The Monster Under My Bed

liz2-800pxLike most kids, I had a monster living under my bed.

He was large with green metallic scales that shimmered in the dark and eyes that cast a ghostly yellow glow against the wall.

He liked to slowly rake his half-moon claws across the floor just remind me that he was there.

“Are you asleep yet?” he would hiss.

Which is why I never closed my eyes at night.

“Why don’t you eat one of my brothers instead?” I asked.

“Because they told me to eat YOU,” he cackled.

As time passed, I realized he probably would not eat me, so I learned to ignore his threats. But he merely shifted gears; instead of threatening me directly, he played on the fears I brought to bed with me.

“You didn’t do your homework, did you?”

“No,” I confessed.

“Sister Alice is going to shake you like a rat when she finds out.”

And he was right.

Over the years, his threats lost their sting. By my early twenties, I thought it was kind of psychedelic to have a monster under my bed and we became the best of friends. We partied together, traveled together and did things together that make me shudder when I think about them today..

One time when a couple of bikers invited us on a trip into the Utah desert, he told me not to ride with them.

“Why not?” I asked.

“They’re monsters,” he said.

“How do you know?”

“It takes one to know one.”

In time he went his way and I went mine but now after all these years, my old friend has moved back under my bed

He still doesn’t reveal much of himself – just the ghostly yellow glow of his eyes reflecting off the wall and the familiar rattle of his claws against the floor as he whispers to me.

“That tightness in your chest,” he hisses, “think about it.”

“I do,” I whisper.

“Do you know what it is?”

“No,” I say.

“It’s nothing,” he growls. “but that pain lower down, now that is something to worry about.”

Author: Almost Iowa

30 thoughts on “The Monster Under My Bed”

  1. This cracked me up, Greg. Really good. I wondered, BTW, when you described doing things together in your twenties, if the monster was about to evolve into Stan!

  2. hehe hilarious! Your monster may have saved your life convincing you not to go out with those bikers! I wish my monster gave good advice… she’s all like “Go on, that guy covered in blood is sooo not a serial killer, you’ll be fine!”

  3. I don’t have any monsters under the bed, but I do have a cat who occasionally refuses to let me into my bed. There’s something about my occasional trips that seems to irritate her. This time, I was gone Tuesday-Saturday, and my gosh: such hissing and swatting and general bad temper I’ve not seen since the last time I tried to go away.

    Ah, well. I can sleep on the sofa for a night. Besides, I’m the one who doles out the food, and an empty dish works wonders. “Don’t feed the monster” might be a pretty good, all-purpose slogan.

  4. I loved this. I used to dream about a Tickle Monster–sorta like Mr. Bubble–and learned to wake myself up by screaming. Unfortunately, that trick carried over long after Tickle Monster went away. I have been told I sound like an air-raid siren when I have bad dreams.

  5. Funny post! Most kids must have monsters under the bed. This reminds me of “Monsters, Inc.” which was hilarious!

  6. My monster used to drink a lot. If you’ve never experienced a monster with a hangover, it is truly an awesome experience. Of course, if you’ve experienced him after a long night of drinking and he threw up all over the place, that is really something you want to avoid. Once I asked him just what he drank, he said, “Moonshine.” As I grew into my teen years, he changed addictions. I don’t know where he was getting the drugs he was using, but he just wasn’t the same pleasant drunk he used to be. He got downright mean. That was why no one had to tell me to “just say no”.

  7. I send my monsters to the screened porch and tell them they can stay if they want, but I won’t entertain them. (Giving them something to drink only encourages them to stay, so that really isn’t a good idea.) In truth that doesn’t work as well in the summer as it does in the winter. But usually they give up pretty easily and then I sleep well. (This is truth. It’s a strategy I developed a couple of years ago when the monsters were especially cruel.)

        1. Hey thanks, Melanie, hope you had a great day and enjoy a relaxing weekend. Here in Almost Iowa, my wife has taken off with her quilting buddies, leaving me and Scooter to finish off the leftovers. Scooter is in heaven…. he has turkey juice in his dog food and fresh straw in the kennel. Life doesn’t get better than that.

    1. Shhhhhhh, don’t give the DNR any ideas. We already have a Minnesota State Mosquito Preserve, I’d hate to think what they would do for monsters. Of course, I doubt if they could hold their own against our snapping turtles.

    1. In my original draft I had a paragraph that read:

      “When my daughter was born, I chased him down to the furnace room to keep him from terrorizing her. It didn’t work. While you can keep your monsters away from your children, you can’t keep them from finding monsters of their own.”

  8. Great job. You captured our fears so well and made us laugh. Just remember not not to give your monster beer. Dragons get really rowdy when they drink beer. sd

    1. I try to keep him on the sober side but someone or something has been nipping at Finnegans and Loonshine. It’s either Scooter or my old buddy. Scooter has been sleeping late for awhile and I attributed that to the straw I piled in his run…. Hmmmm

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