Instructor: Jennifer Seward
"It's just for a night, just one. All I have to do is stay up."
The boy's eyes stung from trying to keep them open, but he told himself he must endure. The clock read 1 a.m., and he was sitting upright under the covers. It was the first time he had slept alone since his family had moved, and his sister was now gone for college. The room they once shared at their old house gave him comfort, but now he was on his own. It was also the first time he was unaccompanied by his stuffed animals, which were still tucked inside the moving boxes. He wished he could've slept with the cat, who was off exploring his new territory. Instead, he was all alone.
The room was unsettling to him, and the quiet made him think. This place wasn't normal. It was scary, too out-of-place, too…eerie. He sat, waiting, keeping an eye on the door in front of his bed and the dust-filled vent next to it. From time to time, faint moonlight ripped through the silhouettes of clouds outside his window, casting bright rays of moonlight that illuminated the vent, reassuring him that no monster was there. His eyes kept shifting from the door to the vent, knowing that something was happening, certain that something would come. Yet by the time the clock struck two o'clock, the boy was out like a light. He lay slumped, his upper body still upright against the headboard, his head bobbing up and down as he snored.
A sinister, long screech at his door is what woke him. He startled, realizing he had fallen asleep. His eyes shot to the source of the horrific sound. His door was still closed, but there was scratching from the other side, growing louder and louder. He glanced at his clock, then quickly veiled himself under the covers. He sat perfectly still, holding his breath. It was only 2:30.
His heart quickened. Soft thumpings entered the room, paused, then approached the edge of the bed. He lay with his knees up to his chest, and ear to the mattress, like a raccoon playing dead. He felt the movement of the soft bed collapse down as a hand fell upon it, and stopped moving. It kept still, as if turned to stone, and remained there. He was being watched by someone, something in his room. The hand just stayed there, unmoving, as if daring him to look. But the boy still lay under the covers of his bed.
It was hours later when the hand suddenly moved. Slowly, it lifted its weight and pulled off the bedside. It slowly walked, as the thumpings left the room until the boy couldn't hear them anymore. He lifted off the sheets and peered around the room. His straight back loosened, and his muscles relaxed.Whatever was in his room was now gone. He surveyed the surroundings, and was shocked to see that the sun was already rising! Sunrise was shining through the window; the danger was over. The light had saved him from the evil being. The monster was gone. He was safe.
Just then, the thumping returned. His heart skipped a beat, as if he had died just then. He threw the covers over himself again as it walked right up to him, more purposeful this time. The thumping once again stopped at the side of the bed, and the hand pushed into it, now making a large indentation into the mattress. But this time, it didn't stay there. It slowly approached him, taunting him, finger by finger, up to his face. He felt breathing, right in front of him as he lay under the covers. It was almost as if they were staring at each other, through a thick cover of blanket and sheets. The boy squeezed his eyes shut.
"Me-ow." said the thing.
The boy swung off the covers like a tornado ripping off the roof of a house to see the snow-white cat before him. The big, fat snowball was staring at him, as if it had no care in the world.
"What a fool," he thought to himself, as his hand petted the cat and he laid back down to sleep, drifting off in the morning light.