SHADOWS • by Scott M. Sandridge

There’s a monster under my bed. I know. I saw it once when I peeked. And two green eyes looked back at me and blinked. I don’t know what it looks like; it’s never there when the lights are on.

Sometimes I hear it growl, other times it purrs like a kitten. But it’s the moments of silence that scare me most because that’s when I know it’s thinking, thinking about me. And it’s silent now.

Daddy said I just have bad dreams. But I know that’s not true because I don’t dream, and it always happens before I go to sleep. When I tried to tell him that, he just shouted, “William, go to bed!”

When Daddy doesn’t call me Billy I know he’s mad at me.

There’s a shadow in the corner. It only appears when the lights go off, when the voices come. It stands there and stares at me with red eyes. It touched me once, reached inside me and grabbed my heart. I froze and couldn’t move. Daddy turning on the light saved me that day.

I never felt so cold, not even when there’s snow. I wonder if death is cold.

It laughs, and it’s not a nice laugh. It’s all hollow and echoes in my ears and inside my head.

Mommy said I have a vivid imagination.

But then the shadows took her and Daddy away. I never heard them scream like that. Seeing the shadow was better than hearing the screams.

The shadow now leaves the corner, coming closer.

And the monster?

The monster is not under the bed anymore. It’s now on my chest, purring, mouth open, ready for its meal.

I want to get up and run, but I can’t. There’s a buzzing in my brain, and everything is numb. The voices are now everywhere, but I can’t hear what they’re saying.

The shadow reaches into me one last time.

Scott M. Sandridge is a writer, reviewer, columnist and editor. But in truth his cat, Loki, does all the work. Scott just takes the credit.

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Every Day Fiction

  • Gerard Demayne

    The monster is your cat Loki?

    • LOL! If you only knew how many people tremble in fear at the mere mention of her name…

      I miss my kitty 🙁 even if she did leave me with battle scars.

      But the story has more to do with Sleep Paralysis than anything else. And besides, when have you heard of a sweet little black cat eating a child alive? Um, other than Loki who tried…repeatedly.

  • That’s the problem with cats–you can’t trust them. But a good monster-under-the-bed tale, Scott.

  • Don’t you hate it when those monsters actually attack!

    Good story, Scott. 🙂

    • Thanks Rick! 🙂

  • Really? I thought this was creepy as all get out. I didn’t think it was a cat! Mommy and Daddy were screaming! I was spooked out by this story.

    • Well, technically it wasn’t a cat. More like a demonic entity in the shape of one.

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  • Lyn

    Nice psychological thriller…leaves the possibilities open. Good writing. 🙂

  • Thanks Lyn! 🙂

  • Hi Scott,

    This didn’t read like a story to me. The start was good, there was a great build-up, but after the parents are killed (how?) the rest falls flat because it’s too vague, and left me wondering what all of it was.

    Sorry, but I thought I could leave a negative comment since you’ve already got so many nice ones,and wouldn’t take this badly.

    Best wishes.

  • Hey, no prob. 😉

    Besides, all that was intentional. Things are much more terrifying when you don’t know what’s really going on. That, and I couldn’t break POV just to tell the reader.

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