Under the Bed
By

    Hello. I’m a monster. I live under a bed. My friends call me Frank. But everyone else calls me the monster under the bed.

    I would say I’m a fairly average monster. At least, that’s what my parents always told me when I was young. I guess that’s sufficient when you spend all your time living under a bed. Speaking of which, my bed — well, the bed I borrow — is actually fairly nice. It has a new, twin-size mattress, maple bedposts and Egyptian cotton sheets. I’m glad to call this bed my home.

    Of course, I’m not the only one who calls this bed home. It truly belongs to a young boy other humans call Jesse. I’m merely a gracious subletter. I’d like to be friends with the human, but whenever I bid him goodnight, I only receive a terrified shriek in response. It’s really off-putting.

    In addition to the boy, I also live with two pets. They’re dust bunnies called Oliver and Twist. I don’t know what these words mean, but I saw them once on a book the boy was reading. The dust bunnies don’t talk much, but they are very faithful pets. They’ve been putting on a lot of weight recently, so I should cut back their dust intake. The last thing anyone wants is a fat dust bunny.

    One of my secrets is that I’m afraid of the light. I always want to spend quality family time with the humans occupying the house, but my courage is always shattered whenever I try to venture from underneath the bed. As a result, I have become nocturnal. Even at night I never leave my bed home because I would have to be careful to not wake any of the humans for fear that they may scream. My ears are very sensitive, and yelling gives me an awful headache that can last for days. The last time this happened, I had to stay in bed for a week. Not that that is anything different from what I normally do.

    But this fear isn't all bad. Since I spend all my time under the bed, I have lots of time to philosophize. Why are there both monsters and humans? What is the difference between the two? Why can't we all just get along?

    I am currently unemployed. I blame the downward spiraling economy, not my unwillingness to face the light or to escape the under the bed space. Formerly, I was a health specialist for other monsters, but the monster health industry has become obsolete as children (bad ones, not nice ones that let you sleep under their beds) now come with nutrition facts and calorie counts. Personally, I think monsters now have access to too much information, but that’s just me.

    During the days and nights that I’m residing under the bed, I occupy myself with various hobbies. I have to admit that I’m a big stamp fanatic. I have at least one stamp from every country you can name. I’m quite proud of this collection. I’m also an avid artist. My style is still developing, but I enjoy painting still life, usually featuring objects I see under the bed. You would be surprised how varied this subject matter can be: dust, forgotten toys, crumbs, dirt, more dust, some other toys, dust. And dust. Maybe I’ll become a professional artist. The only obstacle would be selling the art from under the bed. That might make business harder.

    The most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me was when Jesse had an accident while sleeping. He wet the bed. It dripped. I’d like to not talk about it anymore. It still haunts me. If you could see me now, I’m shuddering.

    My mental happy place is the dark side of the moon, where the sun never shines. But on the moon are trees, chirping birds and heavenly smelling chocolate chip cookies. So many cookies. You might call it a paradox, but I call it paradise.

    I enjoy long strolls in dark alleys, putrid smelling cooking and European art. They’re all pretty equal for me.

    I’m interested in she-monsters who have had similar experiences. My idea of a first date is a cozy dinner under the bed in the dark, then avoiding the light for the remainder of the date. If this sounds good to you, you know where to find me. I’m the monster under the bed.

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