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Your Monster Returns - 6/16 : Writing Prompts and Challenges • Page 7 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Your Monster Returns - 6/16

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aghartley
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Re: Your Monster Returns - 6/16

Postby aghartley » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:11 pm

There it is. That sound again. Every time she walked towards the closet she could hear what sounded like the rustling of curtains. She could almost feel the breeze, but all of the windows were closed. Standing on one foot in the center of her bedroom, trying to force her leg into a new pair of pants she finally saw it. The rustler. Now a flash of metallic blue disappearing behind the skirt of the bedside table. A rush of feathers. What is it?

Standing half-clothed in the moments before her dreaded 30th birthday dinner while a brightly colored something scurries around her bedroom, she experienced an unexpected wash of calm. As this difficult day arched toward further complication, she felt nothing but curiosity. Life was strange. Of that, she was certain. The possibility that a mouse had settled into her attic had once precipitated a two-week stay in her sister’s guest room and a steep extermination bill with not a mouse to be found. In fact, she spent much of her childhood convinced that a monster lived in some invisible nook beneath her bed. She lost a lot of sleep over that one, but didn’t every kid have a monster under the bed?

"Yes, they do" said a voice. It came from the bedside table. It almost sounded like the lamp was talking. Was she losing her mind?

"No". There it was again. A soothing sound. Almost warm.

"Who’s there"?

From behind the table, a small creature marched towards her. Bright eyes shining. Except for the eyes, he was covered in shining blue feathers. He looked like nothing she had ever seen. He wasn’t a bird and he wasn’t a monkey, but somehow he had qualities of both animals. He was the most alien creature she had ever seen and yet she knew him.

"It’s me. Your monster", the small creature reported. "I’ve been here all the time, but now it’s time for me to go. We’re both getting too old for this".

He settled himself in the pillows on her bed as he spoke. Moving her blouse aside to make himself more comfortable. Stretching out as though this bed were his own, which she guessed, it was.

"I’m a little nervous about my new assignment and spending the last 30 years with you makes this pretty hard, but rules are rules. The 30th birthday is the expiration date for monsters like me. We’ll both have some adjustments to make. You’ll have your new monster to create and I’ll have a new child".

"No more whispering into your dreams" the monster said sadly.

"Whispering into my dreams"? she asked.

"Of course. That’s my job and I take that job seriously. Does this sound familiar"? Suddenly the nature of his voice changed and the sounds came from inside her own head. They resonated in her bones. The fear, the doubt, the questions. She knew them as well as she knew herself.

"Stop it"!! she shouted. The sound was loud in the room and the fierceness of the words rattled something inside her.

When she opened her eyes, she was alone in the room. Her blouse was laid out neatly at the foot of her bed and she was balancing on one foot, halfway into her new pants. There was not so much as a blue feather anywhere in her room. No sign that a monster had ever appeared.

Life was indeed strange and now it was time for her birthday dinner.

Navybluesky7
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Re: Your Monster Returns - 6/16

Postby Navybluesky7 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:09 pm

I lay in my old bed before I moved out. Thank goodness. I had a monster under my bed, or so I believed for 29 years. My mum thought I was crazy. But now, I know my imagination was true.

There it was, crawling out from under the bed. I gasped as it slithered up, and glared at me for a minute or so. It's thin green lips curled into a smile, baring it's sharp yellow teeth. It had short brown hair and green skin. I grimaced.

"I knew you were real. What a creeper." I snapped. It held a withered rose to my face. My eyes widened. "I've loved you ever since I first saw you as a child. I never meant to frighten you. Sometimes, I watched you sleep. You slept beautifully." It said, pushing my hair back. I screamed. It's face wrinkled into an evil frown. "They are coming!!" it screeched. I quickly got up, still shocked, running out of the room. The monster slithered back under the bed.

"Ruthie, What's wrong?" My sister asked. "I just saw the monster that was under the bed! I knew he was real! I remember him when I was a kid, he said he loved me and I screamed and he slithered back under the bed!!" she rolled her eyes. "I thought you were mature enough to stop pretending." My jaw dropped. You have to believe me! We saw him together a long time ago, remember?!"

"That was when we were kids. I probably was imagining, anyway." she walked away. I can't believe it, she almost got eaten!

Suddenly, I saw the monster approach me with the rose in his wrinkly hand. "Allison!! Look!!" I screamed. She turned around as I took hold of his hand. He screeched. I saw a camera on the floor out of the corner of my eye, and I grabbed it in time to take a picture. Allison screamed a few times before fainting. The monster slowly turned into dust as I fainted myself.

