Oscar woke with a start, gasping for breath. His bed sheets and pillows were damp with sweat. He reached for his bedside lamp, but felt a shooting pain in his arm as he moved it. He looked down, and saw a large, deep cut, running the length of his forearm. He must have been thrashing in his sleep again. He lay motionless for a while, contemplating the nightmare.

As he lay in the quiet, he heard a dull banging from inside his wardrobe. He sat frozen, the hairs on the back of his neck at full attention. It had followed him, from his dream, he was sure of it. Slowly, his uninjured arm crawled through the darkness and clasped around the handle of his drawer, and quietly slid the drawer open. It made a small, creaking sound as it ran along the rails. His hand danced around the inside of the drawer until he came across what he was looking for, a torch. The torch was slender, cylindrical and weighted, so at least he had some protection against what he was hearing.

After his eyes acquainted with the dark, he stepped out of his bed, his bare feet made a slight thud on the spongy, white floor. A sideways glance told him that it was midnight, last night the sound stopped ten minutes earlier. This told him that the monster was closer to his world; maybe tonight it would leave the world of his head, and into the world of flesh. He knew if it got enough power in this world, everything would die. But he couldn't kill it in his head, as it was strongest in its own territory. He knew he would have to kill it just after it passed, when the beast is at the weakest.

The young boy stood in front of the wardrobe, frozen to the spot. His arm was shaking violently, and sweat was dripping from his forehead. With his good arm, he wiped his face with his pyjama sleeve. For a few moments, there had been no knocking, and he prayed that the beast had gone. But deep inside, he knew it was still there, silently waiting for him to make the first move. So Oscar braced him self, his hands tightening around the torch handle, and kicked the wardrobe door. He took a step back, as the wardrobe creaked open. He didn't breath, knowing that the being of his mind was about to confront him.

The door stopped creaking, and the room was once again silent. The child clicked on his torch, and shone the beam of light through the small, hand-sized opening between the two wardrobe doors. There was a low, rasping hissing, as three large, blue, bug-like legs emerged from the gap, hooking around the wardrobe door. Two large tentacles followed. The tentacles felt around the padded room, as if taking note of the arrangement, before retracting with a slickening, slimy sound.

All the while, Oscar looked on, frozen to the spot, disgusted at the sight that befell his eyes. Three more legs appeared, pushing open both the doors, allowing more light to shine on the monster. Finally, Oscar was seeing the beast in all its full glory. The beast's body was large and bloated, much like a frog's. It had many large bug legs; the boy could count at least ten. Three slimy tentacles protruded from its back, which were currently squashed against the wardrobe walls. Its head was also round and frog-like, with two large saucer eyes. And the smell! Oh what a stench, Oscar thought, almost gagging. But the worse thing about this beast wasn't its repulsive stench, or the gross looks; it was what it did its damage with. At the front of the face, there was a large, elongated snout, much like a crocodile's.

Although he had seen this beast in his dreams many, many times, nothing had prepared him for meeting it face to face. But Oscar barley had time to take in all of this monstrosity, as, quick as a flash, one of the tentacles whipped out of the cupboard and smashed into his chest, sending him flying across the room, bouncing off the soft wall. As he lay on the floor, winded, he could hear the scuttling of the beast's legs, as it moved across the room, towards him. The moving stopped. Oscar opened his eyes.

The beast's head was looking down at him, the massive snout a mere 10 inches from his face. With every breath, the monster's large nostrils flared. For a few seconds they both stayed still, staring each other in the eyes. The beast roared, it's mouth opened wider than the boy's head, before spraying strings of warm, sticky saliva on to Oscar's face. Oscar gulped as he saw three rows of razor sharp teeth. He knew he was about to face death. But there must be another way, he thought, there must! It was that moment he remembered about the torch.

With all the strength he could muster, he swung his arm towards the beast. There was a sickening crack as the metal of the torch met with the bone of its jaw. The beast roared, as several of its teeth flew out its mouth and landed on the floor. But strangely, it stopped making the noise, and turned to the door, as if it heard something. Obviously it had, as Oscar could see the door handle turning. The beast turned back to stare the boy in the eyes, then, just as a hand came through the crack in the door and flicked on the bedroom light, it disappeared into thin air, back to the boy's head.

The door swung open and a neatly dressed woman in white, ironed clothes come through the door.

"Oh, Oscar, your up." She said sweetly, "come on, your parents are here to visit you. They're in the waiting room." The woman stretched out her arm to the boy, who gladly took it.

"Oh my Oscar! Your cut! Oh was it the "monster" again?" she asked, with a smirk

"No Nurse, not this time." He replied innocently, oblivious to the woman's sarcasm.

The Nurse turned her head out towards the corridor, and called two of her colleagues over. "Oscars been cut again, I shall need to get another bandage for him" and then she said quietly to the other two nurses "find what he used and dispose of it out the room"

The two nurses nodded politely, and the first nurse led Oscar out his padded bedroom, along the brightly lit corridor.

"Could he have cut himself on these?" asked one of the nurses, holding up several razor-sharp, pointed triangles.

"Good heavens!" the other nurse cried, "Whatever are those, they look like teeth?"

David Ritchie