Zack heard the footsteps on each step as he trembled with fear. The monster was back, and there was nowhere for Zack to hide. It was coming upstairs for him.
The image of the beast remained stamped in his mind like a brand, seared to his thoughts and forever remaining.
This massive terror towered over the 7-year-old child, tall and thick, covered with dark hair and had the soulless, piercing eyes of a raging beast.
Zack was sure they had a red glow in them at times.
Nothing terrified him more than those glowing eyes.
He looked toward the closet. Maybe he could hide there. No, too easy. The monster would find him there. Or perhaps under the bed? Again, too obvious.
Zack shook, frantic, helpless, trapped in a nightmare that seemed never-ending.
The low growl grew louder as he heard the monster approach. There was nowhere to go, and tears stung his eyes, though far worse was coming.
He stifled his silent cries as he remained motionless, now paralyzed by a fate not uncertain.
The doorknob turned just as it had many nights before, and in a sudden surge of courage Zack jumped up and ran to hide behind the curtain of his bedroom window.
It was one place he had not hidden before. Maybe this time he could fool the monster, and it would leave him alone.
No such luck.
His eyes widened, and he saw the tanned, corpulent fingers poised to pull back the curtain.
Zack sucked in a deep breath,
determined not to scream or cry this time as the sudden light from his bedroom lamp blinded his eyes and the monster stood before him while holding a wire coat hanger.
“The school called again and said you were causing trouble! You’re a worthless boy and no good!”
No use in running. Zack knew what was coming, what came every night as evidenced by a myriad of scars that would never fade.
He removed his t-shirt with trembling hands and flopped down on the bed. Again, he broke his promise not to scream or cry as he winced in pain.
“I’m sorry, Mama! I swear to God I’ll be good from now on!”