedroom window then she was quiet for a long minute. After that, I saw what looked like recognition in her eyes. It must have clicked in that instant. “Danny?” she asked, “is your window closed?” I nodded my head yes.
At that, the door stopped moving; it was wide open now. My mom was silent, as if she was listening for something, something she only half heard. The light in my bedroom began to flicker. “It’s” said my mom, pausing as if to reassure herself more than me of her next words “just a circuit or something. I’ll have your dad look at it in the morning. With her last word, the lights in the bedroom went out completely and the bedroom door slowly closed. “Danny” my mom whispered, “go get your dad. Run” Her voice was shaky, like a frightened child. I moved off of the bed and ran as quickly as I could to my bedroom door. “Dad!” I yelled at the top of my lungs, “it’s mom, hurry up; quick!” I heard the sound of glass breaking come from the downstairs kitchen as my dad ran for the stairs.
As I left my room, I only heard crying; it was my mom. I turned around in the hallway and saw her standing there at the foot of my bed, staring at the closet. Dad finally made it upstairs as he looked at my mom with confusion in his eyes. “Becky?” said dad, why’re you standing in the dark?” All my mom could do was cry. “Becky?” he repeated. I didn’t understand the look on her face then, but now I think she was apologizing for not believing me, though I could be wrong. The bedroom was so dark, we couldn’t see what pulled her onto the floor, but we saw her fall, then she was dragged into the closet. My dad yelled and screamed her name as he ran into my room to save my mom from what, he didn’t know.
By now, she was halfway in the closet, my dad grabbing onto her hand, trying to pull her back out of the closet and to himself. When my dad looked up, I guess he saw what had mom because he stopped calling yelling her name and started pulling even harder. I’d never seen my dad so determined before or so frightened. I was too afraid to move from the hallway where I stood. As my dad stood there, pulling, trying to free my mom he was pushed back onto the bed, hitting his head on my bedroom wall. I tried to move. I wanted to help him. I wanted to help them both, but there was nothing I could do.
My mom was pulled into the closet as she screamed. It was a sound I’ve never been able to forget, no matter how hard I’ve tried. My dad tried to groggily get off of the bed but was pulled down onto the floor with a loud thud. As he tried to claw his way to safety, he was yanked into my closet, his hands bloodied just like the scratches he left on my bedroom floor. I backed away from my bedroom, too afraid to make a sound, then I ran for the bathroom across the hall; turning on the light and shutting the door. I made sure it was locked. I heard a loud slamming sound, like a door had been slammed shut. I’ve cried a lot as a little kid, but never have I cried like I did that night. As I sat in the bathtub, clinging onto the shower curtain I don’t remember having stopped crying.
I don’t know how long I sat in that tub for, but eventually it was early morning. I could tell from the sunshine coming in through the bathroom window. Cautiously I climbed out of the bathtub and went towards the bathroom door, putting my ear up against it. I could hear what sounded like sirens and people talking. There was a knock at the bathroom door, causing me to jump back. “This is the police” I heard from the other side of the door. “My name’s officer Dennis and this is officer Sommers. Is there anyone in the bathroom?” “I am” I said, my voice weak and my throat dry from crying. “What was that?” I heard one of the officers ask the other. I unlocked the door, slowly turning the knob and there on the other side were two police officers.
“My name’s Danny” I told them, my voice just a whisper by then. “Danny” one of them said, “where are your parents?” “Gone” I told them. “He took them.” “He?” they replied. “He” I said, pausing. I wanted to tell them about the closet and what really happened to my mom and dad, but I knew he wouldn’t believe me. My parents didn’t believe me till it was too late. So I told them I didn’t know, that I thought I heard the angry voice of a man I didn’t know and I ran into the bathroom, locking the door. I don’t know if they believed me or not, but I never changed my story.
They ushered me out of the bathroom and as they did, something caught my attention. I turned around to look at the bathroom door and there were scratch marks all across it; deep scratch marks, from claws. In the middle of the door there was just one single word. “SOON”
So, the next time your son or daughter complains about something in the night, don’t dismiss it. Don’t ignore it. There’s only one thing to do. Run. I wish my mom and dad would have.
“He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.” – Stephen King