We were taught at a young age that monsters don't exist under our beds. We were convinced that if our feet hung off the bed, a monster would grab at our ankles.
Eventually, we grew up and learned the only things under our beds were dust bunnies, some change, and a sock forever longing for its pair.
In spite of the fact we are all guilty of not cleaning under our beds as often as we should, I have a real monster under my bed.
This monster tries to eat at me everyday, it gnaws at my feet every night. I’ve tried everything to get rid of it, but it doesn't go away that easily.
I’ve vacuumed under my bed multiple times since the monster claimed its home but it always makes its way back under to continue haunting me as I lay awake at night.
I’ve tried sleeping downstairs on the couch but I can hear it clawing on the wooded floors upstairs.
I’ve never told anyone about the monster. “You’re crazy,” they'd say. “You need help!” Its hard not having anyone to tell this secret too.
Its hard going about your day knowing that monster is under your bed, mocking you, waiting for you to come home.
How do you explain to someone that a stupid red scarf has made you its prisoner? I bet you imagined a terrifying creature with ten eyes and a hundred teeth. Well, its nothing that simple.
This is much more terrifying than that.
It was very gloomy out the day I first saw that red scarf, it was wrapped gently around the neck of a young girl at a cafe in the next town over.
She had spilt coffee on herself and was trying to clean it off her scarf. She was cursing under her breath and trying to wipe the table with simply one napkin. Surely one was not enough.
Quietly, I grabbed a handful of napkins and handed them to her. I remember smelling her shampoo, as she cleaned the spilt coffee, like freshly picked strawberries.
I loved picking strawberries as a kid. She looked at me with vivid powder blue eyes and thanked me with a crooked smile.
I didn't say anything back to her, just smiled and watched her exit through the big glass door.
I took one last sip of my coffee, tossed it in the trash, and made my way through that same big glass door. She was a couple of feet down the street now, her ponytail swung around as she walked.
I always wanted long hair like hers. Mother used to always tell me I had such pretty hair but it never looked like any of the other girls. I remember I was very bored that day.
It was raining off and on and there was nothing to do. I decided to go for a walk so I followed the strawberry girl.
That’s the last thing I remember before I found myself in the woods starring at her lifeless grey eyes. She didn’t blink, just starred at the sky. She wasn't as pretty as I thought.
I don't know why I did it. Every time I do it everything is just black. I did like her scarf. It was the only thing that wasn't left to decompose in the woods that day.
I don't remember what happened and I don't have a valid explanation for what I did.
Even now when I'm lying awake in bed staring at the ceiling I can still smell the coffee that stained that red scarf underneath my bed.