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Go Away

I'm not so sleepy anymore.

By Donna Fox (HKB)Published 2 months ago 9 min read
11

“He he heee.” A voice cackled from under my bed like a lunatic. Followed by the sounds of scratching, and then the mattress shook as something from below bumped against it. It felt like a stray foot or elbow being pressed against the underside.

 

I awoke with a start, panting to catch my breath and find my bearings in the dark room. With a sigh, I slump back into bed and try to rid myself of the memory of my most recent dream.

But in the back of my mind, I feel this sensation, like an itch I can’t scratch and I know I won’t be able to rest until I check. I owe myself the courtesy of at least checking.

With a sigh, I roll over to the side of the bed and lean down to look under it. Beneath, I see exactly what I expect and instantly hate myself for checking.

 

The creature I see is barely human, if it even qualifies as that.

Her long matted hair hung half in and half out of her messy bun, long strands hanging down over her shoulders. She lay on her back, looking up at the bottom of the mattress as she muttered to herself. I can see the bloodshot corners of her eyes as they dart back and forth, while she chews her nails down the nub while continuing her inaudible mumblings.

Then she suddenly gasps and turns to look at me, a look of vacancy in her crazed cornflower blue eyes, but it suddenly melts away and she has a twinkle of recognition in them.

 

My stomach turns into knots as I realize that this isn’t a dream. She’s back.

So I hung there for a moment, holding eye contact with her and wishing she had the courtesy to come calling during the day instead of in the middle of the night.

 

“I missed you.” She mouths with a playful smile. Her eyes alight with an expression that reminds me of a younger me.

 

With a long blink, I sigh in annoyance and roll myself back onto the bed. Wondering to myself why of all nights, tonight was the night she chose to return.

But I know the answer. We have some unfinished business, and she can’t wait in the shadows any longer.

Glancing over at my side table clock, I see the time and an audible groan escapes my lips in frustration. “I don’t want to do this.” I growl to myself in exhaustion, turning my gaze back to stare at the dark ceiling in annoyance.

Then I hear a set of lips sloppily smacking together from beside me in the bed, reminding me of his presence. I glare at my husband in silent frustration, hating that he doesn’t have to deal with my friend below the bed.

But a bump from below interrupts my envious glare and shakes the mattress. Reminding me that my problem below the bed won’t go away on her own. So I rise onto my elbow, I peek over the edge and I am met by the sight of her bloodshot eyes looking up at me.

 

Her long shaggy hair is fanned out behind her head on the floor and she looks up at me with a distant gaze, as though she is looking through me.

But then that twinkle of recognition returns in her eye and she smiles up at me.

 

“What do you want?” I growl, starting to lose patience.

 

“You know what I want.” She replies in a childlike voice with a mischievous smile to match.

 

“It’s the middle of the night.” I sigh.

 

“Perfect time to discuss unfinished business.” She responds with a manic grin as she starts to shimmy herself out from under the bed.

 

“I just want to sleep.” I protest and flop back into bed.

 

“But I’m bored. Let me come out and play.” She pleads from below with a huff of indignation.

 

“No, go back to bed. I’m tired.” I respond with a huff of annoyance of my own, as I squeeze my eyes shut and will myself to go back to sleep.

But the sounds of shuffling and a muffled groan is all that I hear in response, and I know exactly what she’s doing. I sense her standing beside the bed and feel the tickle of her hair brush against my cheek as she leans over me.

I let out an audible groan and try to talk myself out of opening my eyes, but I lose that battle. “Why are you like this?” I mutter, more to myself than my companion. As I begrudgingly open my eyes to find her leaning over me with her wild hair framing her manic expression.

 

Her face is so close I can see the beginnings of wrinkles forming on her cheeks and in the creases of her eyes.

 

For a second I wonder if my face looks like this too.

 

“Don’t you want to know what you forgot?” She asks in a small voice as she bats her eyes down at me with a smirk sitting on the corner of her lips.

 

“If I let you tell me, will you crawl back under the bed and let me go back to sleep?” I ask as I glare up at her familiar shadowy face.

 

“I don’t think you’ll be able to sleep when I tell you.” She explains, smacking her lips together in delighted anticipation.

 

“Then I don’t want to know,” I reply as I start to roll over and put my back to her.

 

“But-“

 

“Go away,” I command with cranky authority.

 

“Fine,” she agrees with a sigh as she starts to slink back under the bed. “But you missed a bunch of spelling mistakes and have some grammar issues. Leaving your work practically unreadable.” She adds with a manic giggle, followed by more shuffling and one more push from under the mattress.

 

I squeeze my eyes shut and let a deafening silence consume the dark room. Willing myself to go back to sleep, but the new knowledge begins to eat me up. With a sigh, I roll over and peek over the edge of the bed, but my companion is nowhere to be seen.

“Which story?” I mutter, hating myself for giving in and breaking the silence.

But more ear-splitting silence meets my query as I wait for an answer that doesn’t come. So I hang over the side of the bed and peer into the darkness below it, scanning for any sign of my friend. To my disappointment, I am met by the sight of the empty underside of my bed. “Where’d you go?” I murmur to myself as I roll back into bed and stare at the dark ceiling above me.

