Every night is the same old room with the same four walls. They're porcelain white, or at least they once were. Now they are faded and grey, and cracked with years of wear. The floor isn't as sleek as it once was, and the wood is split with dirt in its creases. There's an old dresser against a wall with knobs like little black buttons. Next to it there's a plastic nightstand with clear drawers stuffed with toys. There's only one mirror in the room, a long squarish one near the closet. It's framed in one of those cheap plastic frames spray painted gold. There's a box by the foot of the bed, again stuffed with toys. There's toy trucks and stuffed animals and wind-up robots of all sorts. A nightlight hangs by the door and gives off this annoying dim, green glow.


My nights of sleep used to be quite undisturbed. I would come here and find impeccable slumber. My comings and goings were wrought with the most repugnant of business, making for days that were execrable at best. My mind, sodden with fretting, would finally find its rest here. For a time that was true, and I was at peace. I would lay down and the night was quiet. The walls were silent.

However, somewhere in time things began to change. Something happened in the night I became keenly aware of. At the brink of dusk, the door of the room would slam open and the blinding light of the ceiling fan would smack me awake. Even now I feel myself cringing at the thought of it. But that wasn't the worst part. There was often a pitter-patter of small feet upon the ground. I would catch glimpses of it through the overhang of sheets that draped down towards the floor. They were thin little feet with skin like milked flesh. Each night it was the same time. The pitter-patter-pitter-patter. I would hear its fleshy heels against the hardwood floor. Then its meaty little hands would grab hold of the covers and hoist itself above me onto the mattress. I would feel my heart thump against my chest, hoping it had not caught eye of my form lying there where the dust bunnies gathered.

The springs above my head would shift and cackle. The creature would toss and turn in the covers above, no matter how much it seemed to unnerve me. The lights would go out at some point and a silence fell upon the air. Some nights I would feel more adventurous than others. I would slither out from my resting place and venture to gaze upon the creature in its full malignancy. I had a grim sense of curiosity and an impulse that I often let lead me. I gingerly clawed my way out onto the floor and rose my eyes above the bed. Sometimes that was all it took to frighten me. My stomach would turn like a vat of hot acid was being shook and shook and shook. I would sometimes want to vomit.

The thing would lie there sprawled across the sheets in a sunken pit of its own warmth. Its two legs would sometimes slither under the covers, and sometimes not. Its body was chiseled gaunt with little grappling feelers on the ends of its hands and a fuzzy black patch of fur upon its bobbling head. Its eyes were big and closed under care of fleshy eyelids, but it would sometimes open them and look at me. Big and blue, those eyes were. Like a winter's wretched scourge or ice trickling from the rooftops. I would slink back to my cavity as the mouth of the thing opened, releasing a shrill little mew and jerked its body upward.

There was a thump-thump-thump that I reviled in every sense of the word. When I heard that sound I recoiled into the deepest depths of my secret crevice and watched the door swing open with a loud bang. The bright white light would fill the room and two hulking feet would dance through, creaking the floor boards beneath them with the sheer size of the thing. Those feet were enormous. They stomped next to my face, sometimes. The heels were hard and chiseled and the feelers on the ends of the feet were longer and more bendy. I would hear the smaller creature on the bed making a strange murmur, quickly and hastily. The bigger one would come to its side and whisper in a soft tone, which seemed so odd for a beast of its magnitude. I sometimes wished to reach out and touch the thing, just to see what it felt like. What little wisdom I had urged me dearly not to, and I hearkened to its warning. I slunk deep into my hole, curling myself into what tiny ball I could. I found myself shaking and quaking like a frigid icicle hanging in the wind. It was all too much for me to handle.

Finally the beast had gone away and the white light had faded. The door closed slowly behind it and I could hear the thump-thump-thump trailing away. I would wait a while for the thing to settle back down, to stop tossing and turning again. With each crackling of the springs above me, I could feel myself shrinking into another pit of fear. My body went numb. A cold kind of numb. Numbly, then, I once more snaked out from my hiding place and reached up to the top of the mattress, pulling myself slowly up to get another look.

It was hard not to tear into the sheets with my talons as I hoisted myself up so quietly, but I managed to get by. I watched the beast sleep there some more, its chest going up and down with each breath. I wanted nothing more than to shrivel away and die upon watching it slobber away upon its pillow. It filled me with such a despair. I just wanted to sleep peacefully. Alone. Unbothered. Yet, no such tranquility was but nigh. More and more fright filled me with every small movement of the creature. It tossed again. Thinking I had woke it, I slithered back down behind the mattress. I could only imagine what harm would come about me should it wake once more and call for the larger one.

My tail curled around the knob of the bed's foot, and I kept myself suspended there for a time. I watched the monster silently sleep atop the bed, its patch of fur swirling in the breeze of the ceiling fan. I hated it. I wanted it to leave. To move. To get out. It had been so long since I had slept so peacefully. It seemed to taunt me with how restful it looked. I felt my eyes growing tired, filling dully with the thick sensation of weariness. I wanted nothing more than to slither upon the mattress and sink into its softness. But the beast would never let me. I grew so envious in my longing that I began to grow daringly close. My hatred had so pivoted me that I dared to touch the sheets again. I grew nearer. Nearer still. Then I was just next to the creature.

I wanted to touch it. But should I? Was it right? Would I invoke harm upon myself? What could this thing do to me? Or much more so, what could the bigger one do? I ran my fingers across its porcelain face, the ends of my claws trickling down its slender form. Then its eyes erupted again. My ears ignited with the shriek that blasted from its tiny, twisted face. Before the lights could engulf the room, I slunk deep again into my chasm of shadow and dust, curling up beyond old shoes and boxes against the wall. The door swung open. The beast had entered. I hid down in my favorite place, down where the dust bunnies gather.

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