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J Anfinson
June 16th, 2013, 05:35 AM
This was an idea that hit me earlier today. Maybe I'm not right in the head, but I laughed my ass off thinking about it. Hopefully it gives someone else a chuckle or two as well. And so, without further adieu...

The Thing Under the Bed
***
It lay in wait. The boy’s mother would be sending him to bed shortly and, for the Thing, this was its chance to earn its way into the coveted position it was seeking. For not every being of the shadows could earn the title of “Boogeyman”.

Footsteps sounded in the hall outside the door, and it licked its lips. Tonight would be the night that it passed the final test.

The doorknob turned, and the boy entered. He began undressing, and when he was finished he went into the adjoining bathroom to brush his teeth.

That’s right. Clean those teeth good. I don’t want to taste that awful shit you had for dinner.

It gagged at the thought of vegetables. How can you swallow that shit?

The boy returned to the room and pulled back the covers before climbing into bed. For just a moment the Thing was tempted to strike, but it had studied long and hard. The boy’s mother would be coming at any minute to tuck him in, and it wouldn’t do to be interrupted while it dined. Sure enough, it heard her coming. The door opened and she came in. It listened to the sounds of goodnights and sleep tights, and then she gave him a kiss.

Yuck!

It struggled to understand. Why did these humans insist on feeling love for each other? It couldn’t begin to grasp the concept.

She left, pulling the door closed behind her, and it heard her footsteps echoing down the hall as she returned to wherever she’d been. It wanted so badly to crawl out and get started, but knew that it needed to wait longer still. If it didn’t want to get caught, it needed to wait until the boy was asleep.

The Thing waited silently. When the sound of the boy’s breathing changed, it slowly started creeping out from under the bed. When it reached the foot of the bed it looked up. The boy’s toes were poking out over the edge.

Perfect. I’ll start with those, but I’ll have to be quick. Don’t want the little fucker screaming.

It crawled out and slowly moved in for the kill. As it came within striking distance of the boy’s feet, it inhaled deeply through its nostrils, wanting to savor the moment. That turned out to be a mistake.

Oh fuck! Oh God! I can’t eat that!

It couldn’t hold back from vomiting. The cat it ate for lunch came back up, and hit the floor with a wet plop.

Fuck! There’s a thing called soap, kid. Use it.

Oh well, it might have to pack that part up in a doggy bag and eat later. There were still plenty of other places to start. It risked a glance over the top of the bed. The boy was still asleep. Good. It was afraid its puking might have woken him up. The boy was a deep sleeper then.

It ducked as the boy moved. The bed springs creaked as the boy tossed and turned, and it sounded like the covers were pushed away. That was just perfect. Maybe it would eat its way into his belly.

The Thing slowly rose. The boy was lying on his back with the covers pushed down to his waist. It drooled as it slowly settled its weight onto the bed and crept forward. When its face was hovered over the boy’s middle it leaned in close, opened its jaws wide and prepared to dig in.

Then the boy farted.

The smell filled the air, and the Thing recoiled in disgust.

Fuck! Just…Fuck!

It dove back under the bed, where it vomited what little it had left in its stomach before dry heaving.

I can’t fucking do this. These…children…They’re just too fucking nasty. How in the fuck can anyone eat those things?

Suddenly, vegetables didn’t sound so bad. It opened up a portal back to its world. The Thing took one last glance over its shoulder before leaving.

I’m not cut out for this.

shinyford
June 16th, 2013, 09:52 AM
I like this conceit a lot - a really nice idea.

Two observations:
1) This would work well as a children's story - which would obviously require a small change in the use of language. FWIW I think you could achieve that easily without compromising the story in the slightest.
2) I have recently been informed, much to my surprise, that the term 'Bo(o)geyman' is held by some to be incredibly racist. Not saying you shouldn't use it necessarily - after all, it's pretty-much the accepted term for monsters under the bed - but just to make you aware of that connection.

Cheers

Nic

Gargh
June 16th, 2013, 12:13 PM
I like this too and second the notion that it would be great for kids. The profanities don't add anything to the story so whip them out and replace them with something ridiculous that will make kids giggle. I'd also like a few hints as to what the Thing looks like. Nothing major, just the tip of an ear or a claw caught in shadow or something to spark the imagination off. I got carried away with the idea of the kid waking up afterwards, in the morning to find a vomited but disorientated cat stumbling round his bedroom as well! Oh, and I also stopped to wonder why the Thing found love so disgusting? Was it too slimy? Silly? Or did it just make his skin crawl and he didn't know why?

Trilby
June 16th, 2013, 12:49 PM
I was captivated by this story - couldn't wait to see what happened next.

Not sure that I'd agree with shinyford and Garth on turning it into a children's story - don't want the little darlings having nightmares! :cower:

Gargh
June 16th, 2013, 01:05 PM
I was captivated by this story - couldn't wait to see what happened next.

Not sure that I'd agree with shinyford and Garth on turning it into a children's story - don't want the little darlings having nightmares! :cower:


Funnily enough, the only thing that concerned me in that regard was not the nightmares but that the little beggars might use it as an excuse not to brush their teeth or use soap! :)

J Anfinson
June 16th, 2013, 05:43 PM
That is somewhat surprising that "Boogeyman" is considered racist. However, as I'm sure most people could guess I'm using it in a traditional sense, and it means nothing more than "whatever worst nightmare a kid can conjure up, that lives in his/her closet, under the bed, or some other dark area and plans to eat them up".

