Sophia hid in her closet, it was her only safe place. Hanging on a ceiling was a mobile with a handcrafted dragon. She remembered thinking the dragon was frightening, but whenever the darkness in her room swallowed her, the dragon’s eyes flashed; the shadows were obliterated.
She also remembered when her mom first hit her. She scrubbed Sophia’s cut and it was excruciating as was the burning stringent liquid her mom poured on it.
Suddenly, Sophia heard yelling and stomping. The closest door flew open — her mother was drunk again.
Instantly, the dragon’s eyes above her caught fire. He grew into a monster with golden scales and the scent of fire and ash, spreading and filling Sophia’s entire bedroom. He blew a blaze of fire at her mom but only the bottle of Kirkland Tequila (1.75 Litres/$20.00) in her mom’s hand disintegrated.
In words veiled in smoke the dragon hissed at Sophia’s mom who nodded; she understood the dragon’s warning. He breathed out his last plume of smoke and except for the acrid smell, it was if Sophie’s dragon had never awoken.
She crawled out of her hiding place and petted the handcrafted dragon hearing him purr.
“What’s that noise?” Robbin said afraid. “Mom there’s something under my bed?”
Robbin’s Mom, Dorothy, flicked on the bedside lamp in eight-year-old Robbin’s room. She made a grand show of peering under the bed.
“Come see Robbin, there’s nothing under your bed. A monster couldn’t fit under there.”
Robbin got out of bed and peaked under his bed. “There’s only a few socks and toys here.”
“Yep. You can clean those up tomorrow,” Dorothy ordered.” Now it’s time for bed. No more reading. You have school.”
Robbin nodded and flicked off his lamp hesitantly. He snuggled under the covers which Dorothy had tucked him into. That’s when he heard the scrapping sound and loud inhuman breathing.
Robbin hid is whole body under his blankets, hoping the monster wouldn’t eat him.
The monster was in the closet this time and Robbin could see his red eyes through the crack in the closet door. The closet door began to creep open and Robbin screamed. The monster’s shadow was visible on the floor.
Dorothy came running. She was tired and wondered when Robbin would get over his fears of monsters. “What now my love?”
“The monster is in the closet now.” Robbin stuttered his face wan.
Dorothy opened the closet door, flinging it open to show Robbin nothing was there. “See no monsters,” Dorothy said.
“Mom,” Robbin screamed.
Behind Dorothy a monster was waiting to pounce. His red eyes glaring and giant teeth sharp and dripping with slime. His half-furred, half-reptilian body repulsed Robbin who began to cry and beg, “Don’t eat my Mom.”
Dorothy turned around to look in the closet. “There’s nothing here . . . Ah!” The monster swallowed Robbin’s Mom whole.
Robbin flicked on the lamp light quickly and the monster disappeared. “Mommy . . .” Robbin asked.
But it was too late. Dorothy should’ve known better. The best way to get rid of monsters is to first turn on the light.
“Carissa can you come see me in the basement?” Kathy, Carissa’s mother calls to her daughter, my niece.
” I’ll be here when you get back,” I tell Carissa who shakes her head.
” I don’t like the basement” she says, “There’s a monster and he hides under the stairs. He is going to eat us.”If only the monsters in real-life were as harmless as the one’s Carissa sees.
“I’ll go down the stairs with you and we can both look to see if there’s a monster there okay?” I tell Carissa who nods her head. It seemed like a good idea at the time . . .
I take Carissa’s hand and we both descend the stairs.We listen for Kathy. I notice the light bulbs as they flicker on and off. “Kathy?” I call out and Carissa’s grip tightens. She is staring at a dark mass beneath the stairs. I use my Iphone as light to better see.
Beneath the stairs I scream. I have never seen such demonic eyes and large teeth. Kathy’s blood pools at my feet. I hold my arm out to Carissa, “Go, take my phone Carissa. You know how to use it.Call 911. Call Daddy.”
Carissa runs up the stairs and I absorb the pain of sharp teeth and the foul stench of breath.