“Under there?” squeaks the child, pointing down beneath him. His mother smiles and bends down, peeking into the empty space under the bed.
“Nothing,” says tells him, standing up.
“There?” The child looks at the window. The mother, ever patient, opens it and checks outside.
“Nothing,” she repeats.
“Okay,” The child takes a deep breath and lays his head down on his pillow.
“Why are you scared of monsters all the sudden?” asks the mother before shutting off the light.
“A man outside school told me to check for them today.”
The mother frowned. She’d have to talk to the principal about this.
“Well, he’s a liar. Monsters aren’t real.” With a sigh, she flicks the light switch and closes the door.
She didn’t check the closet.
I did lie. Monsters aren’t real.
But I am.
If you haven’t already thought of a place you soon will; and when you do, I’d have to agree: no one would think to look there.
I know you certainly didn’t.
"This is the Discovery-14290. It is stranded at the bottom of the ocean. Does anyone copy?" Captain Ben Philips speaks into the transmitter.
He anxiously awaits a reply and distracts himself by watching the instrument panel blink its multicolored lights. There is no response. He holds down the transmit button and continues.
"I have been trapped on the Discovery for days. The door cannot be opened and I am too weak to get out. The supplies are all spent. I’m starving and thirsty. It’s getting hard to breath. Please help me."
"Help me. Someone please. Help me." He pleads.
With little strength he can muster, he bangs against the submarine door.
He tears run down his face as he screams out hysterically “Mom….help me mom…let me out, mom…”
Mrs. Philips watches the police leave through her window. Her 5-year-old son, Ben Philips, has been missing for the last few days. Her estranged husband has not returned her calls. She hoped that her missing son would bring him back. Now she has lost both husband and son.
She and Ben went out into a lake on a boat. She had put Ben into a small barrel, told him he’s the captain of submarine and to explore the ocean. He happily complied and climbed in. She placed some brick and told him it was his supplies and sealed the barrel tight; then pushed it overboard.
They’ll never find him.
The thought gave her a small solace.
Have you ever played a video game where you have to sleep to recover? They only let you do it if everything is safe. Otherwise they won’t let you sleep. You’ll get a message, saying “You cannot sleep now, there are monsters nearby.”
Now, remember the last time you just couldn’t get to sleep?
I went to the animal shelter a couple weeks ago and adopted a beautiful young golden retriever. He’s the smartest dog I’ve ever met. Within days, he knew “sit,” “stay,” and “roll over.” I even taught him the old trick where you make a gun with your hand and say “bang,” and he rolls onto his back and plays dead. The problem is, dogs are much better with hand signals than voice cues, so now, as soon as I make a finger gun, he rolls over onto his back and eagerly looks at me for his treat.
I’m sitting on the couch watching a movie in the dark and my puppy is on the hardwood floor in front of me, chewing on his new toy. He looks up towards me, pauses, then rolls onto his back, his tongue out and begging for a treat. I realize he’s looking over my head, beyond the couch. The floor behind me creaks.