As for the profanity, I can agree on that. I wrote this in one draft, which took maybe an hour and a half. At the time I heard it as a foul mouthed voice in my head, but after a good nights sleep (without getting bitten I might add) I imagine that with a little further thought I could do away with most, if not all the cursing and replace it with something funny. (assuming people enjoy my sense of humor)

Glad you guys like it, even if some things are unnecessary.

shinyford
June 17th, 2013, 12:57 PM
Funnily enough, the only thing that concerned me in that regard was not the nightmares but that the little beggars might use it as an excuse not to brush their teeth or use soap! :)
Ibid. :D

bazz cargo
June 20th, 2013, 09:39 PM
Pure comedy gold.

I'm sure the hard-core swearing seems at odds with the pernickety attitude of the mysterious beast. Surely cleanliness would be more off-putting?

I liked this a lot
Bazz

JCWells
July 7th, 2013, 10:11 AM
Ha-Ha. Wished I would have thought that up when I was a kid. It might have helped me psychologically scare the monsters away.

bezidentita
August 26th, 2013, 02:43 AM
Very good. Very funny. Any plans to turn this into a longer story?

J Anfinson
August 26th, 2013, 03:05 AM
Nah, I've got way too many other ideas to work on. If anyone wants to take this and run with it, I don't mind.

Plasticweld
March 21st, 2014, 01:54 AM
Excellent story, loved the pace and change in narration. good vivid detail and easy to envision while reading. I wouldn't change it, I have yet to meet a 12 year old the did not swear like a sailor on the playground during recess. The language flows and comes across very naturally

J Anfinson
March 21st, 2014, 03:30 AM
Wow, thanks. I'd forgotten about this one. I might end up rewriting this after all, just for fun.

Plasticweld
March 21st, 2014, 01:07 PM
In one of your comments you mentioned that this took you only an hour half to write, I wonder if this is why it flows as well as it does? The visuals are simple and eloquent. I would be careful about overdoing it. I am never one to discuss mechanics with a write as I have no skill in this area; I am curious to know what you think you need to change

A_Jones
March 21st, 2014, 01:36 PM
Quite funny! I love it! Confused on the strong language choice though.

thepancreas11
March 21st, 2014, 01:47 PM
Boogeyman as a rank among monsters? Boogeyman, 1st Class Thing. Brigadier Boogeyman Thing. Stop me at any time; I'm having too much fun with this concept. The reversal you pull on the normal horror story, that it's the humans that horrify the monsters, really sets this apart as something worth reading. I'm impressed that this took you only an hour and a half to write.

I think it suffers from an inconsistent tone, though. I'm not sure what to make of it. It's part scary, part funny; part childish, part adult-themed; part moral, part nonsensical. It doesn't really make up it's mind as to what it's going for. If you're going for child's story (which I don't think was the intent) then, yes, the swearing could get replaced by some more adventurous expletives. If you're going for adult themed, then fart jokes might be a little under-appreciated. I think if you want to make it funnier, you should make this Thing a real nut job, like he's reciting monster mantras to himself under the bed, like he's munching on some socks to bide his time, that way, the idea of him attacking the child isn't so grotesque as it is fitting: that creepy monster would definitely want to eat the kid. I really think you could run with the "humans are disgusting creatures" thing too, if you expanded on it.

The Thing needs a new name in my opinion.

Other than that, I loved it. Entertaining (fart jokes are always funny, no matter what anyone says) and clever. I'd give this one another shot.

A_Jones
March 21st, 2014, 01:58 PM
I use the bogey man in my work too. The comments you guys have on it are making me sad. I support you!! :D

J Anfinson
March 21st, 2014, 02:12 PM
In one of your comments you mentioned that this took you only an hour half to write, I wonder if this is why it flows as well as it does? The visuals are simple and eloquent. I would be careful about overdoing it. I am never one to discuss mechanics with a write as I have no skill in this area; I am curious to know what you think you need to change

The first paragraph I could smooth out some, and I overused some words, especially curse words. I see a few spots where it's thoughts could be improved as well. This was written nearly a year ago so I think I could do it better now.

MoonYu
September 13th, 2014, 05:17 PM
I found the language off putting for the story as it does have a children's story feel to it. (And I use plenty of profanity when I write) But it also brings to mind several darker children's books I enjoyed. Forgive me if I don't get the names right, but there was a story called the Stinky Cheese man that was part of a larger volume that basically rewrote several fairy tales. One of the books had a story about trolls and their life away from the job. Good stuff.

Overall, good read.

J Anfinson
September 13th, 2014, 06:28 PM
:oops: This old piece is kinda embarrassing actually. I've learned to rein in the language much better since then. Still haven't gotten around to rewriting this. It's on my to-do list along with half a million others :)

Mr. Beanhead
September 24th, 2014, 04:59 PM
I agree with several of the others who found the language problematic. That is my only complaint, and it's not a big one. Grammar and usage are solid. Some of the images (vomited cat for instance) are positively rollicking.:icon_cheesygrin: