Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Thing Under the Bed

The Thing Under The Bed
By Michael Cannata  

He woke with a start, cold sweat running down his face and chest. He lay still, listening for the sound again. He was alone in the house. There shouldn't be anyone moving around at this hour. But still…The sound seemed close, as though it came from inside his bedroom. A slithering sort of sound.

Memories of when he was a little boy came flooding back with terror. He'd lived in crippling fear of monsters under the bed. He was convinced there was a door that opened into a world of horrible creatures lurking in the dark. Creatures that were waiting for just the right time to snatch him away.

His father would come running, alarmed by his screams. He'd check all the places monsters could hide; especially, under his bed. Despite his patience, there were times his angry father would give him a spanking, leaving him even more frightened.

The feelings of terror came back that night. He was sure the noise came from under his bed. He was a grown man. He knew monsters weren't real, but, that didn’t make him feel any better. He tried to dismiss the fear. Yet, despite reasoning, he couldn't get back to sleep. What if it wasn't his imagination?

He got up and walked around the room. He checked the closets and the hall outside. The house was still, as it should be. He sat on the edge of his bed as a shudder of fear shook his body. There were no such things as monsters or creatures under the bed! How foolish was the thought? In spite of knowing, he had to be sure. He got down on his knees and lifted the covers, peering beneath the bed.

He looked at the long plastic container hidden in the shadows. He reached in and pulled it out. It was the only place he hadn't checked. He knew he wouldn't get any sleep until he did. Slowly, fearfully, he raised the lid. A breath of relief escaped his lungs.  He was right. There was no monster under the bed.

Whatever he thought he heard, it wasn't coming from under his bed. The dismembered body of his wife was lying still and motionless, just as he left it. Even so, he'd be sure to get rid of the body in the morning. He didn't need to suffer another night like this.

Finally, satisfied he was safe, the monster climbed back into bed.

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