Small Monsters


James’s Note: I love the idea of monsters as protectors. I’ve read stories were the monster has to save it’s kid from a human villain. This one is a little different. It’s also about underdogs, which is another soft spot of mine.


Johnie’s house is full of monsters. None of us are too scary. I mean, we’re all small monsters. 

There’s the one that wheezes and moans that lives in the closet. There’s the one that drags chains across the attic floor. Then there’s me. I live under Johnie’s bed.

Every night, Johnie leaps into bed so I can’t grab his ankle. I’m the reason he never sticks his foot out from under the covers, no matter how hot it is. Sometimes if he feels really brave, he’ll peek under the bed. When he does, he’ll see my glowing red eyes. I mean, I am mostly eyes. And hands. And teeth.

One night I was creeping around the house while Johnie was asleep. Sometimes I hide his Mom’s car keys. Sometimes I raid the fridge. As I was peering out the window, I saw a black figure skitter up the driveway. It was huge, but slung low and long, like the shadow of a tiger. I watched as it flattened itself impossibly and crept under the door.

My blood would have run cold, if I had any. That was a monster. Not a small one like me or the guy in the closet. That was a real one. I crept silently to the stairs and peered through the rail at it.

It had a gray, gaunt face with hollow black eyes and mottled, patchy skin. It’s claws clicked as it crawled up the stairs. Oh god, it was heading to Johnie’ s room.

I didn’t know this thing specifically, but I knew it’s type. It would do something horrible to Johnie. Maybe it would eat his insides and leave the hollowed out husk in bed with his parents. Maybe it would paralyze him and swallow him from the feet up. Maybe it would crawl inside him and make him do horrible things. Whatever it did, it wouldn’t be good.

My hands shook and my teeth chattered. I did the only thing I could think of. I ran back to Johnnie’’s room and hid under the bed. The door creaked open and the thing slithered into his room. It reared up, almost touching the ceiling, and loomed over Johnny’s bed. I could just see its feet from my hiding place.

I was so afraid, but I had to do something. Yeah, I scared Johnny, but he was MY boy. As the thing was reaching out to pull back the covers, I gritted all my teeth. I knew what I had to do.

I might only be a small monster, but I was a bed monster, and this was my bed.

I reached out and wrapped my long fingers around the monster’s ankle. I have a lot of fingers. It growled and hissed, noticing me for the first time. It tried to jerk it’s foot away, but it couldn’t. My grip was like iron. After all, I am mostly hands.

The monster started thrashing as I jerked it off its feet and started pulling it under the bed. It lashed me with its claws and screamed silently as I drug it into my darkness. It tried to fight me, to rip me apart like it would a human, but with one great crunch it was over. After all, I am mostly teeth.

In the morning, Danny’s mom scolded him for the weird stain on his bedroom carpet. She also got mad about all the missing Oreos, but she blamed that on his dad. The Oreos were me too.

I’m glad everything worked out okay. Danny’s my boy and no one gets to scare him but me.

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