3TC · Fandango's One Word Challenge (FOWC) · fiction · horror · Word of the Day Challenge

Bad Sleeper


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Fandango’s FOWC is delirious, the Word of the Day Challenge is identity, Paula’s 3 Things Challenge Words are zoo, aluminum, cocoa , and Teresa’s Story Starter Challenge phrase is “There is no monster under your bed.”

For as long as Billy could remember, he had been terrified of monsters under his bed. The first time it happened was the night after the family had gone to the zoo and spent all day in the hot sun. As his family could only afford the admission price, there was no money to buy drinks, and, because the zoo was determined to make as much money as it could, no water was available. For Billy and his family it meant going without fluids for ten hours straight. By the time the family was headed for home on public transit, Billy and his sister, Benny, were feeling delirious with heat stroke.

Both children were put to bed, with cool compresses on their foreheads, after drinking multiple cups of water. Billy and Benny shared a room, with bunk beds. Benny was a year older so she got the top bunk. The family cat, Jinx, slept on Billy’s bed.

Both children fell asleep quickly. Billy was awakened by Jinx hissing and jumping off the bed and running out of the room. It was then that he felt a scratching under his mattress. Benny was drenched with sweat and feeling nauseous already, but when he felt the scratching, it was too much, and he started screaming. His mother, who slept in the next room, was there in a flash. Billy’s mom dabbed his forehead with the hem of her long nightgown. “What’s the matter, Billy? Bad dream?”

Billy said, voice shaking, “No, mom, I felt scratching under my mattress.”

It must have been Jinx, sharpening her claws.”

No, mom, I saw Jinx run out of the room.”

OK, let me check…”

Billy’s mom grabbed the flashlight from the top of the dresser, then got down and gave the space under the bed a thorough examination. Nothing was there.

There is no monster under your bed, Billy.”

Benny was just stirring, as she was a sound sleeper. “What’s going on?,” she said as she climbed down to head to the rest room.

Nothing, Billy just had a bad dream,” said their mother.

Billy ended up sleeping in his parents’ room, on a cot they used for just this kind of thing.

In the morning, the children began eating their oatmeal. Each had a special cocoa cup, made of aluminum, with their identities on them. They had cocoa for breakfast every morning. Billy lifted his cup, ready to drink, when he saw long claw marks etched into the side of his cup.

13 thoughts on “Bad Sleeper

      1. Yea they were being a smart alec… I have had some people say….that is a sucky song blah blah…I have told them well don’t read it.
        It doesn’t happen much at all

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for saying that. I think they were serious, but like you said if they don’t like it they need to move along. Did you post a song for Song Lyric Sunday last week? I saw Jim listed who put songs in and saw your name in there. Very cool. Sorry I missed it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You said the right thing.

            Yes I did…usually I try to have them already done…but this time he asked and I knew of one and had a minute to do it.

            Liked by 1 person

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