Terry was wide awake, his eyes staring up at the ceiling. He’d heard a particular noise. A very familiar noise.
The sky outside clouded over, and the moonlight pooling on the bedsheets dried up. The room was dark. Steadily, the monster rose up from the end of his bed, darkening the room even more.
Two red eyes and a pitch-black silhouette was all that Terry could see of the beast. That noise, that deep, growling noise, reverberated throughout the room.
Terry had been going through this nearly every night for 8 years. And every night, he’d shrink into his bedsheets, shivering in fear, thinking that this time — THIS time — would be the time that the monster would finally put him out of his misery.
But it had been 8 years. And over time, the fear in Terry’s chest had lessened, and he began to think about his situation. Here was a terrifying creature, rising from the foot of his bed every night.
Sometimes it’d step towards him, slowly, its deep silhouette gradually sucking out the light surrounding it. The sheer dread, the constant threat, would leave Terry sobbing in anguish.
Sometimes it would be everywhere, the pitch black rising quickly, and Terry would wake up suddenly and realise that the dark creature had arrived.
But each and every night, Terry would fall asleep, unable to keep his eyes open for a single moment longer. And as he lost consciousness, there would be a deep, growling voice.
“Not tonight,” it would say.
But tonight, Terry wanted it to be different. He’d been living in fear for 8 years.
He took a deep breath, and rose up. He pushed aside his blankets, and pulled himself to the end of his bed.
Terry looked up. Staring into the consuming darkness, he could just about discern a hint of sharp, white teeth.
Here we go.
He felt his way around the silhouette, and clasped his hands around what he assumed to be the creature’s back. Soft skin and light fur met his touch. He buried his face into the shadow, and let the warmth of the creature wash over him.
Terry was fully expecting this to be the last thing he ever did. So when a clawed limb touched his back, he froze, anticipating the end.
Then, the creature placed another arm on his back, and in a single action, pulled him upwards, delivering a near-crushing hug.
The monster whispered: