Have a Happy Halloween and try to get a good night's sleep!
Christ, not again. Trevor’s daughter was having more nightmares. Worst of all, it was his turn. It always seemed to be his turn at 2am. Never mind that he had work in the morning.
Trevor stumbled down the corridor to his daughter’s bedroom, still half-asleep. It wasn’t the first time he had been dragged out of bed for this nonsense. Hell, it wasn’t even the first time this week.
He found his daughter whimpering under her In The Night Garden duvet. She was getting too old for that thing and she was certainly getting too old for this.
‘Munchkin, this has to stop,’ he groaned. ‘You’re seven now. Big girls aren’t supposed to be afraid of monsters.’
The incessant sobbing continued so Trevor did the obligatory checks. He stumbled around her room like an idiot, shielding his eyes from the garish pink of her night-light. He swore that was half the problem. It gave her room the ultraviolet glow of a crime scene – the sort forensic teams use to detect splatter marks.
And it caused so many damn shadows. The light stretched and distorted the shadow of her mobile until it looked like a mangled birdcage. Trevor had smashed her first night-light. He tore it from the wall and heeled it. But that solved nothing. She had refused to leave her parents’ bed until Kim bought her a new one.
‘Look munchkin, nothing behind the curtains.’
Just a bunch of Barbie dolls, plastic and unblinking, as if coated in embalming fluid.
‘And nothing under the bed.’
Except dust and lint, he added to himself. When did Kim last vacuum in here? He was surrounded by useless women.
Finally some movement: a pudgy arm popped out from under the covers, pointing across the room. ‘There’s a monster in my cupboard,’ said a voice deep beneath the duvet. It sounded like she was speaking through a mouthful of snot. Trevor was repulsed. For some reason, it made his temper flare.
‘No, there bloody isn’t!’ He crossed the room in two strides and threw open the cupboard doors.
He looked inside and his heart stopped. His daughter sat inside. She was shivering in a pool of blood, pale and terrified. Her left arm was missing. It had been ripped off at the shoulder.
‘Daddy, there’s a monster in my bed,’ she whispered.
Before Trevor could turn around, or even scream, he was shoved forward. He slipped in the blood and fell on top of his daughter.
‘NO!’ He heard the cupboard doors slam shut behind him. Whatever had pushed Trevor had followed him inside.
Now there really was a monster in the cupboard.
And it was hungry.