I had a lot of fun writing about Valeria’s Enemy, her monster. The best monsters are human-like, but not really quite there.
I’ve liked monster books and monster movies since I was young. Maybe most kids with imaginations did. I liked monster movies, like “20 Million Miles to Earth,” aka “The Beast From Space,” and “The Thing,” aka “Who Goes There?” In “The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad,” I liked the cyclops the best. Oh the horrors when he was turning a man tied to a spit over a fire!
It was kind of fun being a little scared when you knew it was all make-believe. But being scared of the dark was real, and not very fun. The worst monster of all was that thing that lived under the bed. No, I never saw it, but then again, I never looked. THAT would have been a mistake! It would have known that I knew it was there. Instead, we lived a sort of uneasy co-existence. It existed, and I was uneasy. I wonder how many other kids did “the leap” on to their bed to keep from letting their feet get too close to the dark place right underneath the bed frame?
Digging through some of my files the other day, I came across this little piece. I think I was probably about Valeria’s and Theo’s ages when I wrote it, but it’s not dated. Maybe 6th grade? I’d forgotten all about it, but my toes still curl when my bare feet walk up a little too close to the edge of the bed. Especially in the dark.
Under The Bed
By Carolyn R. Roberts
It was there, but no one knew it. Everyone felt it, and all were afraid of it, because it lived there. They knew it was there when they got up in the morning, they felt it when they rested in the afternoons, and they were afraid of it when they went in their rooms to sleep at night.
Yes, they all felt it and were afraid of it, but no one believed it.
The family sat down to dinner. “Soon it will be time to go to bed,” the mother said.
“I don’t WANT to go to bed!” young Tommy wailed. “It’s there in my room waiting for me!”
“Don’t talk such nonsense,” the father reproached. “There’s nothing to be afraid of,” he said, although the prospect of going to bed gave him a slight uneasiness himself.
“But Daddy, I can feel it,” Carrie said. “Even Joan does. And it’s getting worse. There’s something there, waiting for us. It’s a feeling I can’t shake off, and…every time I look under the bed, it’s not there,” she added, as though an afterthought.
“Hush! You’re scaring Tommy!” the mother said. “He won’t be able to sleep tonight. And neither will you. So get along to bed.”
I don’t like it, Carrie thought. Something is going to happen, I can feel it.
It waited there, hearing her come in. It chuckled silently, even though silent, it was horrible, a repulsive and chilling laugh. Only a few more seconds now…
As Carrie walked by the bed, she felt icy slimy fingers clutch her bare feet, and jerk them, pulling her down. She grabbed at something, anything, but the horny nails dug down into her flesh, pulling her further and further under. She fought, but to no avail, for now she knew what lived Under the Bed.