It was about that time. The time all babysitters look forward to: bedtime. Alice was a good kid though, I never had any trouble out of her. She was a girly girl, and I am too. We spent our evening painting each other’s nails, braiding her hair and watching chick flicks. Age appropriate, of course.

I ordered pizza for dinner and was an instant hero. She loves me, what can I say? After a particularly saucy movie I announce it’s time for bed. She tries her usual persuasions to stay up but I stay strong. Her parents would be so proud. I walk her up to her room and tuck her into her bed.

“Will you tell me a story?” she asks, turning on the charm. I give her a knowing look with a smile. “Please?”

“Alright. Just one though. I have some homework to do once you’re asleep.” I was totally lying. I was going to raid the fridge and watch a horror movie.

“There once was a little girl who didn’t believe in monsters. Her babysitter assured her that they were real and that they lived in her closet. The little girl still didn’t believe the babysitter, even after the babysitter turned out the lights and said goodnight. But once the room grew quiet and the little girl was drifting off to sleep, she heard a sound coming from her closet. She got out of bed and slowly walked over to the closet. She grabbed the handle and waited, listening for more noises. She heard a scratching sound. She turned the knob slowly, the closet door creaked open.” I had her full attention at this point. “And just when she had the door open enough to peer in…A BIG FURRY MONSTER JUMPED OUT AND GOBBLED HER UP!” I grabbed her when I yelled. She squealed but quickly turned to giggles as I tickled her relentlessly. “Alright, now time for bed.”

“Don’t worry,” Alice reassured me, “There aren’t any monsters in the closet. Daddy keeps them all locked up in the basement.”

“Well that’s good.” I told her. “I would hate to come up here later and find a big, fat monster licking his chops.” I kissed her forehead and she snuggled into her blanket. She closed her eyes and said, “‘Night.”

“Goodnight.” I turned off the light and closed her door. I made my way down to the kitchen to get the ice cream I spied earlier.

As I was scanning the fridge for any extra treats, I heard a knocking noise coming from  down the hall. I shut the fridge and made my way over, thinking Alice had gotten out of bed. When I peered down the hall there was no one there. “Alice?” I called. “If you’re out of bed you’ll be in trouble.” I listened. Nothing. I shrugged and went back to hunting.

A sound came again from the hall. I was going to kill Alice if she was messing with me. I tiptoed down the dark hall so I didn’t let her know I was on to her. There was no movement. I listened. No sound. I stood there for a minute feeling stupid. Then there was a knock on the basement door. I turned slowly toward it. Really, Alice? I thought to myself, a knowing grin spreading across my face. She thought she was going to play a prank on me.

I slid over to the door and knocked back. Nothing. I was about to walk away when I heard a scratching sound. Using my own story against me, eh? I slowly turned the knob. The door creaked a bit as I pulled it open. Nice touch. I thought.

I looked into the darkness, there was nothing there. I shook my head. Just as I went to close the door again I heard a sound coming from the darkness. I stepped down a couple steps, reaching for the switch. I couldn’t find it in the dark but I knew it was there somewhere. Just as I was about to give up, I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. I froze in place. They were steady, heavy footsteps, too heavy for a seven year old to make. I couldn’t move my legs. They kept coming closer.

The last thing I saw before I passed out was a big, hairy thing licking its chops.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

 

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