Mary often struggled to fall asleep on time. She had tried everything: Counting sheep, singing herself a lullaby, putting her pink pillow over her eyes. None of it ever worked. Instead, she decided to make her lack of sleep somewhat amusing by creating catchy songs in her head to match the rhythm of the banging coming from inside her closet. The closet monster was always the first one to wake up. Mary had named him Brian after Brian Harrison from school, because, she figured, they were as equally as annoying as one another (she made herself chuckle one night by thinking that at least Monster Brian looked after his hair and brushed his teeth). Mary was about to repeat her song for the fifth time when she was rudely interrupted by a sound under her bed.
The monster under Mary’s bed had a name as well. It was Nigel. Mary called him Nigel because she thought it was the name that sounded closest to the noise he made whenever he was hungry. And Nigel was, as far as monsters go anyway, regularly hungry. So far as Mary could gather, Nigel had taken residency under her bed for the sole purpose of trying to scare her. Which he successfully did the first night that he was under the bed, but, he wasn’t able to maintain that level of fear for extended periods of time. The more he tried to scare her, the less scared she became. But, Nigel had nowhere to go, so he stayed, and Mary stopped being scared altogether. Which was a shame, because this meant that David, the monster who lived behind Mary’s door – was never able to scare Mary at all.
Just to make life difficult for Mary, all three monsters ate different types of food. Brian tended to enjoy anything with chocolate chips in it while Nigel preferred non-food-based foods such as socks and sneakers (it took her a great deal of time to work this out given that Nigel’s most efficient mode of communication was to repeatedly say the word, “Nigel”). David’s food of choice was bugs and insects (if you ever find yourself with a monster behind your door, DO NOT, as Mary once did, feed it arachnids. This does not end well for anyone involved) which meant that Mary had to spend a significant portion of her day placing critters into jars or containers.
The day after Mary’s 7th birthday, the monsters disappeared from her room. They didn’t really give any indication that they were unhappy or that they were going to leave, but, when Mary thought about it later, she realised had known in the back of her head for several weeks that the monsters were preparing to move out. Laying in bed, with her quilt cover pulled up her chin, Mary found that the silence wasn’t everything she had hoped it to be. Maybe she was more afraid of the thoughts that might come up now that the monsters were no longer there to distract her. Just then, she heard her brother, Van, yell from his bedroom at the end of the hall. “No, you can’t have my sneakers!” Van shouted, and Mary rolled over and fell asleep with a contented smile on her face.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
Illustrations by Alisha Towers: FACEBOOK
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