Don’t Scare Her
“There’s no such thing as monsters,” her mother assured her, tucking her into her bed and planting a kiss on her forehead.
The little girl protested. “But I saw –”
“Now, Sweetie, that was just a bad dream. Now, good-night, sleep-tight.”
“Don’t let the bed-bugs bite,” the girl replied. Her mother left the room and shut the door behind her.
Just as she was drifting off, there was a bump in the night.
The girl sat upright and scanned the darkened bedroom. Seeing no monsters, she reluctantly lay back down and forced her eyes shut.
“Wait ‘til she’s asleep,” whispered one of the things in the girl’s closet.
She heard the voice, just barely, and pulled the blankets closer to her chest. “There’s no such thing as monsters!” she said loudly, as if to ward off anything that would seek to challenge that notion.
The things in the closet rolled their many eyes.
She fell asleep. Her closet door opened a crack. After a brief pause, out tip-toed a skeleton, followed closely by a large furry thing with sharp claws, half a dozen spiders, and a bewildered bat.
The skeleton raised one bony finger and crept towards her bed. “She’s asleep now,” he whispered.
“Finally,” groaned the Thing.
“Well, don’t go and wake her up again!” snapped the Bat. The spiders chittered.
“Stop bickering and help me,” hissed the Skeleton, pointing towards the locked bedroom window. “I don’t have the muscle for this.”
The Thing walked to the window and wrenched it open wide enough for his comrades to escape, before taking several minutes to force his own body through. On the way out, his foot brushed by and knocked over a glass figurine on the bedside table. The skeleton cringed.
After the three monsters were safely positioned on the roof and the window had been gingerly shut, the bat and the Furry Thing turned to glare at their companion.
“Do we have to go through this production every night?”
The skeleton shrugged. “It’s the polite thing to do. We wouldn’t want to scare her.”
And thus, the monsters scuttled off and committed a number of dreadful deeds, as they did every night. In the grey hours before dawn, they would slink home, as they did every morning. And no harm would come to the child.
Madison McSweeney is a writer and poet from Ottawa, Canada. She has published horror and fantasy stories in Deadman’s Tome, Unnerving Magazine, Women in Horror Annual Vol. 2, and Dark Horizons: An Anthology of Dark Science Fiction, as well as Zombie Punks F*** Off (due for release later this year) and the upcoming summer issue of Polar Borealis. Her poetry has appeared in The Fulcrum and in the forthcoming Cockroach Conservatory, Vol. 1. She blogs atmadisonmcsweeney.com, mainly about genre fiction and the Canadian music scene.