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The Monster Under Her Bed





The Monster Under Her Bed

 

Familiar white baseboards first caught her eye as she looked around the dimly lit bedroom, trying to place the sound that woke her. The faint outline of a rocking-horse partly obscured her view, but Jenny could still make out the figure of a gnarled tree branch pressing its leafy fingers against the window, followed by the unmistakable sound of heavy breathing and a soft rustling.

 
There was a sound, she thought to herself as goose-flesh covered her back. Oh god there was a sound!

 
She turned over quietly to face the closet. Jenny had seen it before peering at her from behind the closet door, its eyes focused on her. But it was not there now, nor was it hiding behind the open bedroom door. Maybe monsters were more afraid of her than she was of them, just like daddy said.

 
“Daddy, I think there’s something in my room,” she remembered telling him yesterday, shaking.

 
“Closet monsters again?”

 
Jenny had nodded in assent before following him back into her bedroom.

 
“You know,” her father had said, smoothing Jenny’s hair with automatic fingers, “the monsters might be scared of you. They might have run away when they saw how big and strong and brave you are.”
 

“No,” she had answered him playfully, shaking her head and laughing.

 
“They’re even more afraid of you than you are of them!”

 
But no sooner did Jenny begin to entertain her dad’s theory than something let out a soft cry, followed by the sound of bedsprings contracting and expanding.

 
Oh my god, she thought to herself, her heart pounding. It’s there! The monster is up there, right above me!
 

Jenny crept further beneath the bed where the night was darker. Her hair stood on end as she heard it sit up, rustle the sheets, and shriek.

 
“Mommy! Daddy,” it yelled. “There’s a monster under my bed!”

 
Alexander Slotkin

 

Alexander Slotkin is a flash-fiction writer and graduate student pursuing a Master of Arts in English at Northeastern University. His fiction has been featured in Literary Juice, HelloHorror, Blood Moon Rising, Mulberry Fork Review, Insanity's Horse, and The RavensPerch.

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