That was the day I took too much crack.

andyouthoughticared
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RE: Your Monster Returns - 6/16

Postby andyouthoughticared » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:59 pm

When I was four I got a new bed. With the new bed came a new worry – my bed had a monster underneath it.  This monster was not ordinary though, it was extremely scary, so scary you couldn’t even imagine it.

It haunted me for ten years – when I was fourteen my parents packed away the bed into the guest room and gave me a new double bed.  I was free, but I would never forget about that monster. Even now on 30th birthday, I remember it.

My husband and I decided to go to my parents’ house in Chicago for the evening and then go shopping for a new bed the next day, with my parents of course.

Well when we arrived at my parents’ house imaging our surprise when we found out all the beds my parents had were two singles.

Funny how all my problems revolve around beds.  

Unfortunately for me, my husband grabbed the slightly bigger bed, leaving me with, the monster.  Now at the time it didn’t bother me one bit. Actually, at the moment I wasn’t thinking about the monster at all, and I wouldn’t until it happened.  

Glaring at my husband, I shimmied under the covers and tried to ignore the lack of space and itchy covers. I set my alarm, took off my glasses, and sighed. If I could get to sleep at all tonight it would be a miracle.

Finally, I closed my eyes, but the monster seemed to have just opened his. With my husband snoring across the room, the monster decided to alert me to its presence. My eyes shot open when the bed growled.

“Oh Maggie are you still awake? Is that my fault, I am truly sorry.” The monster said in its most creepy voice.

I sat up. “John?” I croaked. “John, are you awake?”

My husband snored louder in response. “John!” I whispered. “Wake up!”

The monster laughed. “Maggie, Maggie what’s wrong?” It laughed again. “Oh, Maggie, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

“John, John” I said into the dark.

“What’s up Maggie?  Is it morning already?”  John asked.

“Oh, no but…”

“Well, then let’s go back to sleep.”

“But… well you’re a load of help.” Maggie said to herself. The snoring restarted.

I shivered to myself. What was the monster trying to do to me?

“Maggie, join me. We could rule the world.”

I snorted to myself. The monster under my bed dreamt of ruling the world? Ridiculous.

“Maggie, think about it.” It growled. “We could be so powerful, together.

Was it crazy? It tormented me as a child and now it wanted to rule the world with me?

“Leave me alone!” I cried. “I hate you!”

It was silent for a second. Then, “Fine!  If you won’t love me, I will make you fear me.”  It crawled out from underneath my bed and across the room. No way would I let it hurt John!

I leapt across the room and turned on the light.


lizziekitty13
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RE: Your Monster Returns - 6/16

Postby lizziekitty13 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:50 pm

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Last edited by lizziekitty13 on Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Trissa
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Re: Your Monster Returns - 6/16

Postby Trissa » Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:28 pm

It had been a wonderful night. I had celebrated my last night in my 20s with friends from work. The Margaritas flowed freely, served in glasses big as fishbowls. I would have a marvelous hangover in the morning, the actual date of my birth. I wobbled, rather than danced, about my bedroom in private celebration, congratulating myself on how far I had come in my thirty years. Born in a small river town in Iowa, I now lived what I considered "la vida loca" in Chicago. I was teaching psychology at the University, living in a classy condo in the 'burbs. Yes...life was great!

As I danced about, I neared my bed which welcomed me with open sheets. "Ka-whump!" I found myself on the floor. Slowly moving my head, I couldn't see what tripped me mid-twirl. My eyes crossed slightly, then focused on something under my bed. Something glowing red. The next thing I noticed was the stench. Old socks I forgot to wash after my morning workout? No. Yet, the odor was familiar. And that glow... Something in my bleary memory began to stir. Despite my Margarita induced numbness, I found myself on my feet and scrambling to find my purse. Grabbing the can of mace, I approached the bed. "Come out from under there, whoever you are!"

"Not whoever," a small voice echoed as if miles distant. "More like a whatever."

Mace still in hand, I slowly bent to the floor. My mace-less hand trembled as I raised the frilly bed ruffle. "Oh, my God! It can't be!"

"Surprise, Liz," the breath from the thing under my bed wrapped itself around my head like a foul cloud.

"You can't be here. I thought I left you back under my bed in Iowa when I was eight."

"You did, Liz. And after your family moved away, I stayed behind for the next child...then the next...and so on." The red eyes looked downcast. A heavy sigh came from my old monster.

"What happened? Why are you here?"

