Monday, September 21, 2015


Day 21 of StoryADay September
The Prompt:
Your character is being forced into something they do not want to do: an arranged marriage, eating their broccoli (!), working for someone they know is evil. So he or she is running away to avoid it. Suddenly there’s voices nearby/a light flashes on/someone steps into the passage ahead…Your character stops, heart pounding, afraid of discovery.

Tucker is almost asleep when he hears it. A squishy slithering. A squelching slide. His eyes pop open as his heart jumps to a pounding pulse in his throat. “Jacob,” he pushes the whisper past the obstruction. A moment later he pulls a deep breath in and lets loose with a shriek, “Jacob!”

The room is silent, then bursts to life with the flick of the light switch. Jacob stands in the doorway rubbing sleep from his eyes. “Tuck. What’s wrong?”

“There’s something under my bed. I heard it.”

Jacob groans. “This again? I looked last night. There’s nothing there.”

“I heard it, Jacob. I swear.”

A long sigh from the door. Jacob drops to his knees and crawls across the carpet, peering under Jacob’s bed as he moves. “Dude, there’s nothing there. You’re almost eight. Aren’t you getting kind of old for imagining ghosts?”

“It’s not a ghost. It’s something slimy. I heard it dragging its goo.”

Jacob is on his knees next to Tucker’s head. He drops his own head onto Tucker’s pillow. “Tuck, there’s nothing there. I looked. Please just let me sleep.” Jacob scoots his head closer, dropping a kiss onto Tucker’s head before rising to his feet. He pauses at the doorway, his hand on the light switch. “Goodnight, punk.” Jacob flicks the switch and disappears down the hallway.

Tucker stares up at the ceiling, imagining he can see it in the darkness. He is stone still long enough that sleep starts to creep back up, pulling on his eyelids, making them drift closed. The sound again. Directly under his head.

Tucker imagines the slimy thing sprawling tentacles out from under the mattress, reaching across the floor. He stands in the middle of his bed before taking a flying leap as far across the room as he can. He hits the floor running, his hand slamming the light switch up as he spins to look back at his bed.

There is nothing there. Tucker stands in the doorway, his breath coming in sobbing gasps. He turns to his closet, pulling the door open and grabbing his sleeping bag from the corner.

“What are you doing?”

Tucker turns to see Jacob blocking the doorway. “I can’t sleep here. The thing under my bed is going to eat me, I know it. I’d rather sleep outside!” Tucker tries to push past Jacob, but his brother is twice his size and stops him with one arm.

“Tuck, you can’t sleep outside. It’s snowing.” Jacob hugs his little brother. “What if we trade rooms? You can sleep in my room. I’ll sleep in here. My room doesn’t have a monster under the bed, right?”

Tucker nods, gives his brother a huge hug, then scurries down the hall to nestle into Jacob’s bed. Jacob is right. There is no monster under this bed. He sleeps.

Just after dawn he wakes to the sound of his mother screaming. Tucker runs down the hall to his room, where his mother stands in the middle of the floor. Tucker skids to a stop, his feet sliding through the slime that covers the bed and much of the floor. It is splashed with blood. “I told him there was a monster under the bed.”


  1. Ooh...that was chilling.

    I love it.

  2. Yep! That was awesome. Love the present tense too. It brings the story closer.

  3. I've been bouncing around a lot in both POV and tense in my flash fiction this month. It's interesting to see how it changes a story.