by Christopher James -
Maisie hated staying at Nan and Pop’s place because of the monster under the bed. The monster was green and hairy, and he had violet eyes and bright blue spots. His legs were pink and springy and his arms were on top of his head. He only came out when Maisie was alone, after everybody else had gone to bed.
Mom said to Maisie, “Before you go to sleep I’ll bop the monster on the head with a frying pan. That way he won’t bother you. Okay?”
She even brought a pan into the room and crawled under the bed with it, making a loud Boink sound like she was clobbering monsters. But Maisie wasn’t dumb, and she knew Mom was only pretending. The monster was invisible to most people, except for Maisie. Mom didn’t really believe he existed.
“There you are, poppet!” Mom said, crawling back from under the bed. “He’s out cold. I think we’ve seen the last of that horrible creature. Time for sleep, okey-dokey?”
“But Mom,” said Maisie, “you didn’t really boink him on the head. You just made the sound with your mouth. As soon as you go to sleep he’s going to come out and tickle me. I want to sleep in your bed. It’s safer that way.”
“He’s going to tickle you? I thought you liked being tickled.”
Maisie sighed. “I don’t like being tickled by monsters, okay?”
Mom made a big sad face and gave Maisie a hug. “Honey pumpkin,” she said, “I think you should sleep in your own bed. You’re a big girl now, and there’s not enough room for you to sleep with Daddy and me.”
“Then can I sleep with Nan and Pop?” asked Maisie.
“There’s not enough room for you to sleep with them either, tweetie-pie. Now go to sleep. Mommy’s only down the hall. If the monster does come back – and he won’t, because I scared him away good – but if he does, you know you only have to walk outside and knock on my door.”
Maisie complained with her face, but Mom wasn’t budging. Maisie would have to sleep in her own bed and that was that. Mom gave Maisie a kiss on the nose for being so cute and pulled the sheets up around her, then she squeezed her goodnight and left the room. She switched out the light and closed the door behind her.
The monster waited ten long minutes before he came out from under the bed.
“Maisie,” he growled. “Did you send in your Mommy to try and frighten me away?”
“No,” said Maisie. “Maybe you imagined it.” Maisie was scared, but she knew not to show her fear to the monster. Monsters ate fear for breakfast.
“You shouldn’t have sent your Mommy here. Now you’ve made me mad. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, Maisie. You won’t like me when I’m mad.”
“Well duh!” said Maisie. “I don’t like you even when you’re not mad.”
Oops! Maisie might’ve gone too far. The monster didn’t like it when she was cheeky to him. His pink springy legs flexed and sprung, and he stretched up until he was as big as the ceiling. His green, hairy body puffed out like a furry balloon, and his eyes went from violet to indigo to blue to green to yellow to orange and then to red, like fire. His bright blue spots burst with loud Pops and out squirted icky blue goo, all over the walls and all over Maisie’s bed.
Maisie slipped under the covers and crawled out through the end of the bed. She would go down the hall and knock on Mom’s door. The monster was definitely back.
“Where do you think you’re going?” asked the monster.