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It has bloodshot red eyes that stare at you, and a painted face of red and blue. Its smile is the worst. When it smiles it shows its teeth, all yellow and uneven. Its breath smells horrid, all foul and unclean. Its hair is wild and stands out in all directions.
I hate the monster that lives under my bed. My dad says there is no such thing as monsters, but what would he know? He never stays in my room. He hasn’t had to deal with the leering face or the foul smelling breath. I hate going to bed. I know its there. Its waiting for me to fall asleep, then it will creep about my room, watching me and muttering terrible things. It thinks I don’t understand. It has a really bad temper. It swears a lot and grinds its teeth, then it clatters about. I hide in my blankets and pretend to be asleep. It doesn’t bother me if it thinks I’m asleep. Oh it tests me. It prods me and leans over me, whispering in my ear. Its stink oozes from it, and I pretend to be asleep . The only time I like to go to bed is when I stay at dads. There is no monster, only a fluffy cat that likes to sleep under my bed. I like the cat, it’s warm and soft, not like that thing under my bed at Mums.
Sometimes at home I lay awake, listening to the TV in the lounge below, and hear my mom and her friends giggling at something or other. They are safe sounds and I listen a lot; but then I know there is a monster under my bed, so if they keep giggling and laughing it won’t come out. It doesn’t like laughter, but it will come, I know. I’ve seen it lots. Only I see it. My dad says it’s because I have an over imaginative brain. But it’s not that. It’s just I know the monster lives under my bed. Sometimes I wish the monster would just leave, but I know it won’t. Its part of my life now and I have to get used to it. I just wish it wasn’t so scary. I can’t wait until the school holidays. I’m going to stay with dad, and I will be able to get some real sleep; knowing the monster is not there. I never used to be afraid of monsters or ghosts or the like, it was only after dad left home that it came to live here. Every one thinks I am soft in the head when I tell them. “Don’t be silly” they say. It’s just you miss your dad; and the house seems odd with just you and your mom. But they don’t know how much it scares me; the monster that lives under my bed. What’s that? Did you hear it? A crashing noise, there, under my bed. Oh no it’s awake. I’ll pretend to be asleep and it will go away, It’s coming. I can hear it clanking as it moves around my bed. “Chloe” “Chloe” It keeps saying my name. I won’t answer it though. ‘I’m asleep’ I say to it in my head. ‘leave me alone’ I pray ‘go away.’ Crash! It’s broke another one of my toys, stomping around, trying to get me to talk. Oh I wish mom was here. I’d hide in her bed, like I used to when I was small, and snuggle next to her and dad, stealing their warmth, knowing I was safe. But not now; I can’t move it will get me. It’s leaning over me. I can smell that rotten breath, oozing its foul stench. ‘go away’ I cry in my head, ‘leave me alone’, It worked! It’s going away. I hear it, it’s going to the
bathroom. It always goes in there; I think it lives in the toilet sometimes. I hear it making horrid noises in there, like its eating the soap or something,
I wish it was daytime, I’m happy then, no monsters under my bed, just me and mom waiting for dad to call or pop in to see me, or even at school. I tried to tell my friends but they laughed, and the teachers don’t want to listen to a six year olds stories of a monster under their bed. Oh come on day time, hurry up; but I daren’t go to sleep, not yet while it’s prowling, soon I will, soon it will go away. I got in trouble today. I fell asleep in class and then I said a bad thing to my teacher. I didn’t mean to. It’s just I haven’t had a lot of sleep lately. “You don’t look your self” My headmaster said as he was telling me off. “Whatever is the matter? You used to be such a bright girl”. I cried. “You don’t understand” and I told him of the monster under my bed. He didn’t laugh or tell me I was silly; he just asked me lots of stupid questions, like “Does it touch you?” “No” I said “I pretend to be asleep it just breaks things and stuff” I tell him. “Have you told your mom? Would you like me to speak to her?” That’s a laugh! How can you talk to someone who works all day and then only has time at home to check I’m OK, feed me, and make sure my school work is done before bedtime? Yes, I’m sure mom would love to come and talk to you for free when she needs to work and earn the money now dads gone. Sometimes I don’t think teachers or head masters are part of the real world at all.
