Tasha hid under her blanket, trying not to cry. She could hear her parents down the hall, laughing at whatever shows adults watch on television after the kids have gone to bed. It must be pretty funny, judging from the snorts that came out of her mother’s nose. At least Tasha hoped they were snorts coming out of her mother’s nose and not a monster with a piggish snout laughing maniacally as he chopped her family up into little pieces.
Somewhere Tasha heard a buzzsaw grind to life, ready to hack her ten year old body to pieces. She closed her eyes and whimpered. She didn’t want to call her parents in. She didn’t want them to know she'd watched that movie they’d told her not to. And she knew if she called out, that as soon as they turned on her light, everything would go back to normal. Tasha tried to reason with herself. She knew the buzzing she heard was really her brother in the next room, snoring. He snored every night. It’s just that movie … she could still hear it in her head, “Jason, Jason, Jason … Kill, Kill, Kill,” over and over in her mind and that awful hockey mask. Who wears a hockey mask down by the lake anyway?
Her mother laughed in the living room, snorting … the buzz saw in the next room … a whisper from inside her closet. A WHISPER FROM INSIDE HER CLOSET! There wasn’t anything in her closet that could make a sound!
Peering out from under her blanket, Tasha stared at the closet, her eyes penetrating the dark and detecting a slight crack in the door. It wasn’t shut … she always kept her closet shut. Horrified, Tasha held her breath as the door creaked to life, inching open. Something was inside! The door only moved open a little and realistically Tasha knew it could be a breeze making the flimsy door sway …except there was no breeze. It was a chilly night and her window was closed.
The door creaked again and Tasha heard a whisper, almost like a cry of a child. Was it a ghost of a little girl who had been murdered in this house previously? Maybe she was coming back to exact revenge on her killers. Tasha’s imagination flew, one scenario after another coming to mind. Perhaps one of her dolls had been possessed by an evil spirit and was coming out to slaughter the entire family, a demonic glee in its painted eyes.
“Meow,” Bosco, her little black cat cried, pushing his head between the crack in the closet door. Tasha laughed at herself; Bosco must have hidden in there earlier and fallen asleep.
“Come here kitty,” Tasha called, pulling her cover back and allowing the cat to jump up there with her. She was relieved to know there was nothing more sinister in her room and she felt better now that she had Bosco to keep her company.
Tasha pulled the covers off her head and lay back against the pillow with her cat cradled in her arms. She would go to sleep and forget about that movie.
Something made a sound under her bed. Tasha’s eyes popped open. Bosco lifted his head, looking around for the source of the noise. It was a snuffing sound. Bosco crawled towards the edge to investigate. Tasha snatched him back, holding him close, and her heart pounding inside of her chest.
“You can’t just go and look under the bed to see what it is,” Tasha scolded the cat. “What if it’s a monster that eats kitty cats?
Bosco meowed at her. “Yes, I know, Tasha said, it could very well be a monster that’s nice … I suppose those exist, but if it is nice, what is it doing under my bed?”
Bosco meowed his answer and under the bed the monster snuffed. Tasha held Bosco tightly. She was wondering if it was a monster that liked to eat little girls. She was glad she didn’t dangle her feet over the edge of the bed. Monsters that ate little girls liked their toes the most. Her Uncle Al had told her so. Her mother had yelled at him for telling her that and he’d laughed and said he was sorry, that it wasn’t true, but Tasha knew it was. Adults never wanted kids to know that monsters were real, but she knew they were.
The monster snuffed again and Tasha felt her bed bump from something hitting it from underneath. Then it bumped again. Bosco meowed, a scared kitty meow and Tasha tried not to cry, but she was scared. Then her bed lifted up in the air, not the whole bed but the bottom half. It lifted off the ground and tipped the top half back, so that she thought she was going to fall off and land on the floor. She knew what would happen then.
Tasha screamed. She screamed as loud as she could, squeezing her eyes shut so she wouldn’t see the monster that wanted to eat her. She knew he would be big and hairy, with sharp teeth that resembled barbed wire and a mouth wide enough for her whole head to fit into.
Down the hall she heard her parents as they rushed to her room. She hoped they would get there in time. Then she heard something else. Someone was laughing and it sounded suspiciously like her sister. It was coming from under the bed. Did the monster eat her sister? Then the lights came on and she opened her eyes. Jenny, was crawling out from under the bed, laughing so hard she had tears coming out of her eyes.
“What’s going on,” her mother asked.
“You should have heard her,” Jenny laughed. “She thought I was a monster.”
“What were you doing under her bed,” her dad asked, giving Jenny his stink eye.
“Oh come on, I was just having fun,” Jenny laughed.
After everything settled down and Jenny was sent back to her room, Tasha laid her head back on her pillow and closed her eyes. The closet door was shut again and the bedroom door cracked so the light from the hall could come in. She heard her mother laughing at the television and her brother’s snoring had resumed. She didn’t hear any noise and her eyes were shut so she never knew that a small, furry creature had slipped silently out her window. He was hungry and had thought the little girl’s toes smelled yummy, but her family was scary. And that cat with its teeth and scary growl were enough to give him nightmares for weeks. He would find some other place and another little girl to creep up on.