Lucy and the Monster
Lucy was an otherwise normal, nice girl. Yet every night she was horrified of going to sleep.
“The monster under the bed will eat me!” she’d quiver and shake.
Until, finally, one night, the monster had had enough
“Can I ask a question?” it said. “If monsters under the bed are so horrible, how many people do you know that have actually been eaten by one?”
“Not many…?” Lucy whimpered.
“Come on, be honest…” the monster insisted.
“None?” Lucy squeaked.
“EXACTLY!” the monster boomed. “I put up with your horrible, smelly feet, and the way you talk in your sleep, and the way you fart every night…”
“I DO NOT!” Lucy shouted. “Nice girls don’t fart,” she added.
“Everybody farts,” said the monster.
“How dare you call me a liar,” said Lucy. “I’m going to tell Mum and Dad to shine a torch on you until you shrink to nothing!”
“See?” protested the monster. “No wonder we all stay hidden! You lot are terrible!”
“Us?” gasped Lucy. “You tear down houses and rage and stomp, and grind your horrible teeth!” she raged and stomped and ground her horrible teeth.
“Uh-hu,” said the monster.
Lucy just fumed.
“…At least you’re not scared anymore,” the monster said.
“ARE YOU KIDDING? I’M TERRIFIED!” Lucy wailed.
“WHY!?” the monster threw his hands in the air.
“I DON’T KNOW! BECAUSE EVERYBODY ELSE IS SCARED OF YOU!” Lucy threw her hands in the air.
Boom, boom, boom! There was loud, angry knocking on the wall.
“Lucy, be quiet! Go to sleep!” her Mum’s voice called.
The monster hid under the bed. Lucy hid under her pillow.
“I don’t know anything about you!” Lucy whispered through clenched teeth.
“You never asked!” the monster whispered back.
“Well,” hissed Lucy. “Talk.”
“I like jumping in puddles,” the monster said.
Lucy leaned over the edge of her bed, so she was looking under it, her hair dangling to the ground.
“Get out of it!” she scoffed.
“True,” said the monster.
“I LOVE jumping in puddles!” Lucy beamed.
The monster gave her a nervous smile.
“I also like pretending I can see dragons in the shape of clouds, and swimming in places when there’s nowhere else around, and watching bees on flowers, and eating nasty feral cats,” the monster said.
Lucy climbed down and sat on the floor, looking under the bed.
“I like doing three of four of those things,” she gasped. “Why are you always under my bed?”
“I’m lonely,” the monster said. “I want a new start.”
Lucy couldn’t help but still doubt the monster.
“Is that all?” she said. “I bet there’s a whole heard of your lot.”
“Well, yes, there’s a lot, but they’re all off doing their own things. Not everybody wants to eat you, you should get over it,” the monster said.
“Sometimes I think I enjoy being scared,” Lucy confessed.
“Everybody does,” the monster sighed.
“So what do you want?” Lucy asked.
“Me…?” the monster said. “No-one has ever asked that.”
“Well, I’m asking,” Lucy said.
“I want to dance now and then.”
“Dance!?” Lucy protested.
“Sure. Your way, sometimes, and the monster way sometimes,” the monster sighed. “I see you dancing the monster way when no-one is looking. Stomp, stomp, stomp…”
“Be QUIET!” the voice of Lucy’s Mum said.
Lucy lay on her belly, so she could get in close and listen to the monster whisper.
“I want to tell you monster tales. The real ones, of mountains, and weird foods, and strange magics,” the monster said, with breathless wonder. “And hear about your skate parks, and bicycles and other magic.”
“Magic?” said Lucy.
She had never thought of herself as magic before. Everything had seemed kind of dull.
“And I want to hear your stories of dreams,” the monster added, quietly. “Nobody dreams like humans do!”
“Oh,” said Lucy.
She looked at the monster who gave a nervous little smile and looked back. Dad was destroying monsters under the bed with his torch all the time, or so he said. But she’d never actually talked to one before. This was fascinating!
“What do you dream of?” she whispered.
“Last day I dreamed I was riding a wolf, and the wolf jumped and grew and shaped into a dark cloud that rose and rose, billowing, dark and full of rain up into the sky,” the monster whispered back. “And there I was, nervous and scared and riding this cloud, while the wind blew around me, and down below, it poured on everything, filling rivers, making troll gardens grow, flooding bridges and making farmers cheer. But mostly there was just me and the wind and the rain.”
“A weather god,” whispered Lucy, eyes wide. “I also dream I’m a weather god, sometimes.”
The monster looked at her with shock and a little bit of joy.
“And of unicorns…” Lucy added.
“Oh, of course, everybody dreams of unicorns,” the monster smiled.
And Lucy and the monster under her bed talked for hours.