Monsters
September 1994, by Tony Nitz

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        It's here again. I can hear it in Sarah's room this time. But Sarah's too small. She can't help herself. She can only crawl around when Mommie lets her out of her crib. And Mommie's not here. It's in Sarah's room and Sarah can't help herself. Maybe if I scream it'll leave her alone. But then it'll come after me again. Remember last time. Just be quiet and maybe it'll go away. But it never goes away. It always comes when Mommie's away. It always comes back. And Terri's not here either. She's safe at Angie's house tonight. But Terri always takes care of me. Even when it comes she protects me. But Terri's not here tonight. And it is. I want my big sister. And Sarah's screaming. Its got her. It'll come for me again if I scream. Don't scream. Don't scream. Don't scream.
        "NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! MOMMIE! MOMMIE!" Oh no! What did I do! I'm just a stupid little five year old. Mommie's boyfriend is always saying, "Kenny, you're a stupid ass little kid." And I must be, because it heard me. It's gonna come after me now. Sarah's door slammed. Or did it break again. It's coming for me.
        "Go away! Go AWAY! Leave me alone!" It's just laughing at me, standing in my doorway. Laughing, and growling. The lights are on in the living room, but all the windows and blinds and curtains have been shut. I keep kicking as it drags me away by one leg. I can't get loose. I don't want to go to the living room. I try to hold on to my bed, but it just drags me away. "MOMMIE! MOMMIE! Where's Mommie?" But Mommie's not here, and she's not coming to help me.
        I can smell it's nasty breath as it growls in my face, "Where's Mommie?" Is the monster talking? Is it making fun of me? It likes for me to be scared. It's still laughing at me. It's pressing me against the ceiling in the living room. I want to get a way, but I'm afraid of falling from so high, too. It's laughing at me and growling with it's green and yellow fangs and red eyes. I hit the floor hard, and throw up. I can hear it screaming at me as it comes at me from above. It grabs the back of my head with it's huge claws and throws my face into the vomit on the floor. I can't breathe. It's going to kill me this time for sure. I know because everything's going dark. I'm dying.

* * * * *

        The sun's all the way up. Terri's not here. I guess she's at school. I hate sleeping, or do I just hate the night. I hope Mommie's home. I miss her a lot. Time to get up, I guess.
        "Mommie!" There she is! Sitting on the couch with a cigarette and the phone. I'll just jump right up beside her and snuggle up under one arm. I really need a hug. The monster was really bad last night.
        "Well good morning, sleepy head. I thought you were going to be out all day. Come give Mommie a kiss." I feel better now. Last night is over. I wonder if Mommie will let me watch T.V.
        "Can I watch T.V., Mommie?"
        "Sure, but keep it low. I'm on the phone with Karen. Get yourself some Kool-aid from the refrigerator, too. I'll get you some cereal for breakfast when I get off the phone."
        Terminator 2 is still in the VCR. Good, it's my favorite.
        "Are you going to watch that again?" She always says that. "I can't understand his fascination with that movie, Karen. He watches it two or three times a day every day. Cheap babysitter, though! But, it's no wonder he keeps having those nightmares. Anyway, about Bob, it's really great! He's been acting so jealous lately...."
        I'm comfy now, on the couch with Mommie and my Kool-aid, watching TV. In a few hours Terri will be home. She'll talk with me, and play with me, and make me dinner. Terri loves me, and I love her. She always keeps the monsters away. I'll just sit here and watch TV, and wait for my big sister to come home.

* * * * *

        "Hi, Kenny!" Terri's home! "Had lunch yet?"
        "No. Can we have hot dogs? Please!" Hot dogs are my favorite.
        "We have hot dogs every day, but O.K. Anything new on the Terminator Network today?" I guess she likes my video, too. I like Arnold. He fights the monster that's chasing the boy and his mom.
        "Assa lavissa, Baby!" I like Arnold.
        Lunch is great. I like eating lunch with my big sister.
        "I'm going over to Angie's to do homework tonight, Kenny."
        "No! The monster came last night. I need you here, with me,tonight."
        "Now Kenny, I keep telling you there aren't any monsters in real life. But I'm not staying over for the night, I'll be home later this evening. So you won't have to sleep in our room alone."