" Video games happened. Nasty, violent, gory video games. And those reality TV shows kids are allowed to watch now. There are bigger monsters out there now. I'm not scary enough." Another sigh. "I decided to retire. But really have no place to go. I tracked you down on the kid's laptop."

I sat in lotus position, the carpet scratching my legs. I thought of pinching myself, but the foul odor told me this was real. "So, you think you're going to retire here? Under my bed?"

"I always had fond memories of you. You never threw things at me when I growled. You had such a wonderful contralto scream." The voice sounded excited and the eyes glowed like embers.

My heart went out to the old guy. I put my hand on the floor, my fingertips almost touching what looked like a mass of dust bunnies with marble eyes. "Sounds like you have severe self-esteem issues. Tell you what, Whatever, I'll allow you to stay and we'll work on your problems. Eventually, you'll be able to crawl out from under that bed and stand on your own two feet."

jagrova
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Re: Your Monster Returns - 6/16

Postby jagrova » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:23 pm

I can't believe I'm living at home the day before my thirtieth birthday. I barely cover the rent I pay Mom and student loan payments. This is not the life I dreamed of when I was little. How I wish I were that kid again.

What was that? I heard rustling under the bed. When I was little I was a fraid of a purple monster under my bed. I had to sleep with the light on.

There it is again. Maybe that monster is real. I reach over and turn on the light.

"Monster I've turned on my light so it's time for you to go away."

"Not this time Judith, may I come out from under the bed?"

I have to be dreaming. If I'm dreaming then nothing can harm me so what the hell.

"Sure."

The purple monster slides out from under my bed. He looks at me with laughing blue eyes.

"My name is Jackson. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." He says placing his right hand on his chest while bowing.

"Judith." I reply.

"I know who you are Judith."

Why was I so scared of him?

"I carry the memory of the day you stopped being afraid of me. That was the day you confronted me and realized there was nothing to be afraid of and therefore you ceased to be afraid."

"I don't remember that. One day I simply stopped being afraid and after that I could sleep with the light off."

"I hear that a lot. I'm always forgotten which is how it should be when an obstacle is overcome. That which held you back is forgotten as you turn your face to that which lies ahead."

"I'm sorry."

"There is nothing for you to be sorry about little Judith. You overcame your fear of me and moved on. What I am hear to talk to you about is what is scaring you now."

"I'm not scared."

Jackson smiles that knowing smile parents have for children declaring something to be true that is really more complicated then they realize.

"But you are scared Judith. What else would be keeping you in this house?"

"It's not that easy to find a job you know. I'm lucky to have a job at all in this economic mess."

"Now calm down Judith. It's ok for grownups to feel fear. It is simply the prospect of moving into the unknown. I'm concerned you are becoming too comfortable living here. You are forgetting how to be brave."

It has been months since I sent out any resumes or even looked for job openings. It seemed I was wasting my time.

"Now Judith never forget you once faced the purple monster living under your bed only to find a friend."

With that Jackson slid silently under my bed.

I toss back the sheets and slide out of bed. Today I will find a job to apply for.

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mfarraday
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Re: Your Monster Returns - 6/16

Postby mfarraday » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:41 pm

The alarm on my phone started to chirp and i reached blearily under my bed to shut it off. But i felt nothing there. It wasn't just that i didn't feel my phone. I always left it on the carpet under my bed. It's just that i felt no carpet. No floor. NOTHING. i waved my hand back and forth and - i could swear a cold wind was slipping past my fingers, so cold that it made my teeth want to chatter. But i was still safely under my blanket, and i could see the walls of my bedroom on all four sides. reassuringly familiar. i wasn't floating above some vast empty space. was i?

"Madeleine..." a voice growled menacingly. I knew who it was. The dragon of my childhood, come back to visit. I shut my eyes in terror but he didn't go away. Several thumps resounded underneath my reclining body, muffled slightly by the mattress, but still there. "Come play with me..."

No I can't go with you I don't want to play GO AWAY LEAVE ME ALONE...

i clutched at the edges of my bed as the pummeling grew more fierce. Now my bed was actively rocking from side to side, he was trying to jar me from my perch, and i wouldn't go without a fight. Finally i had to face the fact that Javhar wasn't going to leave me alone until i came back to him. I had no choice, i had to go.

Unless i decided just to jump, this time.

I made a split second decision to leave it up to chance. And then I did it. I slipped from the safety of my bed and over the side.

I almost caught him unawares. As I plummeted through the clouds and the chasm that had somehow opened up in my floor, i realized in terror that Javhar hadn't been paying attention and that i was in a free fall that very well might end in my death. But in another instant, i was numb to the consequences. the wind was freezing my cheeks and i could hardly breathe. I watched as the sky turned to cliffs - so beautiful, waterfalls and jagged rocks and outcroppings of trees - the end was rushing up to meet me and I wasn't sure I cared. My best friend and my worst enemy had come for me, just as i always knew he would. It was enough to tear me in half. So let me be dashed to smithereens on the chasm floor. I wanted to be as powerless as i felt about it.

Until he caught me. At the last heartstopping moment Javhar flew underneath and i landed on his leathery back. I gasped as my lungs flattened for a few moments, I knew i was turning purple but it mattered little. I just wanted to know why, why he'd ever left and why he had returned. What had i done to deserve this?

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Re: Your Monster Returns - 6/16

Postby Hannah-Lynn » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:21 pm

Kids are funny little things. There is always that age where lying isn't even comprehensible let alone executable because all there is, is innocence and imagination. There's no malice or underhanded motives or manipulation. There's just kids in all their truthful perceptions.
Lots of kids talk about fears, fears of monsters under the bed, in closets, in the shadows and dark corners of rooms without nightlights. They're not lying, they're just scared with very active imaginations.
But sometimes they're not. Sometimes they're scared with very active imaginations but that makes them no less right or correct or accurate.
And to be frank, there are monsters that do go bump in the night. They bump and bumble, they bite and bark, they're clumsy and clutsy. And they exist.
It's taken more than twenty years for this to sink in, for me to believe I don't just have this bit of crazy hidden away in the back of my mind but, see, now I'm even more worried. If it were just me, it I were just nuts, there's therapy I could go through, medications I could take, places I could check myself into. This is a problem that was easily solvable with a touch of determination, strength of will, and good health insurance.
But I'm not crazy. And that's so, so much worse. I can't medicate away the monsters, can't talk them out of existence, can't hide from them at all it seems. And the cold hard truth of the matter is, I wasn't all that nice to the monsters when I was little. Now that I'm grown? Ha. There's not enough head-shrinking in the world to re-shut this Pandora's box. And apparently, in the middle of a surprise party thrown for me by my two best friends is when I get the handy reminder that the monster under my bed isn't just real, but he's holding a grudge.

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Re: Your Monster Returns - 6/16

Postby jinhessel » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:05 pm

The Monster Returns
When Grace was little, she slept in this same room – changed not so much in 30 years. Her mother now kept her sewing machine in here; the curtains had been replaced and the walls had been repainted an icy blue. But here was the same austere iron bed frame and, by the feel, the same worn-out mattress. The west-facing window still viewed the gnarled branches of the tree which still scraped the roof like giant fingers trying to pry their way in.

It was the weekend she was staying to help her mom who had foolishly forgotten to get a flu shot, and now she was down for the count. She was asleep now, and Grace was trying to settle in among all the ghosts of times past. She thought there was a monster under this bed when she was little. One time the nightlight burned out and the monster grew bolder and louder. They let her sleep with her door open so whatever light there was around the house would brighten the darkness a little. But the monster still snorted and snickered under there, made slithering sounds. She was never brave enough to look him in the face, but she imagined he looked like a squid with sharp teeth and glowing yellow eyes like a wolf. He made the most noise when she was worried, and made her feel small and helpless.

Some days the voice told her, “The big kids are going to take your lunch money.” But she hid her money in her sock and didn’t look at the big kids in the lunch line, and they never stole her money at all. Another time, when she was a finalist in the spelling bee, the monster hissed: “You’re going to be so scared you’re going to piss your pants right in front of everyone.” But that didn’t happen. She was so nervous her mouth was dry, but so were her pants, and she came in second.

She thought she had left those childish fears behind, and yet, she had a strange quavering feeling in her belly, lying in this bed again – feeling cast aside after her divorce and gathering aches and pains like some old weathered log growing rot. She shuddered in the dark. What a turn of mind. She told herself to knock it off. It was different now.

Now, the bullies were the banks stealing her money. Credit cards at nearly 30% interest; it would take her 20 years to pay those bastards off. It seemed the monster was still here, a dense sucking hole stealing her light and settling heavy on her limbs.

I won’t let it. She switched on the light, like her daddy had done to make the monster melt away. She splashed cold water on her face, smiled weakly. She knew where the wine was kept. The TV filled the silence, and she poured some red into one of the good crystal glasses.
~We continue to dwell in the rooms we leave behind~

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