|Don’t Look Under the Bed
Tommy Gross was nine years old when he learned why you don’t look under the bed.
He was an only child with two good parents, he loved soccer and video games. His favorite books were Goosebumps and he was really into horror. He had a vivid imagination and so putting all these interests together he was somewhat a fraidy cat. He wasn’t fond of the dark so going to bed was a challenge, he always had to look in every cranny, closet, and hidden spot before he felt safe. Even then he was still spooked. Whenever he went to bed he left his door ajar to let the kitchen light (which was on till his parents went to bed) shine in.
It started out like any other night, Tommy had brushed his teeth and gotten ready and climbed in to bed. Before long he began to let his mind wander. Thoughts appeared ranging from songs to food, TV to school, one stuck with him, a story he had heard somewhere, about the monster under the bed.
The story as he remembered it was about a boy his age who wasn’t afraid of anything. One stormy night the boy heard a noise ruffling under the bed. He decided to look under and find out what was making it. He was never seen again. What was it that lurked down underneath his bed? Of course it was just a silly story, an old urban legend.
The idea still frightened Tommy. What if a monster did lurk under the bed waiting for him to fall asleep? Tommy pulled the blanket up higher. He tried to think about nice TV shows, but that didn’t help (Are You Afraid of the Dark?). The monster still was there, under the bed, in his mind. Time passed it wasn’t going away, it seemed like it had been hours. It was waiting for him. Tommy decided he had to do something, he rose and climbed to the end of his bed and jumped off. Far enough away from the bed that the monster couldn’t reach out and grab him.
Tommy thought, ‘If I go to my parents, nothing will happen, but it will just come back later. I have to stop it once and for all.’
He prepared himself for the worst, not knowing what to expect. He was on his own, no one and nothing to help him. He had only his fists to protect him. He took one step forward with caution, another step, he took a breath. Tommy bent down; he peered under the lining, nothing. He reached out, arm shaking, and lifted it ready to see a big, slimy, one-eyed, sharp-toothed, clawing, beast. He coward back in fear to the corner with out even taking a look.
Tommy began again. He approached again just as the first time. He lifted the lining and this time looked. It wasn’t a slimy monster wanting to get him. It was a boy with a distorted face and body. The boy stared back at Tommy. He had the same face as him, only distorted. Tommy jumped away and let out a little scream. He returned to the lining. The boy was chained to the floor in shackles. The boy tried to speak but could only mouth a few non-understandable words.
“Who are you,” Tommy asked.
The boy pointed at Tommy.
“Me?” Tommy shook his head.
The boy nodded yes though. Tommy edged closer to him. None of it made much sense to him, what ever the truth was, it seemed bad. Tommy was close enough to smell the boy’s breath, it was worse than bad milk. The boy shot his head right at Tommy and snapped his teeth an inch from Tommy’s nose. Tommy pulled his head back from beneath the bed and squirmed on his back into the corner never taking his eyes off the bed. He heard the boy shaking violently and rattling the chains and feared for his life all night in that corner.
It was later when his mother heard the noise coming from Tommy’s room and decided to check in on him. She found him slumped in the corner asleep. She picked him up and carried him back to his bed. “How’d you get there?” she asked the sleeping child, and then kissed him on his forehead.
Tommy found himself in his bed when he awoke. What had happened he wondered.
From that day forward Tommy Gross never looked under the bed. He knew that if he did he would find himself and all the bad and ugly of the world.