Toys laid scattered across the bedroom floor. Canvasses covered in crayons littered the walls. Figurines stood atop the dresser at attention, staring into the cold, black night that crept its way through the far window. A singular light illuminated the twin bed where a little boy and his father lay covered in Buzz Lightyear bedding reading a bedtime story.
“Just as the little boy was about to close his eyes to go to sleep, there, in the corner of his eye, he saw something staring back at him…”
“Dad, I don’t want…”
“Before he could make a sound, the creature stepped into the light AND….”
The little boy was as stiff as the twin mattress, eyes wide in horror, and breathing heavily. His father let out a slight chuckle.
“It’s ok, buddy. These things aren’t real! Plus, it’s Halloween. It’s all in good fun!”
This slightly calmed the poor boy but he still felt like his heart was in his throat. After a few more calming words, his father wished him a good night…
“Do you want your nightlight off?”
“No…nononono. Please…Leave it on.”
“Ok, son. Goodnight.” The father couldn’t help but be amused by the entire situation.
The door shut and the little boy was left to his own thoughts.
“What if those monsters really were real? What if they were listening and knew that he was scared? What if they were in here right now?!”
He knew that these things couldn’t be true. He was 9! 9-year-old boys didn’t believe in ghosts. He knew that all of his friends would laugh if they had heard about his reaction to the bedtime story. It was bad enough that he was made fun of for his stuttering problem. He couldn’t afford to have his friends laugh at him for anything else.
With that thought, he cautiously crawled out of his bed and with the speed of a lion, darted across the room to turn the light off. Bounding over one toy after another, he finally made it to the nightlight. This would prove he was tough. He clicked the light off and stood for a moment allowing his eyes to acclimate to the sudden darkness.
The shadows cast by the objects on his dresser caused him to be taken back.
“They’re just my toys. You’re fine. You can do this. You’re tough. You don’t have to be afraid.”
The little boy stood motionless for a few minutes. Desperate to prove that he was strong, he even dared to stare into the dark abyss that presented itself through the crack of his closet door.
The little boy let out a yelp and sprinted back into the safety of his bed. Tossing the covers over his head, he tried to regain his breath.
After a few moments of silence, he peeled the covers back and then began chuckling at his own reaction. He noticed that one his framed pictures had simply fallen off of the wall and landed on the floor. The perceived innocence of it all gave him the strength he needed to slip into a deep sleep.
It couldn’t have been but an hour or so when the boy snapped awake with beads of sweat running down his forehead. Nightmares were no fun, especially when they seemed all too real.
He reached over to grab the small glass of water that he always kept on his nightstand. When his hand reached empty air, he panicked.
“It was here. I remember bringing it upstairs!” He thought to himself.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw something move in the darkness. His breathing quickened. Sliding deeper into his comforter, he peered over to see if he could see anything.
Shadows illuminated the dark with their inconspicuous placement. There was one, though, that caught the little boy’s eye.
Out of all of the shadows, this one was tall, slender, and in the form of a human. All of the others were of his toys, coat hanger, and pictures. This one couldn’t have been any of those.
Especially when it moved.
The shadow dropped into the ground, seemingly disappearing. The little boy let out a yelp but that was all that he could muster. His breathing was so rapid at this point that he couldn’t even think to speak.
Out of fear he shoved himself further back against his headboard. As he did, his hand touched something unfamiliar. It was something hard, yet soft. It felt like a small…leg.
Frightened, he jumped away from the object which revealed its true nature. There, laying in his bed, was his sister’s old, torn up baby doll. It’s arms were shredded. Its eyes had been poked through. There was a note hanging around its neck.
The little boy felt a stream of warmth run down his leg. Yes, he was peeing himself. At the moment, he didn’t care.
As he desperately stuttered for his mom, the shadow reappeared but this time at the foot of his bed. The light from the window cast an incandescent glow on its face.
It was furry. Bright, yellow eyes. Snarling teeth. This thing…this creature….looked like a man-wolf.
The creature raised its hand, slowly beginning its approach to devour the little boy. At that moment, breath filled his lungs and the words sprang to his mouth.
No sooner than the words flew out of his mouth, the door swung open and the light flew on.
“What is going o……”
The wolf creature laid directly in the center of the floor, laughing.
“Susan! What are you doing in your brother’s room this late at night with that mask?!”
She couldn’t muster up the words to respond because her laughter consumed her.
The parents looked up and saw their son curled up in a ball, covered in his own urine, crying. They quickly rushed over to him, picked him up, and took him to their own room to clean him up.
“It was just a joke! I swear! I wanted to toughen him up a little!” Susan cried after them, hoping to alleviate the trouble that she knew she was in.
“You’re grounded, Susan!”
With a deep sigh and a grunt, Susan peeled the mask off of her head and slowly got up. As she picked herself up off of the floor and wiped the tears away from her eyes, she noticed something in the closet.
She quietly made her way over to the slightly ajar door. Before she could even reach it, she heard a low growl accompanied by a yellow eyeball staring back at her.
Looking down at her mask and back at the closet, she sprinted out of her brother’s room.
Happy Halloween, folks! Stay safe. Enjoy lots of candy!
You are loved.
You are valued.