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This story may contain sensitive material or discuss topics that some readers may find distressing. Reader discretion is advised. The views and opinions expressed in this story are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Vocal.

𝐅𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐖𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐂𝐥𝐮𝐛 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐭 (𝐔𝐧𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞)

𝟐. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐔𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐁𝐞𝐝

By 𝐑𝐌 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐭𝐨𝐧Published 4 months ago • Updated 3 months ago • 5 min read
Write Club Rules!

Welcome to Write Club! Each month, I will be hosting an Unofficial Challenge (Prompt) from the project I have been working on (Chasm of Madness). In January, the Prompt was to write an Obituary or Eulogy. We had some fantastic entries.

February’s Prompt is to write about “the monster under your bed”. Your entry can be about a literal monster beneath your bed, or it may be about addiction, self-doubt, a relationship, or some unresolved conflict or trauma, etc. – that “monster” that haunts your life.

Your monster does not need to be frightening, although he/she/it certainly may be. Your “monster” can be friendly or bashful or playful or mischievous. Have fun with this! As with the January Prompt, you may creatively explore the topic in any genre and format. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.

Tԋҽ Mσɳʂƚҽɾ Uɳԃҽɾ Yσυɾ Bҽԃ Pɾσɱρƚ:

  1. Write about “the monster under your bed”. Your entry can be about a literal monster beneath your bed, or it may address addiction, self-doubt, a relationship, or some unresolved conflict or trauma, etc. Discuss that “monster” that haunts your life or that ghost or skeleton in your closet, or an imaginary friend who comes out at bedtime. If you prefer, you can give us the story from the monster’s perspective (perhaps we are the monsters to them). You choose the format and style (make it in the style of a short story, a nursery rhyme, or diary entry, or write a newspaper column, poem, haiku, or limerick) — you decide the format. “I wanna see us push the outer limits of our creative abilities.”
  2. There is no specific word limit, and it makes no difference what Community your entry is submitted to.
  3. I have provided several AI-generated images for inspiration. You may use one (or more) of these images for your story or select or create your own if you prefer.
  4. You may work solo or collaborate.
  5. Post a link to your entry in the comments below by Sunday, February 25, 2024, and I will append it to this story. (If your Entry gets stuck in review, drop a comment below to let me know.)
  6. The top entries will be selected, and I will award each of those Authors a $5 tip.

Have fun, and Welcome to Write Club! 👊

Celia in Underland has set the bar high with her painful tale about a lingering ‘monster of guilt’:

Real Poetic also came hard and fast out of the gate with a moving poem about a ‘relationship monster’ who offered an empty promise of love:

Natasha Collazo introduces us to the cuddly ‘monster of addiction’ who needs to be fed:

Stephanie Hoogstad introduces us to a familiar ‘monster of self-doubt’ with her clever bedtime prayer:

Tommy Ballard has written a powerful poem about a ‘monster of obsession and self-doubt’ that has haunted many of us:

Randy Baker has provided us with a very vivid description of a furious struggle with that nagging ‘monster of our pasts’ in another brilliant poem:

Cathy Holmes delivered an instant Top Story with this ingenious creation combining multiple Prompts/Challenges. Meet her ‘nightmarish monster’ calling out from the other side of her bed:

Tommy Ballard has brought another frightening monster to the party with this heartbreaking poem about a sad ‘monster of loss and loneliness’ lurking beneath the bed:

Novel Allen gives us a glimpse into a frightening ‘monster of night terrors’ stalking her sleep:

Gerard DiLeo introduces us to a trio of monsters in this ghostly Dickens-like tale, but these are not the Ghosts of Past, Present and Future, but rather, the ‘monsters of Cooda, Wooda and Shooda’:

Rachel Deeming has invited a ‘guardian of dreams’ to the party with a beautiful story about the lovable monster, Barstable:

D. J. Reddall has introduced a frightening ‘monster of anger’ to the party. “My Boruta” is a chilling tale of how we feed this hungry monster:

Anna brings a ‘monster of childhood dreams’ to this Monster Mash. “Naive as a Child” is a powerful coming-of-age tale of learning to defeat our fears:

Donna Fox (HKB) presents an all-too-familiar ‘nagging monster of self-doubt’, that little grammar policeman in her head waking her and urging her to edit her writing. Donna’s story, “Go Away” is an incredibly well-told tale. No need for editing this one:

Poppy offers us a ‘monster of emotional baggage’ in her raw, visceral poem, “Fangs and Claws”:

David E. Perry gives us a delightful childhood ‘guardian of dreams’ with an incredibly well-penned tale “Peanut and Tommy”:

Donna Fox (HKB)’s imagination takes us on another frightful trip to meet the ‘monster lurking beneath her bed’ in her vivid tale “Can you Imagine?”

Hannah Moore introduces a lifetime of preserved memories, a ‘monster of relics past’ lurking beneath her bed with her clever story, “As I Lay me Down to Sleep”:

Bonnie Bowerman joins the party, with her guest, ‘a shadowy monster of childhood fear’ in this exquisitely written poem that captures the essence of childhood innocence and fear, “The Monster that Lives Under my Bed”:

Anna captures perfectly the fear of the ‘beastly monster beneath the bed’ in her clever Ukiah (reverse Haiku: 7-5-7), “Talk to Me”:

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden gives us a ‘surprise monster’ with a clever twist in her Seusslike poem, “Rougarou in Disguise”:

Matthew Fromm delivers a real punch-to-the-gut story that is expertly crafted to reveal ‘a real monster’ from the pages of history with his must-read short story, “They Came from Below”:

Liam Storm is escorted by Greg, a ‘friendly monster reaching out’ in a heartfelt letter in the clever story, “The Monster Under Your Bed?”

