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Eider listened silently to the long and terrible creek that echoed through the silence of the night. It was far past his bedtime, the light up Spiderman clock mounted on the wall displaying the numbers “10:00”. Eider was supposed to have been asleep two hours ago. His mother would’ve been furious if she knew that he was still awake, but he couldn’t help it. Eider kept hearing strange and frightening sounds throughout the house and he knew he wouldn’t be able to fall asleep even if he tried. He was scared that if he closed his eyes, even for just a moment, whatever creature was making the scraping sounds on the hardwood floor upstairs would slip into his bedroom without him noticing and begin to bite at his face before he had a chance to call out for his mother. That’s what happened to the little boy in the movie his brother showed him anyway.
His older brother, Weslin, had allowed Eider to watch a scary movie with him while he was babysitting until their mother got back. But only on the condition that Eider would mention nothing about the movie to their mother. In the movie, a little six-year-old boy, only a year older than Eider, had been sure there was a terrible monster lurking through the house. When the monster began to open his bedroom door the little boy hid his face under the covers, and before he even got a chance to call out for his parents, the monster had leaped onto him and began to gnaw at his face.
Eider didn’t want that to happen to him. He would be in enough trouble as it was, having both stayed up late and watched an off-limits movie. But what if there really was a monster in the house? What if the footsteps he heard upstairs in the kitchen was the monster from the movie. It was searching the house for him since he had broken the rules, he knew it! Eider stared at his door handle in terror. He could swear, in the almost overwhelming dark of the room, he could see the doorknob turn ever so slightly. His heart hammered in his chest.
“No…” He thought to himself, “Noah would’ve barked…”
Noah was the family husky. They had gotten the dog as a new companion for him and Weslin, but Eider knew the real reason they had gotten Noah was to distract the two of them when their dad left. A new fear crept up from the darkest corners of his mind. What if the monster had already gotten Noah? What if when Eider ran upstairs to the safety of his mother’s arms he would find Noah a bloody carcass in the hallway? What if when he found Noah, his stomach had been ripped open and the monster laid eggs in his chest cavity, just like it did in the movie to the little boy’s face.
A loud crash sounded from upstairs and Eider violently jerked in his bed. The edges of his fingers tingled, and his palms began to sweat. He was sure that the monster was in the house now.
“What do I do? What do I do?” His tiny little voice echoed in his head. “Mom’s room is all the way upstairs on the second floor…”
He thought about sneaking out of his room to get Weslin first and then mom. But what if Mom died before they could get to her? Eider decided that Weslin was smart enough to hide while Eider went to go get their mother. After all, once he got to his mother, he was sure she could save them both from the terrible creature. She wasn’t scared to confront the monsters in Eider’s closet or under his bed, surely, she could best the beast lurking in the shadows of their home.
Never taking his eyes off the door handle he slowly pulled aside the blue and red Spiderman themed covers to his race car bed and carefully stepped onto the floor. His thick, curly, near black hair, fell into his face, blocking the left side of the room from his molten brown eyes. Yet another thought slithered its way into Eider’s head. What if when Eider next looked in the mirror, the next time Eider made eye contact with his reflection, his eyes turned into that of the monster. The monster would reach through the glass and pull Eider into Hell with it. Eider would be left to suffer forever, alone, terrified, and burning in the flames of the Damned. That wasn’t what happened in the movie, but Eider was smart enough to know that not everything in the movie was true.
He picked up his silver and blue sword he had gotten from Santa’s Workshop and held it tightly. In his other hand, he gripped his blue and green “Oswald The Octopus” flashlight. He had made a deal with himself that he would only use the flashlight when he really needed to. He needed to be extra careful in order to keep the monster from finding him.
