"Daddy, daddy, come quick," said an exhausted Jake as he ran into the kitchen out of breath. "There is a monster under my bed."
Jake's dad raised his eyebrow and looked at his son over his glasses. "A monster?" he asked.
With a very worried look on his face, Jake went closer to take his father's hand. His little hand pulled his father away from his newspaper and he felt safe to know that his father would not take any nonsense from the monster under his bed.
He guided his father to his room. After switching the bedroom light on, Jake broke out in a cold sweat as his father got down on his knees to have a look under the bed. "Daddy watch out!" he shouted in fear that the ugly monster would hurt his father.
Daddy stayed on his knees for what felt like hours for Jake. He checked every corner and behind every item under the bed. When he stood up, he looked behind the curtains, inside the closet and also behind the door, but he could not find anything.
"There, all good," Daddy said as he put his son to bed and covered him with his blankets. "There is no monster here and if there was, he probably got scared and ran away."
"Thanks Dad," Jake replied. He felt satisfied and safe at last.
"Now get some sleep," his father said. He tucked him in tightly and kissed him on the forehead. "Love you, goodnight!"
As his father left the room, he switched off the light and left the door a few centimeters open. There was a small amount of light coming in from the door and Jake was able to see the silhouettes of his bedroom furniture. Although he knew that there was no monster under his bed, he couldn't help thinking that it might have just gone invisible while the light was on. This got him thinking about many different things that monsters may be able to do when they do not want to be found.
Maybe the monster was hiding outside the window? Can monsters walk through walls? What if it's still there but grown-up's aren't able to see them? What if it comes back? Perhaps it's hungry? I wonder if monsters have friends? Do they bring them along or come alone?
All of these thoughts gave Jake goosebumps. He pulled the blanket up and covered his face to hide. It was very uncomfortable and he couldn't breathe properly behind it, but he didn't care. His goal was to hide.
It wasn't long before he started to hear noises below the blanket. Every single noise seemed so loud and he could hear his heartbeat getting faster and faster and with every beat, it felt as if his feet was getting colder and colder.
Jake held his breath. At some point, he was going to have to get up to see where the noise came from. Slowly and quietly, he lifted pulled the blanket down so that only his eyes stuck out. It was dark. Even the light that came in from the door wasn't there anymore and his bedroom door was shut. Silence.
As much as he wanted to run out the door, he was too afraid to get off the bed. Behind the curtains, he could see the reflection of something with a lot of feathers, moving from side to side with inconsistent movements. There was only one thing he could think of doing...
"Daddyyyyy! Come quick!" he screamed as the monster outside started screeching on the window. It was the loudest screeching he has ever heard and he knew that whatever type of monster it was, was now angry and was trying very hard to get to him.
The bedroom door flung open and his mother and father both appeared in the doorway.
"What's going on?" his mother asked, clearly in a state of panic.
"It's the monster mommy, he is outside the window."
Jake's father switched the light on, and as soon as he did, the monster disappeared. "Jake, you know I already checked everywhere and I could not find any monster," his father said calmly.
"Daddy, it was there. I promise!" Jake cried. "I heard it and I've seen it. It wants to get inside."
Quickly, his mother ran over to his bed and sat next to him, patting his back and comforting him as his father walked towards the window. He pulled the curtains aside, but once again, he could not see any monster.
"There's nothing there, Jake" his father assured him.
"Wait a minute," said his mother. "Stay there, I will switch off the light and then we wait a while to see what happens."
Jake slowly let go of his mother as she stood up from the bed to carry out her plan.
Once she switched off the light, Jake pointed at the window. "There he is!"
Jake was kind of relieved that it was still there. He didn't want his parents to think that he was making up stories. His mother went over to him and comforted him once again, while his father opened the curtains wide enough to expose the monster.
"It's not a monster, son," his father explained. "Look, it's only the branches from the tree outside. I will have to trim it tomorrow as it has grown so much that it's now reaching the window."
Very relieved, Jake thanked his parents for coming to his rescue.
"Daddy, may I please sleep in your room tonight? Pretty please," and with puppy eyes he convinced his father that it would only be for one night, or until the branches were trimmed.
After all the excitement, Jake had a good night's rest and was able to sleep in his own room without any other problems from there on.