The cold sweat had soaked his T-shirt, and deep down he knew what had stirred him awake. He didn’t move while his eyes stared into the darkness of his bedroom. It was still and silent like a summer evening, and he let out a soft sigh. Then the shriek torn in his ears like old broken nails. All the muscles in his body became rigid, and he shut his eyes so hard it hurt. The dream had followed him.
When he was younger, he would scream and scream until his mother would rush into his room and embrace him with her soft, warm body. She would rock him, kiss him and whisper that everything would be alright, and that monsters weren’t real. Now, tears rolled down his blushed cheeks, and he cursed the day she’d died and leaved him alone in the dark.
Something under the bed clawed its way to the edge. When it grabbed the mattress and pulled itself up, his throat closed, and his bladder emptied its warm content. It crawled on top of him. The raucous breaths came closer, and the damp odor of rotten flesh made his stomach clench.
A sore and monotone voice broke the vibrating silence.
“Shh, listen… Your mother has a message for you. She is so sorry that she didn’t believe you when you cried out that I was under your bed. But she believes in me now. Oh yes, she does.”
He wanted to toss and turn and scream, but his body refused to obey his desperate commands.
“She also wished that you could have a delightful birthday tomorrow, but since monsters are real…”
A short, grueling scream of pain erupted from his throat and echoed out into the night.
© 2021 Ken Bergman