* * * * *

        Terri's later coming home than I thought she'd be. Mommie went out again tonight. Sarah's asleep. Karen, from next door, is supposed to check on us until Terri gets home. I hope Terri gets home soon. I don't want to go asleep alone. That's how it always starts. Mommie and Terri are both gone, and me and Sarah are alone when the monster comes. I'm in my room all alone, and I'm afraid.
        I never heard it come this time. I just woke to see it standing over me in bed. One huge hand comes after me. It grows and covers my whole body. I can't move. It's fingers have grown into a thousand cords that have wrapped me up so tight I can't even wiggle. It's taking me to the living room again. Everything is gone! Not just the furniture, but the windows and doors! Even the door to my room is gone. Just solid walls.
        It feels like the monster is letting me loose. It's fingers are unwrapping from around me. Then it starts laughing, that growling laughter. I can hear a skillet sizzling on the stove in the kitchen. A claw on one hand is growing. Growing into a huge knife. It's slobbering on me, and I can hear it mumbling, "It's dinner time."
        I try to scream, but can't make any sound. And I can't move. I can feel it start to carve my leg. I keep trying to kick and scream, but can't.
        Terri's holding me. Where did she come from? I'm back in bed, and I'm O.K. But I can't stop shaking.
        "It's O.K., Kenny. It's O.K. It was only a dream. I'm here with you and you'll be alright." Mommie was still out, but Terri was here with me. I'm feeling better. I guess it was just a dream after all, this time. But sometimes it is real. They just don't believe me. "Let me get you a glass of milk. Then we'll watch some T.V. together until you're ready to go back to sleep." I'm glad Terri's here. I'm feeling better.

* * * * *

        Tonight it is not a dream. There really is a monster here. There really is. Really. It's the same monster that keeps coming back. But they won't believe me. I can hear it at my door. It's scratching at my door, playing with me. It knows I'm here. And it knows I know it's there. It keeps scratching at the door--long, slow, heavy scratches--and laughing. It's coming for me.
        It's not safe in bed. It'll be through my door any second. The closet! I'm so skinny I can squeeze between the dresser and the wall in the corner of the closet. Hurry, hurry, hurry. It's coming. Where's Mommie? Where's Terri? Maybe if I pull all these dirty clothes over me too. I'm taking too long. It's coming. Stop moving. Be quiet.
        "NOOOOO! NO! NO! NO!" It's mad at me. It can see me, but it can't reach me. I can't breathe. The wall hurts. It's too big to reach me behind the dresser. It's trying to smash me with the dresser. It's growling, and it stinks. And the wall hurts. And I can't breathe.
        Air! It feels good to breathe. Everything's O.K.... NO! The wall's not there anymore. The dresser's not there. It's got me! I can feel its claws digging into my shoulder. It's got my arm. It's laughing at me, and growling. "GO AWAY! GO AWAY!" I keep screaming, but it just keeps laughing at me. Where is it dragging me? I can't pull away. My arm hurts.
        Did I hear the front door open? It stops in the hallway. Mommie's home! It's scared now! I can pull away. I run back into my bedroom. But it chases me. It's mad at me for getting away. Under the bed. It can't follow me under the bed. It's too big. It's got my leg!
        "Kenny. Kenny, are you still up?" Mommie's calling for me. It lets go of my leg and disappears. I hope Sarah's O.K. I haven't heard her crying, but I haven't been listening. It always goes away when Mommie comes home. "Kenny! Get out from under that bed. Why are you crying? Have you been having nightmares again? Come here baby, and give Mommie a hug."
        "It wasn't...nightmare...Mommie." It's hard to talk. I can't stop crying. It's hard to talk while I'm still crying. And Mommie's boyfriend is here. Bob's here. They must have been out together. "The monster was here. It broke down my door! And it tried to get me."
        "Now you know that your door was already broken. Bob told me that you and Terri broke it playing the other day. I wish you'd stop trying to blame everything on your imaginary monsters. And if you'd go to bed when I tell you instead of staying up late and watching Terminator on video, you wouldn't be having these nightmares." She doesn't believe me. I wish she wouldn't leave us alone so much. "Bob, why did you let Kenny stay up so late. You know I wanted him in bed by now. There's no sense in you babysitting for me if you're just going to let the kids run wild."


copyright September 1994 | Tony A. Nitz  | all rights reserved | Revised:  Friday, 18 February 2005 20:19 +0500