Under the Bed

"Mom! There's a monster under my bed!" yelled a five year old boy. He was sitting up in his bed crying. His mom walked into the room and turned on the light.

"Johnny, dear, please calm down," she said sighing at the foot of his bed.

"But mom! There really is! She comes out every night and tries to eat me!" Johnny was shaking with fear. His eyes were opened wide. His mother sighed again. She got on her knees and looked under the bed.

"There are no monsters Johnny. Calm down and go to sleep." She got up and tucked him under his covers. "Good night sweetheart." She said. She kissed his forehead and brushed a lock of hair from his face. Assured that Johnny would sleep, she turned off the lights and left the room.

The minute the lights went off, Johnny hid under his covers, certain that the monster would come out again.

Johnny yelled the next night, and the next. For a week he yelled for his mother at night. She was getting tired of his persistent calls. She was taking more time to go to his room. Every night she checked under the bed and found no monster. After a month, she stopped checking under his bed.

She was hungry. She hadn't eaten in months. This one captured her attention. His fear was so beautiful and innocent. It smelled wonderful and, just like all the others, something inside her stirred. She hungered to eat his flesh. Her body needed his blood. It would run down her throat, that sweet life-giving nectar, like a waterfall.

She crept out from under Johnny's bed and gazed at his face, his soft brown hair. She longed to reach out, to touch his cheek. To run her hand down his face to his neck. To rip through the weak flesh. To tear the unprotected veins, to break brittle bones.

In the beginning, she had no name. She had not been given one when she came to this world. Johnny had given her one the first time he saw her. He had called her that only once, before he realized what she was. He had called her Angel. It had been a month ago. She had showed up at his window. He had woken and looked at her. "Angel?" He whispered, half asleep. She hid until he had fallen back asleep and crawled under his bed. She hated herself for choosing him as her next victim. She would cry as she ate his body, but eat she would, tears or no.

Johnny lived in fear during that month. He never went into his room unless his mother made him. He constantly looked over his shoulder expecting to see the monster. At night, he hid under his covers and wished for his Angel to come help him. He remembered seeing her at his window looking in at him. Her wings were black, her skin pale, but her eyes showed the love and compassion you would expect from an angel. The thing that marked him the most, and made him open the window for her to come in, was that her eyes seemed to hold an eternal sadness in them. As if she felt responsible for everyone.

That night Angel came out. Looking at Johnny, she sighed and reached out to touch his cheek. The second her hand touched his cheek, his eyes opened and he looked at her. But all Johnny did was smile and go back to sleep. She fled for the safety of under his bed.

Johnny's only memory of that night was that of his Angel coming to him. She had touched his cheek. For the first time, his dreams were not haunted. From that night on, Johnny calmed down, certain that Angel was watching over him.

'I've got to do it soon,' Angel thought. Well, not really thought. It could be argued whether Angel was capable of thought. A cold blooded monster. Her body talked to her. Whether she was capable of free thought was unknown. She understood all the subtle signs of her body. Thought or not she was a creature of fears. But she was also a creature of freedom.

Johnny felt the approaching danger all day. The feeling of calm he had before left. In its place was what sailors would call the calm before a storm. All thoughts of Angel were forgotten to this fear. In school, he did not listen to his teacher. At home, his mother could do nothing to calm him down. He could not stop moving around. Never keeping to one place, Johnny spent his day in terror. His bedroom door stayed closed all day.

"Time to go to bed Johnny."

Johnny looked at his mother terrified, and for a second she wondered if everything was alright. But it passed and she carried Johnny upstairs, down the hall and into his room.

"Calm down Johnny," she said struggling to get him into his pajamas. He struggled the whole time, making it incredibly hard. She was getting tired of his attitude. Taking care of a five year old boy, while still managing to go to work was wearing her down. Finally they were on and Johnny was tucked under the covers. "Good night sweet, I love you." She kissed his forehead and left the room, turning off the lights.

She had left him alone. Now there was nothing stopping the monster. Nothing. He pulled the covers over his head and prayed. Prayed that this nightmare would end. That the monster would leave. That Angel would come to him again. He sensed someone watching him; he mustered up his courage and peeked from behind his cover. To his relief he saw Angel. She had just appeared by his bed. Just as beautiful as the first time he had seen her. But this time she was crying. A tear ran down her cheek and dropped onto his cover. Johnny sat up and reached out to her. He wiped away a tear, and asked quietly;

"You sad Angel? Why?"

Shock reeled through her as Johnny wiped away her tear and asked why she was sad. It took her a while to come up with an answer. She didn't normally talk. She was a solitary creature, living in quiet. But she responded,

"Because I love you," she replied. Tears ran over her cheeks as she reached forward and ran her nail across his neck. She took a deep breath and slit Johnny's neck catching him as he fell. She kissed his forehead and held him to her as he died.

Johnny had never felt so safe. Angel loved him. Everything was going to be all right. He was happy as he died. He blacked out before he could register the shock of having his neck slit. Then there was nothing, he was no more. He saw, heard, and felt nothing. Then he was gone.

Angel sat and cried rocking Johnny back and forth. She felt his spirit leave and looked down at him. His blood stained the covers a brilliant red. She could see the ripped flesh and veins. She felt something stir in her again. She hated letting it out but she did. The thing, no, the part of her she hated, came roaring out. It took over her senses and her body, but her feelings were hers. She hated letting it out. But she had no choice, let it come out and eat, or do the eating herself.

Angel's eyes glazed over as she as driven by her hunger. She ate him slowly, savoring the taste of his flesh. Through all this she forgot her love for him. She forgot her tears though they kept falling. But in a corner of her mind she cried. She mourned the loss of another love. She pictured his face sleeping. She remembered his voice when he said, 'Angel'.

She never forgot her victims. They all lived on in her mind. Rose. David. Anne. Sarah. Josh. Jay. Colleen. Jillian. Will. Jack. Angela. The list went on. She remembered them all. She lived forever with the deaths of so many on her heart. So she wept, for Johnny. For everyone she had killed.