This is a memory from when I was small. I can’t recall if it was a dream, just my imagination, or a true event, but as you may know from reading some of my other pastas, I’ve had a pretty colorful life full of vivid dreams and things I can’t explain.

The Story

I was lying in bed with my eyes closed. I wiggled my toes under the lightweight sheets and the window was mostly open, the only thing blocking me from the outside world being a screen. The cool night air was blowing in on that summer night, and I was perfectly content. I turned over to look at the comforting glow of my night light. The lights were still on in the hallway, so a warm yellow ray slipped beneath the crack under my door. It always brought me comfort when my parents were still awake as I was going to bed. They were looking after me, watching over me. That made me feel so safe. It didn’t take long for me to drift off into a restful sleep.

I was rattled awake by an unusual sound. I heard scratching outside. Maybe we left one of the cats outside? I wasn’t so sure. Whatever it was sounded too big to be a cat. Then I saw what appeared to be claws on the window screen. My heart raced and I felt a terrified little lump developing in my throat, like it would when I was about to cry. I did what my young five-year-old instinct told me to. I released my loudest and most ear-piercing scream.


The light was still on in the hallway, and when I shouted, my dad was there within seconds. He swung the door open and flipped on the light. I didn’t see anything outside, but I was still bawling my eyes out.

“Papa, there was a monster outside. It was trying to come in and get me.” I sniffled. He gave a slight frown. I don’t think he believed me, but he didn’t believe a lot of things I said back then. He sighed quietly; only seeming glad I was okay.

“You must’ve had a bad dream, sweetie. Will you sleep better with me and Mommy?” I nodded to him as he scooped me up and carried me into the bedroom and sat me next to my mother, who was reading a book. I think it was Salem’s Lot. She always liked scary books and movies, and as I got older, I inherited that interest. After he turned out the light in my room and collected my nightlight and security blankets that I was still so attached to, he came to bed with us, plugging in the night light and placing the blankets gently over my shoulders. I still do like wrapping up like that when I sleep. Turning off the lamp, when my mother was done reading for a while, I fell asleep with him petting my hair to calm me down. I slept peacefully.

The morning came, and by then, I forgot all about that monster. I was ready for the day, hoping that a box of Froot Loops was waiting in the cabinet for my voracious, though tiny, appetite. I scurried into my bedroom to bring my stuffed unicorn to breakfast with me. She was such a great conversationalist. But coming up on my window, I paused. The glass was pulled down, so I was safe, but what I saw made my jaw stand agape. The screen was shredded, and on the window sill was a single, large discarded claw.

Written by Shinigami.Eyes.