Bedtime Precautions

An Essay By Abbie // 7/3/2009


It was hot under the covers. Stifling, even. As much as I wanted to sleep with my head safely enveloped in the bed sheets, I couldn’t stand it for very long. I pulled down the covers and took a deep breath of air, feeling the coolness tickling my face and neck. Ahhh…
Of course, as good as it felt, exposing my face like this was a reckless move. I kept my eyes squinched tightly shut, just in case.
Though it was infinitely safer to stay hidden under the covers, keeping my eyes shut would ward off most of the threat. You see, the monsters under my bed delighted in eating little girls only after they had frightened them out of their wits. If they came out tonight and found my eyes shut, or my head hidden, they’d stand awkwardly next to my bed and wait for me to sight them. I emphatically wouldn’t, and they’d stand there, shift their weight from clawed foot to clawed foot, scratch nightmarish heads, twiddle scaly thumbs, look beseechingly at my firmly closed eyes with their own red peepers, and eventually give up and sheepishly crawl back to where they came from.
How I knew their strategy is a mystery, but I knew it as surely as I knew that I had ten fingers, green eyes and an annoying little sister. I knew it as surely as I knew that there were monsters under my bed, and as surely as I knew that little girls weren’t actually their primary food…
There were scads of stuffed animals on my bed. Oodles. A huge pile of them sat at the foot of the mattress, hidden at night under my quilted comforter. The thin bed sheet was all I kept for covers at night. I usually didn’t need even that much to stay warm, but I slept under it anyway. Sheets were always good protection from monsters.
The quilt over the stuffed toys was another safety measure. The monsters that lived under my bed didn’t actually eat little girls as their main food. The staple of this breed’s diet happened to be stuffed animals. They ate as many as they could find—they had a ravenous hunger for polyester stuffing.
This would have been distressing enough—I loved my fluffy animals—but, once tempted out by the smell of artificial fur, once sated on plush flesh, the monsters would be casting feverishly about for a suitable desert.
The quilt over the plush pile at the foot of the bed kept my toys from being exposed, and luring the famished beasts out of their lair.
Occasionally—and all too often—when I covered my animals at night, one would loosen from the pile and drop to the floor--right next to the bed.
This night, it happened again. The next few seconds are a blur of motion and terror in memory, as I leaned over an agonizing distance, barely able to breathe, and snatched Cubbie Bear back to safety. My heart swelled uncomfortably out of my throat and into my mouth as I did so—what if I was too late, and the monsters had already scented their prey? Worse, what if I leaned down and exposed myself over the edge of the bed just in time to see a dark hand grope out from the pitch black space under the bedskirt, and clutch the toy? Worst of all, what if IT came out while I was leaning over, completely exposed? IT would see me, and I would see IT, and IT might decide to go ahead and skip to dessert.
I reared back upright, stuffed they toy under the quilt, lunged over to the pillow and threw the covers over my head. I lay there, holding perfectly still, with my whole face painfully scrunched to keep my eyes closed, bleakly aware of how thin the sheet was, waiting to hear if IT came out. I didn’t know what IT would sound like, but I knew I’d know exactly what it was when I heard IT coming …
Scratch. Shuffle. Hiss.
How did I ever get to sleep back then?



this is good! I like it. Ever read Junie B Jones? She's scared of the Monster under her bed. Did you ever try Monster Spray? or the vacuum?  By the way, how did you name Cubbie Bear?

Tori | Tue, 07/07/2009

“Oh Ronnie! I can’t believe you’re a prefect! That’s everyone in the family!” said Mrs. Weasley.
“What are Fred and I, next-door neighbors?”
–George Weasley

Hilarious!!! Although I

Hilarious!!! Although I *lifts chin defiantly* was NEVER afreaid of the Boogy Monster, I terrorized my poor little sister with stories about it! Mwahahahahaha....that's when she started pulling my hair out in her sleep. Note to self -- don't scare your little sister with monsters, especially if you share a may end up bald :D

Ariel | Tue, 07/07/2009

"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville


You think it's funny?!

This was very trying and perilous period of my life--how could you possibly laugh at it?? I got distressingly, dangerously close to being devoured by drooling demons!! (say that five times fast) 

 kidding, kidding...

Seriously, thanks for the comments. I'm glad everybody's able to laugh with me and at me...  :P

I have to give Sarah Bethany's "Neighborhood Boys" essay credit for getting me thinking about the strange notions I had when I was younger--she inspired this piece to a certain degree.

Cubbie Bear was Cubbie Bear because she was a genuine fluffy 12-inch Cubbies mascot ordered out of the AWANA catalogue. Don't remember what I did to get her. She's just always been there, you know?

Yes, I know the official Cubbie Bear is probably male. Mine isn't.

Abbie | Tue, 07/07/2009

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't." ~Pelonius in "Hamlet"

I never heard about Monster

I never heard about Monster Spray until the problem had gone away. Plus, the Monsters were never under the bed during the day. I spent loads of time under the bed in daylight hours--the vaccuum wouldn't have made any difference then. Trying it at night would've been out of the question.

Abbie | Tue, 07/07/2009

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't." ~Pelonius in "Hamlet"

  I had to deal with spiders.


I had to deal with spiders. And they seemed to torment me for no good reason at all. And let me tell you, they were HORRIFIEING! I would see them with my eyes shut, while I was dreaming. Then my eyes would fly open but they would still be there! Coming off the roof on their webs! Climbing onto me! (I was on the top of my bunk at the time, so I was very close to them. And just to let you know I don’t share my bunk with anyone. Except when my friends spend the night.)  I dove into Mom and Dad’s room. I told my troubles and Mom held me, and prayed with me, but then a BIG one jumped on me. I freaked out. (Mom must have been confused to see my jumping and screaming with an invisible spider on me.)

I am Nate-Dude | Wed, 07/22/2009


At least I never actually SAW

At least I never actually SAW my monsters. sounds like you had a rough time. :P

Anonymous | Wed, 07/22/2009