"ssshhh! Not so loud!"
"ugh, why not? She's soundly asleep and won't hear a thing, trust me. Little, naughty girls like Camille fall asleep fastttttt till morning comesss..."
Eight-year-old Camille was going to turn on to her other side when she heard the harsh, little whispers. Her eyes blinked open at once and widened in shock. She froze and realized she was snuggled deep in her cosy blanket. Only her head and one arm resting on her belly were visible.
"Sshhh, I say!"
The scratchy, hoarse voice again. Her breathing picked up at the little voices that seemed to rake on her skin. She looked around her room slowly from her bedside table with a small lamp on it to the flowery pink drapes covering the two windows to the decorative picture frames of her family on the wall before the door and to her wardrobe which was tightly closed to her small reading desk and chair where her school bag hung.
On her reading desk was another small lamp, its amber glow partially lighting up the desk area alone while the rest of the room was cast in dark shadows.
Camille's chest was heaving as she drew in air fast because she could not tell whether or not she actually heard the voices or she was dreaming. She'd always been scared of the dark and the reason her mommy leaves her bedroom light on at night.
She furrowed her brows, remembering her mommy did leave the light on before shutting the door.
"She has been naughty!"
"She has? Hehehe…. Uuuhh, I like naughty, little girls!"
"Sshhhh! Not so loud!"
Camille covered her mouth to keep herself from screaming as tears pooled in her eyes. Sweat beads had appeared in a neat row on her forehead and upper lip. She realized the voices were coming from underneath her bed. Her imagination made up vivid pictures of the stories of scary monsters that hide under beds which her elder brother, Larry, had told her about days ago.
"What are we gonna do to naughty, naughty Camilleee?"
"I say we toss some cockroaches on her bed and watch them crawl up her body…and eat her flesh. Yummy."
A slight whimper sound sneaked out from Camille's covered mouth. She could not stop her hands from shaking and her body from trembling. She squeezed her eyes shut, hoping again it was just a dream.
"Ssh, what was that sound?"
"I hear nothing! Do you think she's scared of cockroaches?"
"Yessss! And rats too! Bigggg rats!"
"What if she screams?"
"Then we put little worms in her mouth just like she put some in Larry's milkshake and make sure she swallows them so they can grow in her tummy!
"Good idea. Bwahahaaa!"
Amid her fear and silent tears, Camille thought the scratchy cackle sounded familiar. She was giving it a little thought when she heard, "let's just put the worms on her to eat her up now!"
Camille could not help the screams that poured out of her mouth. Within seconds, her parents came running into her room. Her dad pressed the wall switch beside the door, her mother climbing on her bed to hold her.
"Sweety, what is it? A nightmare?"
"Mom, mom… monsters. Monsters." Camille pointed at her bed, visibly shaking.
"Monsters?" Her mom asked in confusion as her dad went on all fours and looked under her bed if only to assure her there was no such thing.
The next thing Camille and her mommy heard, "You boys are so dead! Come out of there." Her dad uttered in anger.
"What? Larry? Tim?" Her mommy could not believe her eyes as Camille's dad pulled the boys out from under the bed by their ears.
"Ouch, ouch! Dad, that hurts." Tim said, dressed in a long, black tee-shirt that ended at his knees and a black batman mask on his head. Larry wore a red shirt, face and hair painted white with vertical black streaks of paint on his cheeks and forehead.
Camille stared at her elder brothers, her mouth opened in shock, her eyes red and puffy from crying. Within seconds her face wrinkled up in tears as she buried her face in her mommy's chest.
Larry and Tim took one look at sad Camille and they became sorry for what they had done.
"Why would you play such a dangerous prank on your little sister?" Their dad asked, pissed and thinking of the best way to punish the boys.
"We are sorry, Dad." Larry, the eldest eleven year old said. "It was just a game."
"You are both grounded for the foreseeable future. To your rooms now!" Their dad said as he headed them towards the door.
This story was inspired by one of the loglines from the 50 Loglines which says -
Coral hears monsters under her bed, discussing her demise, and comes up with a way to thwart their plan.