The Monster Under The BedbyAzPilot©
An only child searching for companionship, finds a new playmate.
I was an only child. A small child surrounded by adults. No one to play with, to talk with, to even fight with. I begged my parents for a brother or sister. I didn't care which, just some one else to be with. For whatever reason, it didn't happen. We lived in a small town and there were no children living on my block. No kids near my age for two blocks.
I learned to read early on and that helped some. Dick. See Dick. See Dick run. Run Dick, run. Jane. See Jane. See Jane run. Run Jane, run. Okay. The plot really thickens when they bring Spot, the dog, into the scheme of things
I learned to make things using newspaper and paste from flour and water. I could color. I could hide in the bushes and climb some trees. I just had no one to be with. I wasn't old enough to express my thoughts. At first, I wasn't old enough to even understand the feelings I had.
Much later, school would help some. Within a few years, I could go to the homes of other kids, after school and on weekends. By then though, I had found the solution to my problems. It had been there all along; it just took a while to realize it and make it work.
Like all children, I think, I sensed a presence in my room. Even as an infant. It didn't do anything, it was just there. I could feel it. As an adult, I've seen babies coo and giggle in their crib when no one appeared to be around. I fully understood the process that few adults comprehend. They were communicating.
A lot of children make up an imaginary friend as a playmate, talking to them and pretending to play with them. That's a pretty accepted norm. All it takes is a vivid imagination, an ingredient that many children have in abundance. That's great. More power to them if that satisfies their need but I always felt a need for a little more solid companionship. A brother or sister, younger or older. Two way communication for exchange of ideas.
As my mind grew, I thought about it more and more. Then one day as I was sitting on the floor of my room; I really felt it. There was something under the bed. I couldn't see it, it just was. I started talking to it. Yes, it. Hey, I was a little kid. What did I know about gender? I knew that boys and girls were different but that was it. Anyway, back to it. I tried hard to get it to understand me and know that I wanted to talk with it. Would it come out? Could it come out? Seemed like valid questions for starters.
I finally got an answer, of sorts. It was a thought, in my mind, not a noise out loud but I could feel it as though it had been spoken. Hey, that's neat. How'd you do that? Will you talk with me? Can you talk with me? I had made a breakthrough. When we started up, it got interesting. I said my name but it signaled that it already knew it. When I enquired about it's name, I was given a mental picture of something that resembled Arabic writing, or worm as I call it today, the sound of which was unpronounceable for me. I thought a bit and then asked if Jake would do. There was a pause and then I perceived a positive feeling in my mind. I took that as a yes.
Jake was as new at this as I was so it was slow work understanding each other. An idea struck me; could Jake do anything, that is could he move things? I put one block on top of another and asked him to knock it off. I felt a small mental strain and the block fell off. I don't hardly have words enough, even today, to describe the joy I had at that moment. I had a playmate.
In a few months, our communications were very good. I learned that he had come from a training academy and was assigned to me, to be under my bed and to stay with me as long as I believed. He was encouraged to be spooky, even eerie if possible, as under-the-bed monsters were supposed to be that way. Closet monsters were even more so by nature, but I was never issued one for some reason. Bureaucratic foul up, I guess. Anyway, I was happy to have Jake.
Sometimes I would talk out loud to him and other times I would just think what I wanted to say and sort of aim it at him. He was quick at that. That was swell as we could converse after I was in bed and supposed to be sleeping. My parents never knew of all the talks we had after "lights out".
Now, understand, he wasn't too worldly. He was just out of the academy and I was his first assignment. Oh well, we would learn together. We both looked forward to the experience. We got through kindergarten together and looked forward to first grade. When I went to school, he was alone for the first time during the day. He missed me. Of course, he couldn't jump on me like a puppy when I got home, but I did feel a warm sense when I got into range of his being. When we first started, his range was limited, as his main jurisdiction was the area of my bed. I really think it was all the conversations we had that stretched his mind, power, or whatever. All I know is that by the time I got to first grade, he could reach me at the front door.
His powers increased as time went on. He could move things- bigger things now. It was wonderful; I talked him into picking up my dirty clothes and putting them in the hamper. He kept occupied during the day by making my bed and putting my toys away. Mom thought I was a wonder child. She bragged about me to all the other mothers. No one else had a child that played quietly, picked up after himself and made his bed on a daily basis. She didn't either- it was Jake. My life was wonderful.
As I progressed in school, I spent more time at friends houses; less time at home. Jake got bored. He started to wander around the house, at times. This caused a few problems, like the time Auntie Jean came to visit for a few days. One of those days, I slept over at a friends house for the night. Jake wandered into her room that evening, frightening the bejesus out of her. It felt good to him, that's what he had trained for, at the academy.
My parents were adults, of course, so they were off limits, as were most adults; besides, they didn't believe. Sorta like the Santa Claus thing. Auntie Jean was just an accidental happening but it felt good to Jake. Kinda new territory for him. All his training had been oriented in the direction of frightening small children, then he got me for his first assignment. I had been too lonely to be frightened. It was interesting, Jake thought.
It even occurred to him that he could possibly expand into another house and scare some children there but then he realized that he would be encroaching on the assigned territory of other under-the-bed monsters. That was not only not polite, it was almost illegal. He would have to answer to the district council for trespassing. Oh, well. He would figure something out. It would only be a few more years and this contract would be filled and he could move on to another bed. He had explained to me that as soon as I no longer believed, his time under my bed was over and it was time to move on. As I said before, it was kinda like the Santa Claus thing.
Our problem, in particular, was that I not only believed, I KNEW. I knew in a way that few other children in the world understood. They all went through their young lives appropriately frightened of the monster under their bed until they outgrew it. Jake was my best friend. My only friend for much of my early life. None of the usual actions and rules applied. I'm sure it drove the district council of under-the-bed monsters bonkers trying to cope with situation I had created.
At the time, I was young and didn't consider the consequences and gave them no thought. It was only later, as an adult that I often wondered why the council didn't come and talk to me.
Time had it's way, though. I grew older and spent less and less time at home. I still liked Jake of course, but since his area of travel was severely limited, our association became more and more infrequent. It was a natural thing.
One day, I looked under the bed and Jake was gone. Just packed up and left. Even took his favorite dust bunnies with him. The black and white spotted one was his real favorite. I missed him, but I had a lot of other friends now and had just noticed that girls were different. It looked as though my future life was going to be just fine. I couldn't very well wave goodbye, but I did beam a thought his way and said, "Thank you, my friend."