Accompanying Anna to the Monster Mash is a ‘monster of childhood innocence in her touching story, “Belly and Maya”:

Catsidhe delivers another Top Story with a clever and humorous tale about a common ‘monster that even the monsters fear’ with this fun story, “With Sharp Teeth and Claws”:

Mackenzie Davis presents her little beast, Ralph, a ‘monster in therapy’ with a deeply layered short tale titled, “An Exercise in Receiving Kindness”:

Mackenzie Davis gives us another deeply philosophical piece to chew on with her incredible poem, “Say it's Goodness”. This one describes a ‘monster of banishment’ and the consequences which follow:

John Cox delivers a fantastic Top Story titled, “The Little Dreamer”, about a ‘monster of free will’ and the conflicts that accompany it:

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden gives us another spooky poem with perfect verse and rhyme, a warning of those ‘monsters of the night’ in this clever poem, “Bedtime”:

Rebekah Conard is escorted this evening by her ‘critical, nagging weekly monster’ that little voice inside her head, who, with no eyelids, sees and recalls all and is quick to point out every fault, whether real or perceived. Check out “Keeping You Awake” here:

J gives us “Monsters Made of Sand”, a dark and intense Poe-like tale of a ‘monster beckoning from the depths below’:

David E. Perry has followed up his earlier tale about “Peanut and Tommy”, with a companion tale about “Hiss and Susan”. Enjoy this ‘Guardian of the Night’ here:

K. Stockton (my daughter) has submitted a powerful tale about her ‘lifelong monster’ companion, but, sadly, this monster is still being held captive by the all-too-real ‘monster of Vocal review’!

If I have somehow overlooked an Entry, please let me know.

I count 33 Submissions. WOW! This is so incredible. I am compiling a final Write-up with the February winners which will be posted soon!

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About the Creator

𝐑𝐌 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐭𝐨𝐧

˜”*°•.˜”*°• Time is our most valuable asset. Thank you for spending some of your time with me! •°*”˜.•°*”˜

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Comments (41)

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  • Rick Henry Christopher 3 months ago

    This is so wonderful. Please let me know when the next prompt is published. This sounds like a great challenge. Please post the prompts on Vocal + Assist: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vocalplusassist/ Thank you!!! 😎

  • There are a total of 32 Submissions, and they are all so fantastic! I am sorting these and re-reading a few of the older ones to refresh my memory. I will post a Wrap-up in the next several days! Thank you for the BRILLIANT SUBMISSIONS! I am truly in awe!

  • J3 months ago

    Posted this a few days ago but forgot to add the link. Sorry I'm late! https://vocal.media/poets/monsters-made-of-sand

  • Rebekah Conard3 months ago

    Hope I'm not too late! I just submitted, so it's still under review, but I'm pretty sure this will be the link when it's up: https://vocal.media/fiction/keeping-you-awake

  • Thank you for the illustrations Here is my second attempt https://vocal.media/poets/bedtime-nci0zal

  • John Cox3 months ago

    RM - I would like to submit The Little Dreamer, published last night: https://vocal.media/horror/the-little-dreamer-a61t801e4 Thanks!

  • Mackenzie Davis3 months ago

    Hoping this one counts. Sorry for two last minute entries. 🤞 https://vocal.media/poets/say-it-s-goodness

  • Catsidhe3 months ago

    I went with a microfiction: https://vocal.media/fiction/with-sharp-teeth-and-claws Thanks for the fun prompt!

  • Anna 3 months ago
  • Liam Storm3 months ago

    A great prompt! I have attempted one here: https://vocal.media/humor/the-monster-under-your-bed Hope you enjoy!

  • Matthew Fromm3 months ago

    I'm dumb and didn't quite read the prompt....anyway I wrote this in response to it. I'll DQ myself out of stupidity but I really appreciate your prompt. https://vocal.media/history/they-come-from-below

  • Anna 3 months ago

    Here's an unusual haiku I wrote. It's special, because I changed the 5-7-5 rule into 7-5-7: https://vocal.media/poets/talk-to-me-v7k60b6k

  • Bonnie Bowerman3 months ago

    Here you go. Thanks so much for running such a fun challenge! https://vocal.media/poets/the-monster-that-lives-under-my-bed

  • Poppy 3 months ago

    Not sure if I'm happy with my attempt but wanted to enter something because I love this challenge idea! https://vocal.media/poets/fangs-and-claws

  • Donna Fox (HKB)3 months ago

    Here's my first entry! I think I have one more I can muster up before the deadline!! https://vocal.media/fiction/go-away-e720m02w9

  • Anna 3 months ago

    Here's my attempt for the prompt: https://vocal.media/poets/naive-as-a-child

  • D. J. Reddall3 months ago

    Here is my modest addition to your growing menagerie of monsters under the bed: https://vocal.media/fiction/my-boruta

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