Thursday, February 2, 2012

Very early short story - Mickey and the Thing Under His Bed

This is a really short story that I haven't published anywhere else before today. I wrote it in 1985, when I was 17.


“Mom! Dad!” Mickey Charles sat up in his bed screaming. He clutched his covers close about him. “Come quick! There’s a thing under my bed!”
His bedroom door flew open and his parents came rushing in.
“Hush!” yelled his father. “Quiet down!”
Mickey shut up, but he didn’t stop shaking. He was scared to death.
“Now what’s all this about, young man?” his dad asked. He wasn’t too happy about being awakened in the middle of the night.
“Th-th-th-there’s something under my bed! It’s huge and scaly and smelly, and it has horns—”
“Oh come on, Mickey,” his father interrupted his frightened son.
“You’re thirteen years old, and that’s entirely too old for you to still believe in things under your bed! Now go to sleep!” Dad stalked out the door.
Mickey gave his morn a pleading look. “Honest, Mom. There’s something under there!”
Mom bent over and peered beneath the bed. “Well it’s gone now.”
Mickey got out of bed and looked for himself.
His Mom got up and walked to the door. “Go back to sleep now, Mickey. It’s all right, you’re safe. Goodnight.”
She was out the door.
“But...” Mickey repeated.
There had been something there just minutes ago. It had laughed at him in a deep, rumbling voice. Then it had screamed foul words at him, its fetid breath oozing over him, making his skin crawl. It had swiped its claws at him. That’s when he had begun screaming. The thing had retreated back beneath his bed. Mickey slowly climbed back under the covers. He shivered, though not from the cold in the room. Some supernatural terror lurked under his bed.
It was out to get him. But no one believed him.
He didn’t sleep a wink the rest of that long, unusually cold night.
The next morning, his brothers and sisters laughed at him when they heard of last night’s incident. Mickey sniffed. No one believed him! He was beset by a monster from Hell, and no one would help him!
That night, Mickey once again lay in his bed. But he wasn’t asleep.
It was nearly midnight. That was when the creature had awakened him last night.
He burrowed deeper into the safety of his covers.
Suddenly a breeze was blowing through the room, bringing a deep chill and an unholy stench with it. Mickey pulled the covers over his head.
Now a heavy breathing sounded. A sharp yank, and the blankets no longer covered Mickey. A ten-foot, reeking horror lowered over him. A twisted, fur-covered face curved horns protruding from the forehead glared down at him.
It smiled a totally evil smile.
“I’ve come for you, horse dung,” it croaked. What awful breath!
Mickey closed his eyes tight and screamed as loud as he could.
Footsteps sounded out in the hallway.
In a moment of bravery, he opened his eyes and looked around. The thing was gone. He looked over the edge of the bed and screamed when he saw a barbed tail disappearing beneath his bed.
The door opened. Mickey’s dad walked into the room.
“What is it, Mickey?”
With a trembling finger, he pointed beneath the bed.
His dad threw his hands in the air and sighed. He stared at Mickey, then turned and left.
Once again, Mickey didn’t sleep for the rest of the night.
Mrs. Charles was really worried about her son. It didn’t seem normal for a person to have the same nightmare two nights in a row. Her husband didn’t see any reason to worry. But, she thought, that’s a man for you.
She would keep an eye on Mickey. If he had any more nightmares like the last two, she would take him to a psychiatrist.
For the third night in a row, Mrs. Charles was awakened by her son’s screams. She tapped her husband’s shoulder.
“Huh?” he said sleepily.
“Go check on Mickey. He’s screaming again.”
“Don’t worry about it. He’ll quiet down soon.” Mr. Charles promptly went back to sleep.
“Oh, I’ll do it myself!” She got up and donned her nightgown.
She stopped outside Mickey’s door. The screams had stopped. Maybe he had gone back to sleep. Should she disturb him? She shrugged. Better safe than sorry.
She opened the door—
And her jaw fell open in terror. She tried to scream, but could make no sound. Then she tried to run, but found herself rooted In place. All she could do was gape.
The thing sitting on Mickey’s bed grated out, “Hello Mrs. Charles,” and burped loudly. Then it got up and began advancing on her. “Now it’s your turn! I sure am hungry tonight!”

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