Under Alistair’s Bed
Alastair was a very brave boy.
He knew this, because his father told him every night after night-time stories but before lights-out.
“Alastair,” he would say, “you are the very bravest four year old boy in this house. So tonight, dear son, tonight, you have nothing to fear.” And he would kiss him on the head with his scratchy lips, and he would kiss Mr. Scruffbunny with his scratchy lips, and he would leave the door open just the right amount, and he would turn off the light.
Alastair was afraid, however, because there was something under his bed.
He tried to pretend it wasn’t there, like the brave boy his father believed him to be. He sat in his bed and counted all the way to twenty-seven – the very highest he had ever counted – before he couldn’t take it anymore and decided to peek.
Very, very slowly, he turned sideways under his blanket and poked his head down the side of his mattress. He kept his eyes scrunched very, very tightly closed so that whatever was under his bed couldn’t see him either.
Finally, when he felt his hair touch his floor, he popped his eyes open – snap! There, right in front of his eyes was a terrible monster staring right back at him!
It had a big, round head with horrible black and white spots.
That big ugly head had a whole pile of gross skinny arms underneath it, like tangled spaghetti.
Those tangled arms had big, spiky feet on the end.
“DADDADDADDADDADDADDADDADDADDADDAD!” yelled Alastair.
Alastair’s dad came quickly to Alastair’s door.
“What’s wrong, buddy?” he asked.
“MOOOOOOOOOONNNNNSSSTEEEEEEERRRRRR!” yelled Alastair, pointing under his bed and scrunching his eyes closed.
Alastair’s dad picked him up gently, and said “Let’s see about this monster, kiddo.”
“It had a great big round head, with black and white spots all over it!” said Alastair as bravely as he could manage.
Alastair’s dad bent down and looked under the bed. He reached his hand in…and pulled out a soccer ball. “Did it look like this, Alastair?”
“Yeah! Just like that, dad!”
“What else did it have, Alastair?” he asked with a sleepy smile.
“It had gross goopy arms like a pile of spaghetti!” he said.
Alastair’s dad bent down and looked under the bed. He reached his hand in…and pulled out a tangled old jump rope. “Did they look like this, Alastair?”
“Yeah! Just like that, dad!”
“Hmmm. Sounds spooky. Did it have anything else, brave boy?” his dad asked, a tired sparkle in his eye.
“Yeah! It had great big feet with big pointy spikes on them! They were SO SCARY!”
Alastair’s dad bent down and looked under the bed. He reached his hand in…and pulled out Alastair’s soccer shoes. “Did they look like this, Alastair?”
“Yeah, just like that, dad!”
“Well, brave Alastair,” said his dad thoughtfully, “you sure did have something under your bed – a great big mess! But no monsters.” And he picked up Alastair,and laid him back in his bed, and he kissed him with his scratchy lips, and he kissed Mr. Scruffbunny with his scratchy lips, and told Alastair he loved him forever, and turned out the light.
Alastair snuggled under the covers, brave and warm, and went safely to sleep.
And so did the monster who lived under his bed…