|sent from: London, UK. destination: San Francisco, California, USA|
The truth is that The Monster Under Her Bed wasn’t as scary as it used to be. Instead of sharp claws its hands, when she glimpsed them, were soft and wrinkly, like her grandmother’s. When she tentatively rose in the middle of the night to pee, it wouldn’t grasp her ankles as it once had. She no longer had to whisper long entrieties, offering sacrifices and devotional poems to stop it pulling on her hair.
“Will you always be there?” she asked, one day in the early hours when the traffic noise from outside woke her up. A smell of sandalwood drifted from below, accompanied by a scent she couldn’t identify, like old stories.
“Why do you ask, child?” TMUHB replied.
“We’re moving soon. Mummy has a new job. I want to know you’ll be there in my new place, under my new bed.”
“You’re not supposed to look forward to my presence. You’re supposed to tremble, and hide. Your mother hid from me, and sang. Such a beautiful voice, I miss it.”
“I.. I’ve grown used to you. Sometimes I don’t think about you, but then I miss you and you’re there. It would be strange if you weren’t.”
“Perhaps. Perhaps you’re just getting older.”
She could hear TMUHB yawning. It was a sound that once made her wet the bed, and cry with shame. Now it just made her smile. “I may not come with you.” TMUHB concluded.
She whispered one of her favourite poems, one she used to recite when THUMB’s hair would shroud her like a veil. All the while, TMUHB remained silent.