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Rated: E · Short Story · Family · #1387189
It swallows its victims in one gulp, and Andrew Halsey knows the only way to free them.
The Attack of the Lump Monster!
It’s been attacking since before we were born, swallowing its victims in one gulp. There is only one way to free said victims, and Andrew Halsey knows just the way to do it.

Andrew set down the wrench and leaned out from under the kitchen sink as he heard the front door open. Hearing the sound of rustling plastic and shuffling feet, he realized his wife Toni and son Jackson were back from doing a lot of shopping.

“Babe, no peeking!” Toni called from somewhere near the front of the house. “I bought your birthday present today and I need time to hide it!”

“Can I snitch it from Jackson?” he called back.


He chuckled, hearing Jackson’s five-year-old laugh.

Her fading voice answered him. “You could try, but it wouldn’t work.”

Andrew smiled. He’d never get tired of their birthday teases with each other. Though, that was nothing compared to Jackson’s excitement as the days counted down to Christmas.

Well, he’d probably given Toni plenty of time to hide his present.


He watched, waited in silence as the birthday present was hidden in the bright pink box under the bed, the one place the birthday boy would never dare look.

"Now, Jackson, don't you tell daddy what his present is. Or where it's hidden. He'll try everything he can think of to get you to tell him." She wiggled a finger. "Don't say a word!"

"Promise, mommy!"


Andrew entered the bedroom and paused. He stared at the bed for a moment.


“What?” Toni called from the bathroom.

“Did you buy that body pillow you wanted?”

“No,” came the confused reply. “Why?”

Andrew grinned. “Then we have a lump on our bed.”

“Oh do we now?”

The lump twitched, and Andrew thought he heard a small snicker. His grin widened.

“Yeah. Guess the lump monster’s back.”

“Oh, dear!” Andrew heard the feigned fear in her voice. “It must have eaten Jackson, because he was on the bed just a minute ago.”

Andrew gasped. The lump twitched little more and began to giggle. “Oh, it’s a giggly lumpy monster!” He slowly approached the bed.

The lump tried to suppress its giggles, but it still shook with silent laughter. Andrew sat on the bed and began to speak.

“Now you listen here, Mr. Lumpy Monster,” he announced. “You have eaten our son Jackson and that just won’t do! So you give him back right now.”

The part of the lump near the pillow wiggled, clearly indicating that the answer was “no.”

“Hmm.” Andrew scratched his head, then smiled. “Well, then, I guess I’ll just…” his hands crept toward the lump, “have to…” he wiggled his fingers; “tickle you!!!”

He pounced on the lump, fingers flying. The lump shrieked with child-like laughter.

“Give him back, Lumpy!” Give my Jackson back!”

“No!” The lump laughed.

“I’ll tickle you more!” he threatened.

Toni bounced on the other side of the lump and joined in the attack.

“Give my boy back,” she demanded.

The tickling and laughing continued for nearly a minute until –

“Mommy!” it gasped. “Daddy! Stop!”

The parents stopped at once and Toni pulled back the blanket to see Jackson red-faced and gasping for breath.

“Jackson, you’re back!” she cried.

“Silly mommy,” Jackson replied once he could breathe again. “I didn’t go anywhere.”

“But there was a lump on the bed and you had disappeared,” Andrew remarked.

“Nuh-uh! I was here the whole time!”

Andrew just grinned and pulled his son into a hug. He’d loved these “Lump Monster” games since he was younger than Jackson. And now that it had passed onto the next generation, he would enjoy them again, but as the recipient of the “attacks.”

But when would the next Lump Monster attack come?
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