Flash Fiction: Under The Bed

Written by Rachael Heffner.

I’ve always loved scary things. Movies, video games, stories, you name it. It was no surprise that I found inspiration in BuzzFeed’s, Two Sentence Scary Stories. I read them all, one at a time, loving the chill it gave me up my spine. As I continued on, I read something about a father seeing double of his son- one of them being under the bed. This was what really drew me in. When I was younger, I indeed had my father look under the bed. Well one night, I asked my dad to look under the bed and when he looked under the bed skirt, he froze. I immediately got up to my knees and looked over the edge toward where my father’s gaze was, but there was nothing. I couldn’t see my dad’s face. “Dad?” I questioned and as he looked at me, his face was covered in a character mask from the Tales from the Crypt comic book/tv show. It scared me half to death, which is what this two-sentence story reminded me of and what inspired me. I’d spent most of my childhood asking my father to check under the bed. “Please,” I’d beg to which my father responded with an eye roll. I’d watch, as he’d get to one knee. His bones would whine and ache on the way down, making these loud popping sounds. Once there, he’d grab the bed skirt of my bed and dip his head down, glancing at the carpet under the bed. Over the years he’d found random shoes and barbies, but to my gratitude, never a.. thing. Even if he did see something, would I want him to tell me? Would he? Once I hit 12, I began to ignore the concept of something residing under my bed and that was the end of it. I was no longer a child; therefore I didn’t have time for childish things. When I had my first child, I knew that my years of worrying what was in the shadows were over. I had someone else to worry about now, someone to protect, just as my dad had. Walking into my little boy’s room around 10 PM to check on him, I noticed his gleaming eyes in the dark. Reaching up, I flipped on the light switch and placed my hands at my hips. He was 6 now, getting older and stronger with every day that passed. “What are you doing up?” I asked, my tone much like my mother’s had been in my childhood. He responded with a shrug and glanced toward the wall. His bed was located in the middle of his small room, a dresser to the left and a window on the far wall. There was a large tree that hugged the windowpane at night and I knew that it bothered my little boy when the wind was mighty. “Are you scared?” I asked, sensing his discomfort. I walked toward the small, twin-sized bed and ran my fingers through his ruffled brown hair, like his father’s. The wind blew outside causing the branches to run across the glass much like finger nails against a chalkboard. No wonder the boy was scared. “Will you check under the bed?” asked my little man, his voice so weak and fearful. I looked away from the window and back to his little, heart-shaped face with a smile. “Of course,” I responded as I nodded and made my move to place on knee on the ground, much like my father. The bed skirt of his bed was green, for that was my little man’s favorite color. I placed my other knee on the ground and reached for the fabric of the skirt and pulled it back before dipping my head to check the contents of what was under his bed. From right to left, I saw a small shoe and a couple G.I. Joe’s, but then I froze. A pair of gleaming green eyes stared back at me– my little boy’s, another him. Tears welled in his little eyes as he pouted his bottom lip, “Mom-mm-y,” he stuttered. My breath caught in my throat. He continued, “There’s somebody on my bed-d.”

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