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The Monster under the bed

by RavenWillow


I stare at the file and realize I have no options. Over the last 2 years, every monster assigned to Charlotte Dower has quit, every last one. Her first monster; a giant goldfish-faced humanoid named Bubba had been with her for four years and then she wasn't scared of him anymore. After that it was a string of common, uncommon and rare monsters. . . I even assigned a sentient sock monster to her. He came back crying!

I look at my tablet, only one assignable monster was left; myself. Field work has never been my cup of tea but desperate times call for desperate measures. So at 8:03 pm, after Mrs.Gideon tucks Charlotte and her little brother Daniel in bed, I slither into the space beneath Charlotte's bed. Across the room under Daniel's crib is a rookie named Chico-- a standard Creep kind of monster.

I turn my attention to the bed above me, Charlotte is still awake but barely. I reach up over the bed and run an ice cold finger over her cheek. Silence. I do it again.

"I am not afraid of you monster!" Charlotte whispers but her voice is shaking. I can see a small clock on the wall. It's 8:14. A door somewhere in the house slams and there is an audible hitch of breath from above me. A few minutes go by and I can hear Francis Gideon yelling at his wife. There are heavy footsteps on the stairs and panting breaths. Charlotte scrambles off bed and . . . She. CRAWLS. Under. The.Bed. With. ME.

"Move. Over!" Charlotte hisses at me. I do.

The door to the bedroom slams open and I can smell human intoxicants even before the man steps inside. Now I know why Charlotte isn't scared of any of my monsters; she's scared of her own.

Francis reaches a hand under the bed and I thrust my wrist into it. He begins to pull and so, I slither out.

"What the . . . " I cut Francis' next words off by unfolding my full 12 feet height. Looming over the drunken man I caress my ice cold fingers down his face.

"If you ever touch, scare or harm my child again, I will find you, and I will do the same to you, for the rest of eternity." I promised to him.

As Francis runs out of the room he soils himself.

I pull Charlotte out from under the bed, tuck her inside the covers and kiss her forehead goodnight." I'll be back tomorrow night, sleep well darling."

Charlotte Dower is my child and I am the monster under her bed.


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22 Reviews


Points: 51
Reviews: 22

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Fri Nov 06, 2020 3:16 pm
cidrianwritersguild wrote a review...



This story was really cute. We really like how the monster narrating pivots SO hard from trying to scare Charlotte to striking fear into her drunk father to protect her. We also like how the monster also becomes kind of parental and literally tucks her into the bed. It was touching and funny at the same time and we love it.

We only have two critiques:

1. We would've liked to have had a bit more description of the narrator so that the reader knows why people are supposed to be so scared of them. Although we suppose imagination takes care of that.

2. It seems weird that a twelve foot tall monster would be able to stand at their full height in (assumption based on her father's drunkenness) what would be a pretty bad home.

That's all we have for you, stay writing!


The Cidrian Writer's Guild




RavenWillow says...


Thanks for the critiques! Now about the physical description and twelve feet height, I will make a comeback in the next part on that.



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Points: 125
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Fri Nov 06, 2020 9:32 am
kishibe wrote a review...



Hi there. I liked this story--I remember the prompt it may have come from (though I'm not assuming anything) and if you did take it from that prompt, I'm really impressed! This was a great twist to the prompt, and I feel like it could definitely be expanded.
Some ideas for any future expansion:

1. Why did the other monsters resign from their posts? If it were only because the girl wasn't scared of them, that would be one thing, but their resigning one after another suggests that either the girl or the abuser was actively making them want to leave. Perhaps you could make it so that the girl has enough power to beat the monsters and make them leave, or perhaps you could make it that the father somehow intimidates the monsters. One idea I had was that perhaps the girl made friends with some of the monsters beforehand, but when the monsters tried to defend the girl, the father punished them. That could be a great conflict to continue the story with--will this supervisor be able to succeed where the other monsters couldn't? But that's just my speculation.

2. The brevity of the piece made it so that I didn't really understand why the supervisor monster would want to defend this girl. Is it just a matter of their own sense of justice? Perhaps on a later revision, you could lengthen the story a bit to flesh out why a monster would want to defend a human girl, maybe make it so that the two of them have similar fears or something.

In the case that this is just practice for yourself, here are some things you could work on for future pieces:

1. Consider characterization when writing dialogue and actions. As I mentioned earlier, why would a monster who scares children for a living suddenly care for an abused child? Why would the monster call her "darling," even? Perhaps the characterization in your mind would make it work out, but you also need to consider how the reader sees the characterization as well.

2. Your small examples of worldbuilding is effective. For example, the line "Across the room under Daniel's crib is a rookie named Chico-- a standard Creep kind of monster." helps build a sense of consistency within the universe--it makes sense for there to be another monster under another bed, and it makes sense that the supervisor would realize what kind of monster it is.

3. Really loved the last line. It's a nice bookend to a sad story with a happy ending. It would be even more weighty with a deeper plot and development behind it, methinks.

So anyway, that's my take. Thank you for the read!

Cheers.
K




RavenWillow says...


Glad you liked it! I will make a comeback on these things in the future. I'll keep your ideas in mind. And yes this story is inspired by a prompt I happened to stumble upon in pinterest. Thanks for the ideas and inspo!



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53 Reviews


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Reviews: 53

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Thu Nov 05, 2020 2:18 pm
izzywidgeon wrote a review...



Okay, okay, there's a lot to unpack here. This instantly reminded me of Monsters, inc, where the Monsters were each assigned a kid to scare. This is sort of the same concept, just a bit more complex, which I do like. The ending was sort of sweet; it showed that the monster doesn't really want to scare her, and that despite being a monster, the real monster is the drunk? (Is he Charlotte's father? I'm not really sure..can you confirm that? Correct me if I'm wrong).

I really liked this aspect; People can totally be monsters..well, the metaphorical type.

Now, onto the nit-picky stuff.

1. "What the . . . " I cut Francis' next words off by unfolding my full 12 feet height. Looming over the drunken man I caress my ice cold fingers down his face."

"Caress" means to hold something with care, and since this monster is well, pretty angry, it seems like a sort of..off word? Use a word like 'drag', maybe.

2. "My full twelve foot height" also sounds..awkward.

It should be something like: "..by unfolding to my full height."

Otherwise than that, I really liked this piece, and if you choose to turn it into something more, I'm down to read it.

Cheers!

-MintyLeaf <3




RavenWillow says...


Hi! Here to confirm a few things. The drunken man is Charlotte's abusive father. I will make a comeback in the future where I explain the twelve feet height mystery. As for the caress part... this monster only did it o scare Francis.



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32 Reviews


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Reviews: 32

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Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:59 am
rida says...



Hi! This was an amazing short story you wrote. I loved the ending! But I spotted two mistakes:

#1

A few minutes go by and I can hear Francis Gideon yelling a his wife.

To
A few minutes go by and I can hear Francis Gideon yelling AT his wife.

#2

Move. Over!" Charlotte hisses at me. I do.

To
Move Over!" Charlotte hisses at me. I do.

No full stop between ‘move’ and ‘over’.

This story was very unique and different. I loved it. Maybe you could make a bit longer?



I look forward to more of these type of stories!



Keep writing!


:) :) :)
:D :D :D




RavenWillow says...


Thanks for the review! Oh and I wrote "Move. Over!" on purpose. It's a way to show the force of her words.



RavenWillow says...


And I will make a comeback on this in the future.




I feel like if I was the mafia I’d leave a voicemail.
— Tuckster