Flash Fiction: Beneath the Bed

This story was written for Cracked Flash Fiction last week. The prompt was “You’re my favourite monster”.

Beneath the Bed

“You’re my favourite, Monster,” Lisa said to the shadowy lump beneath her bed and smiled. Her two front teeth were missing and she was holding another tooth in the palm of her hand.
“There is no reason for you to be afraid of the tooth fairy, okay?” she said. “She’s a nice fairy who’ll bring me money and then tomorrow we can go buy candy.”
There’s a snapping of teeth and a scrabbling of nails beneath the bed as Monster tried to catch a stray bug that had found its way there.
“Okay?” she asked again. Monster had become awfully quiet and agitated since the tooth fairy started showing up.
“Okay,” a voice rumbled from beneath the bed. “Can we have chocolate, Lisa?”
The little girl nodded, blew Monster a kiss, and pushed a small teddy bear beneath the bed before she jumped onto the bed and placed the tooth beneath her pillow.
Monster crept further into the shadows, hugging the teddy tightly, when Mom came to say goodnight and shivered with the knowledge of what was going to happen during the night.

The witching hour came much too soon and, with it, monsters like the bogeyman, shadow man, and the tooth fairy. She entered the room through the window. A thin sliver of nothingness that took on the form of Lisa’s mother as she neared the bed and picked up the tooth. Monster held his breath.
“What of yours do you give me in return for her safety, Monster?” she hissed.
“Two years of my time with her,” Monster answered. It was always two years.
A banknote was shoved beneath the pillow. “I accept.”
The tooth fairy slipped out of the room again, her passing only a whisper in the wind.
Beneath the bed sounded Monster’s muffled crying.

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.


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