 

“I’m here.” Her small innocent voice replies as she appears, standing at the end of the bed.

 

I jump in surprise and am sitting right up in the bed. “What’s the matter with you?” I ask in a yell-whisper as I fix my dishevelled friend in a scolding glare.

Then I glance in the direction of my still unconscious husband, wondering how all this commotion hasn’t woken him.

 

“Me? What about you?” She counters with a gleeful smile and then starts skipping away, down the hall and out of sight.

 

“Ugh.” I groan as I throw the covers off and slide out of bed. Then I step into my slippers and shuffle down the hall after her, knowing fully well that I will find her in the office.

I rub the sleep out of my eyes and yawn with a loud moan, then find myself in the office doorway with no trace of my friend.

“Would you quit the games? Just tell me which story the mistakes are on so I can fix them and go back to bed.” I demand as I waddle over to my desk chair and begin to settle myself.

 

As I reach for the power button, suddenly the screen of my laptop flickers on and her face appears. “You made it!” she shouts in childlike excitement.

 

"Shi-" I jump and tip my chair over in shock. Then I hurry to right myself, shaking my head and glancing down the hall as I hope the ruckus didn’t wake my husband.

“What is the matter with you?” I hiss at the now empty computer screen and proceed to spin in a circle, scanning the room for any sign of her. “Where are you now?” I breathe in apprehension, gritting my teeth in anticipation of her next appearance.

 

The same place I’ve always been. I hear her innocent voice in my head.

 

I let out an audible growl, thinking about how much I hate it when she gets in my head like this.

“Whatever, now tell me which story to fix,” I demand, feeling the heat rise in my chest and I’m about to lose it.

 

All of them. She says with an evil cackle, the same one that woke me up earlier.

 

I suddenly wake up with a start, sitting up right in my bed as I gasp to catch my breath.

“Fucking HKB,” I mutter to myself and flop back down. With a sigh, I fall back asleep.

 

A Note from the Author:

This story is an entry for RM Stockton’s Monsters Under the Bed Challenge, where he challenged us to write about the monsters under our beds. My monster represents my fear of my work being illegible and having too many mistakes to be worth reading. I know that’s not the case, but it’s something that sits in the back of my mind often.

I chose to represent it by staging another argument between Donna and HKB because their bickering matches seem to be a great way to portray certain aspects of my life.

The sad thing about this story is that it isn’t completely fictional either. I often wake myself up in the middle of the night with ideas/ thoughts/ concepts and edits for current and older pieces of work that I wrote.

Thank you for reading.

- Donna Fox (HKB)

Short StoryPsychologicalHumorHorror
11

About the Creator

Donna Fox (HKB)

Thank you for your support and feedback! 💚💙💜

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Outstanding

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (11)

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  • Mackenzie Davis2 months ago

    OMG not what I was expecting at all!! Awesome horror trickery, Donna. I love how you turned a nightmare into a funny revelation once she wakes up. And I must say, I'm enjoying this rivalry with your alter ego (or true self 👀).

  • Dorota2 months ago

    Very well written! Doona

  • This is so on point! I have met this monster. It haunts me too! What marvelous storytelling. You build the anticipation masterfully. Excellent job, Donna!

  • ROB! ROB! ATTENTION ROB! APART FROM CATHY, I WANT YOU TO MAKE DONNA A WINNER TOO! YOU DO NOT WANNA FIND OUT WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU DON'T. KBYEEEEE

  • Lol, just like Mark, I thought it was gonna be a horror story and realised it was for the Monster challenge. But when she said “Don’t you want to know what you forgot?”, I instantly knew where this was going but I didn't know it was HKB! So that really surprised me! I knew where this was going because we've talked about this in the comments. And I was like "Whoaaaa D is brilliant for making that into a story!" I was disappointed that you didn't win Randy's challenge but I really hope you win this one! Fingers crossed! 🤞🤞🥰🥰

  • Mark Gagnon2 months ago

    At first, I thought it was a horror story, but it was actually a horribly funny story. My annoying creature usually shows up between 4-5 in the morning. Relatable story, Donna!

  • Alexander McEvoy2 months ago

    Loved this story Donna! It was transfixing! Your monster under the bed was so beautifully mysterious at first, I was on the edge of my seat as I read, trying to work out exactly what was happening. And the reveal!? Oh that blasted inner critic, devilish thing they are eh?

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    That was great, and so original. That monster can sure be an annoying little shit.

  • Andrea Corwin 2 months ago

    Hilarious!! I dream sometimes of my stories or can’t fall asleep with a thought of an issue. This is a great story! The other day I posted a snow micro with Mt Rainier in subtitle and it posted as Rainieri Thank goodness Vocal fixed it for me quickly because I found that subtitles are not included in the quick edit. I thought “well, I just turned our mountain into an Italian one by adding an “i” at the end.”

  • JBaz2 months ago

    I chuckled when I realized ‘who’ was under your bed. At least yours is nice, mine just kicks me in the… and wakes me up. I have to figure it out on my own. This was a good entry

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