You hope pretending to be asleep will bore the monster, and it will go away. You fall into sleep.

You clench your eyes, breathing hard.  It hurts to breathe now, you're doing it so quickly and desperately.  The panic is overwhelming, and your lungs are working in overdrive. The hands jostle and toss you, claws clicking and fingers prodding.  You spin and tumble and you feel like you could possibly be sick to your stomach.  Your head swims, and you're seeing stars.

From out of the chaos a simple thought emerges, recalled from a special on the Discovery Channel.  If you pretend to be dead, the bear will leave you be.  It is uncertain what sort of monster has taken you, but it seems like it might be worth a shot.

You pretend to be dead.

Your body is limp but your mind is still a swirling mess. You're still dizzy and your respiration remains irregular.  He doesn't believe you're sleeping, much less dead.  Besides, do you really want him to drop you wherever it is you are? You might be miles from how by now.  You couldn't possibly know.

Lightheaded, exhausted, and panicked, you start to fade and you feel like you're falling.  But you're not.  The monster still has you caught in his clicking, prodding claws.


It's still dark.  You recall a certain wild game of hide-and-seek after school.  They left you hiding in the brambles for hours, peering nervously in all directions.  After the first hour you were quite sure that the monsters would crawl out from beneath the earth, dripping green and gnashing their needle-sharp teeth.  The second hour brought a spectacular setting sun, but you were too busy thinking about a particular monster with a prehensile tongue and poisonous drool.  You spent the next hour gasping for breath until you passed out.  When you woke up it was eight PM and Momma had called the cops.  That night she and Daddy had a little fight that ended when he downed a bottle of Jack.  Momma didn't tell you, but you could smell him when he passed out on your bedroom floor during the monster hours.  He told you There is no such thing as monsters.

He was wrong.

You're still wrapped in the safety of your blanket and it's dark.  You spend ages agonizing over whether or not to remove it...  In the end you figure you must- it doesn't make sense to just live under a blanket for the remainder of your days.

Something is wrong.  You might still be in your room, except the dimensions of the walls are all wrong!  One wall is half the height of the other and the ceiling seems to tilt dangerously to one side. All of your belongings are gone- the elemental table poster, the model trains, the desk and laptop, they're all gone. In one misshapen corner is a filthy mattress covered in a layer of thick black hairs. There's a rickety table just next to the mattress.  Instead of a lamp, a single black stub of a candle is balanced on a tarnished brass candle holder.  Everything is gray.  Even the black is not quite black.  There is no color anywhere except for you.

Your pajamas were flannel when you went to bed... but now they are printed with joyful red sailboats sailing on a curly blue ocean.

Something's happend. Something bad.

Before you can plan your escape you hear a thump.  Thump.  THUMP.  The door which was a plain and lifeless gray, just like everything else, is creaking open.  Your heart rises into your throat as your great escape is interrupted.

The End

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