“What’s wrong now?” she demanded, her voice creaking with age.  A couple of strands of her silver hair poked out from beneath her flowered hat.  “The shadows,” Trent stammered, pointing to the wall where the mean shadow was last seen.

Mrs. Harris groaned, rolling her piercing blue eyes as she made her way around the turrets of toys to his bed.  She tucked him in, pulling the covers so tight that Trent couldn’t move his body.  He wiggled and was promptly scolded by the cranky old lady.

Once he was tucked in, Mrs. Harris moved back towards the door, kicking a couple of cars out of the way.  One rolled under the bed.  Trent protested.  “That’s my favorite,” he whined.  Mrs. Harris stared at him from behind her thick glasses.  “I don’t care.  Go to sleep!”  She slammed the door shut, muttering under her breath something about bratty children.

Trent wiggled, pushing his hands against the sheets, hoping to free himself.  One corner of the bedding slipped free, allowing Trent to push it back.

Placing his feet on the cool wooden floor, he paused.  Did he really want to get his favorite car back while it was dark and a storm was brewing outside?  He glanced down at his feet.  If he didn’t get it now the monster that he was convinced lived under the bed might get to it before morning came.

Dropping to his knees, Trent wrapped his hand around his baseball bat.  If there was indeed a monster under his bed, he was going to be prepared for a fight.

A noise from the closet across the room caused Trent to turn around.

Feeling brave, he gripped his bat and walked carefully over to the closet.  Sucking in deep breaths Trent looked at the double doors.  “Ten.  Nine.  Eight.”  He placed one hand on the door knob.  It was shaking.  “Seven.  Six.  Five.”  He turned the knob slight.  “Four.  Three.  Two.”  He pulled the door ajar.


He ripped open the door, closing his eyes tightly, swinging his bat and letting out a war cry that could have been heard in Africa.

Something crashed to the floor.  Opening his eyes Trent saw his old magic tricks spilling out of their box all over the floor of his closet.  His eyes scanned the darkened interior.  There was nothing but coats, shirts and pants hanging proudly in his closet.  A couple of sweaters were neatly folded and his shoes were placed neatly in pairs.

“No closet monster,” he muttered to himself, bending down to pick up his magic tricks.  “Dad was right.  There is no closet monster.”

Once his magic tricks were neatly stacked back in the closet, Trent turned to the bed.  “There’s no such thing as monsters,” he said aloud as he cautiously walked towards it.  “There’s no such thing as monsters.  Monsters are not real.  Monsters are not real.  There’s no such thing as monsters.”

He took a deep breath as the room lit up once again with another flash of lightning.  The wind had changed direction, howling through the trees, the rain now slamming against his window.

The room lit up again.  Out the corner of his eye Trent saw the shadows spring to life.  He gulped, swallowing hard as he turned his head.  This shadow had five long and narrow ribs.  Trent gripped his bat tighter, his eyes darting around the room.

A clap of thunder caused him to jump.  He licked his lips as his eyes locked on his desk chair.  Round and smooth, it had five runs on the back.  Quickly, Trent looked at the shadow.  The five ribs were the five runs.  He smiled a gap-toothed smile.  “It’s just the chair,” he told himself.  “A chair can’t hurt me.”

Feeling proud of the way he handled himself, he turned back to his bed.  He couldn’t see what was under it from where he stood, but he knew his car hadn’t rolled under that far.  Mrs. Harris only nudged it with her foot.

Dropping to his knees, Trent peered under the bed.  All he could see was pitch black.  He scooted a little closer.  Still nothing.  Lowering himself so he was now lying on his stomach, Trent army crawled his way across the floor until he was just shy of his bed.

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