“I’ll call her” he says, and then he did. I told him she would be at work; she works everyday. I tell him that when I get home she’s usually having a nap, as she’s so tired. “Shh” he tells me, and still dials the number. Inside I’m angry and annoyed; why won’t he listen? She is at work. He puts down the phone “no one home he states” I told him it was pointless. He hands me a letter. “Please see your mum gets this” he says. It’s sealed shut. “Ok, off to your classroom and no more outbursts like that again. Ok Chloe?” “Yes” I tell him as I yawn. I’m not trying to be rude I’m just so tired. Yes! It’s Friday, and I’m off to dads to stay for a week. A whole week with no monster under my bed. I can’t wait. Moms not as happy as me though, she hugs me tight kissing my hair, telling me how much she will miss me. “I’ll miss you too mom” I say. But inside I’m jumping for joy. Get in the car Chloe dad says. It means him and mom have stuff to talk about. I hope it’s about dad coming home again. They did say that when they worked things out we might be a family again. I hear mom tell dad that she is seeing someone on Monday and she will call him. Dad seems happy, and I see him hug mom and give her a kiss on the cheek. Mom smiles a lazy smile, she really looks happy when dads around. At dads it’s so cool; I have my play station and loads of games to play with. Today we flew kites in the park, and mine went higher then dads, he called me champ. I wish mom could have seen me. I asked dad if he could be coming home soon; he said we will see, but there were grown up things that needed to be put right first. I don’t even pretend to understand I know when dad says grown up things; it means ‘I’m not going to tell you anything as its private’. Mom always tells me it’s grown up things when I ask her why dad left.
Its Sunday, and I woke up to dad asking if I would mind going to gran’s. He had had a telephone call and needed to sort something important out, and it might mean I stay an extra week with him if that was ok? Ok? That’s great! I miss mom but not the monster under my bed, I will never miss that. Had some bad news; when I came home from grans my house, with mom, burnt down. Some sort of accident; moms in hospital, she isn’t hurt, but dad says I can’t see her for a day or two. The fire started in the lounge and mom was asleep on the sofa; if I’d have been at home I could be hurt as the fire burnt through the ceiling and my bedroom. Mom was rescued by a neighbour. I hope she is ok, but does that mean the monster was burnt? I hope so. I have been home today, my home with mom I mean. It’s a mess, my bed is in the lounge with toys and stuff scattered all over. The walls are black, and it stinks. Its lucky mom wasn’t in her bed, thank heavens for the neighbour. I’m going to see mom tomorrow. Mom looks ok; she was really happy to see me and dad. She just kept saying sorry and kissing me. I thought she was going to hug me to death, and then a strange thing happened. She made a promise to dad “never again” was all she said, and he kissed her. a real mom and dad kiss it was, and he said that if she meant it then she could live at his house till ours was fixed. Yes we’re a family again I think, if she keeps her promise of ‘never again’, what ever that is. It’s been three weeks since the fire. Mom stayed in hospital for two of those and she has been staying at dads for a week. I have to admit its great seeing mom and dad around the table when we eat, and having then together for days in the park. Moms different too, she looks healthier and her eyes shine; they aren’t dull like they have been since dad left. And there is no monster under the bed here at dads ever. I lie in bed and listen to the sound of mum and dad talking now, sounds of the telly. Sometimes there is crying but the monster still doesn’t come.
I heard mom and dad talking as we left church today, and I’m so glad. It seems they knew about the monster under my bed, cos dad said he loved mom, and she said if that was true there would be no more risk of demon drink getting back in her house. There was a monster that lived under my bed; but not any more. Because I know his name is ‘demon drink’ and mom and dad have banned him from our home. I love my life.
I just wish everyone one could understand what it was that scared me .