Under The Bed All Night This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   When I was... oh...about five or six, I had terrible fears of the bed monster. My cousins told me everything they knew about what was under my bed. They said they knew because they were the smartest people on earth, and I, of course, believed them. I always looked up to them; they were my best friends.

They told me the monster was mean and vicious. He would come out at night and feast upon the living. But the only way to stop him was to put old smelly sneakers, or shoes, around the edges of the bed. He was also afraid of the brilliant light that man created.

I think they told me that just to see what it was like to watch a five-year-old lie awake until she was ten. They told me that was how grandfather died. The monster ate him. My grandfather actually died of a heart attack, but at five I didn't understand a heart attack. How could a heart beat him? Maybe a heart attack was when someone's heart went into another person's body and fought the other heart till one gave up. When I told this to my family, they laughed and told me I was wrong. But if that was wrong, then maybe "a monster ate him" was right. It was certainly easier to understand.

So that's when I began to stay up all night. I put smelly sneakers around the edges of my bed and made my dad shine a light under my bed so the monster wouldn't get me. I never did understand why my cousins laughed when they came in, in the middle of the night, and saw me with my back pressed against the corner of the wall, sitting on my pillows. I remember going to sleep like this for three weeks. When I was about seven, I started the "running leap" onto my bed, so that nothing could grab me and pull me under.

I really was upset with my cousins when I learned the truth. After all, they were my best friends and they had lied. They're no longer my best friends, but not because of the monster incident. My best friends now are schoolmates; I see them more often.

I still occasionally do that "running leap" to my bed, just for fun, or just in case. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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