She laid crumpled at her mother’s door so long her tears dried but the door remained firmly locked.

“Mommy,” the little girl whispered.

She wouldn’t dare actually raise her voice and wake her mother; she’d likely be spanked. Again. The darkness was better.

“Ugh!” she cried, standing up with sudden courage and heading down the hall.

“This is my room” She announced, barging through the doorway. 

“You’re under my bed! And I’m going to sleep!”” She said, executing a running leap into it. 

Her courage evaporated instantly. Anxiety stole the warmth from her blankets; her panicked breathing filled the room. This was a bad idea!

Yet she could not move a muscle. She laid frozen to the bed in fear, slow tears welling in her eyes. The hours dragged on but she did not sleep.

Her mother would not come. She never had, never would. From under the bed came a low, inhuman chuckle. 

The girl swallowed.

“Why … me?”

The voice was gravelly, old, and it echoed faintly. “You are always alone.”

It was true and she knew it.

The silence stretched so long it was the demon that spoke first. 

“Facing your fears tonight?” 

“You,” she said distantly, “come out.”

It gave a questioning growl.

“Come on top of the bed with me.”

There was a long, very long pause at the odd command then a heavy dragging sound, and quick scramble of claws against wood. Her bed gave a great whine of protest under his weight and his full presence loomed above her widened eyes. 

Neither moved.

Suddenly she threw her arms around the creature with a slightly hysterical giggle. 

“You’re furry! Like a dog!”

He hesitated in the embrace before finally saying with deliberate dignity, “I am no dog.”

“I always wanted a dog,” she murmured.

The demon shrugged off her arms, strolling across the bed on all fours.

“Wait!”

“I’m not going anywhere.” He snapped, settling on the pillow. The girl actually smiled as she hurried to cuddle against him.

“Go to sleep,” he grumbled as she stroked his fur. “You have school in the morning.”

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Voice-Team
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Voice-Team (@voice-team)
23 days ago

Sweet/Scary RunnerUp: Another truly sweet story. We love the “scary” monster that could turn into a best friend for the lonely little girl. A gentle, lovely story.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
1 month ago

Ha, I love the progression of this story, from the rigid fear to the relaxing of the anxiety. Really great stuff!

Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
1 month ago

I love your happy ending, Ayah! A wonderful story that left me with a big smile 🙂

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
1 month ago

I like it that your story included a practical example of “facing one’s fear,” Ayah. This might even be better than having an imaginary friend. I hope your protagonist found a true friend in her demon.

Heather C
Heather C (@heather-c)
1 month ago

I really enjoyed reading this story! Even though it’s light hearted in the end, the loneliness of the girl really comes through. Imagine being so lonely you would snuggle a monster! Nice work.

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti (@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 month ago

Fear has been successfully used in the tale. Here it has originated from an imagined danger. Good work!

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago

Excellent. I really liked this ending that made me smile. Overcoming your fear is tremendous self-success. Good job.

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