With all but one light off, little Caitlyn was wrapped up in her blanket. Creak, she heard. She sat silently, her eyes drooping. Another creak. A few minutes passed, and the sound had stopped. The 7-year-old shut her bedside lamp off before lying back down. Creak. There it was again. Caitlyn sighed and turned to her side.
Another creak sounded in the room, but this time Caitlyn was fast asleep. The creaking increased, and Caitlyn stirred in her sleep. From behind the closet doors, the monster pounced out with a loud roar. Her eyes snapped open wide. “So, are you a monster?”
The monster looked confused. Why isn’t she scared? “Do you speak? I’m Caitlyn,” she tried. “What’s your name?”
The monster continued to stare down at the girl.
“Er… I don’t have one,” the monster uttered. Lifting its large blue hands, the monster scratched its head. Caitlyn giggled. “Well, you look like a… Mike! Can I call you that?”
“Sure, I think? I dunno. Are you allowed to name me? It’s not like I’m not your pet! Why aren’t you scared of me? You seem different. Kids are usually scared of me! Are you a weirdo or something? That’s like my only job – to scare kids.” The words spilled out of Mike’s enormous mouth like an open can of beans.
Another giggle left the girl’s mouth.
“What, you find me funny now?” More giggles.
The monster moaned. “Would you stop that?” When Caitlyn finally stopped, she said, “Where’d you come from? Under my bed?”
“Nope, from there.” The monster gestured to her closet. “You have weird stuff in there.”
“Mommy said you should never look through a girl’s closet.” She stared up at him. The monster sighed. “Whatever. Do you have cheese? I’m hungry.”
“Um, I don’t know. Do you want to play a game?”
The monster looked bewildered. “Why aren’t you scared of me?!”
“So do you want to play?”
“Fine.” The monster stood up and her room rumbled. The walls, the door, the windows – they all shook. She tugged the monster back down. “Shh! Don’t wake Mommy up! She doesn’t know you’re here!” She whisper-shouted. The monster silently complied. “So, what’s the game?” Caitlyn’s face lit up. “Charades!”
“Nah, I don’t want to play.”
Caitlyn crossed her arms and humphed. “Fine.” She lay back down on her bed and shut her eyes. Moments later, she heard rumbling and glared at the monster. He stared back with a nonchalant shrug. Sigh.
“What’s your favourite colour?” Caitlyn asked.
“Blue, probably. I’m blue, so no surprise there.”
“Me too!” She squealed back.
“How old are you? I’m seven!”
“Uh, I don’t know. Am I supposed to grow like humans? You guys are so weird-” And just like that, they found themselves chatting the entire night.
“I’ll see you tomorrow night?”
“Yup. Good night, kiddo.”
“Night, night,” she muttered as she snuggled into her blanket. With a last wave, Mike flew out the same way he got in.
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