Eider thought about what would happen if the monster was outside his door. He imagined peeking out from the crack in his door and seeing nothing at first. He would turn on his flashlight and the small golden beam illuminate the pale, doll-like face, of the monster with fresh blood acting as her bright red lipstick. He imagined the woman shoving her long sword like nails straight through his stomach and begin to eat into his throat while he was still alive. She would mimic his voice and call out to Weslin to lure him out of his room once Eider was dead. That wasn’t in the movie either, but Eider knew that monsters were cleverer than they seemed. That’s what his friend at school told him anyways.
His friend had told Eider that once you began to think about monsters, the monsters knew, and you’d draw them to you like a magnet. That struck a special kind of fear within Eider that made him grip the sides of his Thomas the Train pajamas.
“The monster already knows I’m here…”
Eider let out a small sob. A ball grew in his throat and the pain of stifling back tears swelled in his chest. He slowly opened the door to his room. He slipped out into the suffocating darkness of the house, not daring to breathe for fear of disturbing the now eerily quiet slumber of the house. He had to help himself move one foot after the other down the hallway towards the stairs to the living room. Each gentle “crunch” of his feet against the soft carpet provoked the tears resting at the edge of his water line. Each step took what felt to Eider an hour to move on as he tried to avoid the creaking sound of the wood beneath his feet. His worst fears came true as a black figure crossed the stairway in a brief flash. He didn’t see it, but Eider was sure it was at least 8ft tall. That the figure had four arms, horns curling back out of its skull, and long flowing raven black veil of hair that it would shove down his throat as he tried to scream.
Hot tears slipped quietly down his face. His heart thundered in his chest, slamming against his ribs to break free from his body. Panic caused his breath to turn into short sobs that slowly crawled their way up from his throat into small hiccups of fear. Eider knew he had to move now and he had to move fast otherwise he’d die. Before he even knew he had commanded it, his tiny bare feet were flying through the house with him in tow. He flicked on his “Oswald the Octopus” flashlight, the beam was slicing through the dark in a panicked flurry to clear the way for Eider as he leaped up the rest of the stairs and barreled over anything in his way.
Behind him, he could hear the footsteps of the monster running after him, now aware of its next meal. The loud thundering booms of its feet pounded behind him, faster and faster, closer and closer- “Mommy!”
Eider screeched out into the dark, his words finally breaking free of the dam built up in his throat. He could hear the creature behind him call out his name over and over again, commanding him to come back in shrill squawks. As he passed by Noah’s bed he swore he saw the brief crimson gleam as his flashlight’s gaze briefly danced over the dog’s corpse. Hot rivers pumped themselves down his face, the salty taste worming its way in-between his lips to the safety of his tongue like they too were running for refuge.
The dark creature, a horrible contraction of loose flaps of skin and writhing tendrils scooped him up into its arms, squeezing him close to itself like a python its prey.
“Eider!” It squawked again, “Eider, calm do-”
Eider’s elbow collided with its face in a desperate effort to escape. The demon dropped him, and Eider darted behind his homemade fort of blankets and pillows, the makeshift shelter giving him lee against the wrath of the monster storming towards him. A pale hand wrapped itself around the edge of the blanket Eider’s grandmother had given him last Christmas and hurled the blanket back behind it, revealing itself to Eider as the beam of his flashlight landed on its… Prepossessing features.
Eider’s mother stood, bottom lip bleeding from where he had struck her, arms crossed in front of him. Her long and curled auburn hair draped itself around her shoulders much like her satin robe did around the rest of her. Her hazel eyes were ablaze with both fury and distress for her son.
“Eider… What the hell are you doing?!” She yelled, her voice sounding more like a croak because of her bad cough. A cough had made her lose her voice and she sounded very different because of it.
Eider’s lip quivered as he rushed into his mother’s arms, wrapping his tiny legs around her waist as she hoisted him up to cry on her shoulder. She rubbed his back to try and ease his perturbation.
Noah trotted around the corner, his blood red color standing out against his snow-white pelt in the dark surrounding them.
“What’s the matter?”
Eider could do nothing more than simply hiccup out the words, “I had a bad dream…”
CREDIT : Cecilia Vasquez