Hello and welcome to Tuesday Tales.
I've got a few stories kicking around I'd like to share with you.
I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.
The Bed Monster
It was once, not so very long ago, that a monster had a favourite boy.
The monster lived under the boy's bed at night and often stood at the window and watched the boy play during the day.
All bed monsters serve many children over their lifetime and each child is always the favourite.
This monster was Laurentian Jasper Feldenride the Third. He was descended from a long line of bed monsters, and he took his duties very seriously.
Each night after the lights went out in the boy's room Laurentian reached a long, thin, hairy arm up and patted the bed to make sure the boy was tucked in securely. He cared enough to make sure the boy believed in him, but not so much that he was scared to sleep alone.
He'd wait until the boy was drifting off to sleep then he'd puff or snort or drum his fingers on the floor.
This would make the boy sit straight up and yell for his father. Laurentian often had to cover his sensitive monster ears because the boy always made sure his father heard him.
On winter nights when the tile on the floor seemed harder and colder than even a monster could bear, Laurentian slipped out and went to the closet. He'd see to it the door was open just enough to let him make sure the boy was resting properly.
Once he was assured the boy was almost asleep he'd move a few clothes hangers or push the toy box along the floor until it thudded against the wall.
"Daaaaaaadddddd. There's a monster in my closet."
The boy's father would come in to settle him down. He'd talk in a calm tone, or bring him some water, or sometimes he'd read the boy a story.
The monster loved those nights. He'd stretch out his ear to the crack in the closet door or stay as still as he could under the bed while the dad read.
But being a monster made it difficult. Laurentian sat on his hands during many a story so as not to reach out and drum a finger on the dad's foot while he read.
That would never do. Monsters must never let the parents know they're real. It gets a monster banished from a home. If it happens too often, they are banished from monstering.
Laurentian couldn't let that happen. No member of his family going back 15 generations was ever banished.
He was lucky with this boy. The dad loved to read stories almost as much as the boy loved to hear them. Sometime the monster had a question about a story. More often than not the boy did, too, and it was answered. This made the monster happy.
One night a few weeks before the boy's very first day of school he got out of bed a few minutes after being tucked in, but before the monster's nightly bed check.
Laurentian had to do something. School was always a dangerous time for monsters. A child may have gotten rid of his or her monster early and would tell the others there was no such thing.
If the child grew to believe it, then the monster's time was done. Laurentian had lived though many a friend's despair. Just last year three of his colleagues were outgrown by the second month of school.
"No more stories," said one.
"No more nightlight," said another.
"I've nowhere to winter," lamented a third.
The monster stretched out his arm and tapped three times on the boy's foot.
He jumped and flew back into bed."Daaaaad. The monster touched me. Heeeelllp."
His dad came right away.
"Son, I've told you. There are no monsters. No one's under your bed or in your closet or anywhere. You're almost in school. It's time to get rid of this silly monster nonsense. There aren't any and I'll prove it."
The father got down on his hands and knees.
Oh, no," thought the monster. "I can't be found."
He covered his fangs with his bottom lip and pulled his long hair dark hair over his body all the way to his abdomen.
He stuck his long, knobby fingers underneath him and scrunched as close to the wall as he could.
His big feet drooped forward. He was almost as tall as the bed was long. If he relaxed his feet poked out from underneath. He was tense, but he would not take any chances. He heaved his thick body over on his side and brought his knees up toward his chin.
He held his breath and closed his eyes until there was just a thin opening for him to see through.
"I don't see anything, son. Should I get a flashlight?"
"Oh, no. Please, no," the monster begged in his thoughts. "I don't want to leave."
If he was found, then the job was over.
"I believe you, dad. Look in the closet?"
The dad opened the closet doors wide and moved some of the clothing.
"Nope. All clear."
The dad sat on the edge of the boy's bed. His legs were in comfortable grabbing distance for Laurentian, but he refused to take the chance. The check under the bed had been too close.
The dad spoke to the boy in low soothing tones for a few minutes.
"You're getting awfully grown up to have monsters under the bed, son. I'm sorry if I was harsh earlier, but you've got to get over this nonsense. What are you going to do when you get to school? Do you think the other kids are going to go along with your monsters?"
"No, dad. I'm sorry."
"That's okay, son. I know you're upset. Do you want a story?"
Laurentian heard the dad get out a story book. He asked the boy what he wanted to hear. The boy selected a story that was a favourite of his.
It was one of Laurentian's favourites, too. He settled in, sighing softly enough to not be heard.
At the end of the story the dad tucked the boy in, shut off the light, and then closed the door firmly behind him.
Laurentian waited a few moments and then reached up to confirm the boy was tucked in properly.
His work was done for now, but what about the future? The dad wanted the boy to stop believing in him. Laurentian wasn't ready to say good-bye just yet.
He'd just relaxed enough for his feet to poke out from underneath the bed when the boy shifted.
A small tousled head appeared in front of him upside down.
"G'night monster. I won't forget you."