“Another one?” He slumped into the chair behind the desk facing the best of the scare team that he could muster together. “How can she have to have another one? You realise here that we are the monsters and she is just a little girl.” He sighed taking his glasses off his nose and throwing them carelessly onto the desk in front of him. As they landed on the vast amount of paperwork he had yet to complete, he caught the attention of the other monsters. For generations, it was the monster’s duty to be the ones that terrified the children. They were the monsters from under the bed, made up of nightmares and encouraged by the whispers of parents soothing their children to sleep. They would hide out just long enough and know when to strike. In that phase where the child is not quite asleep but also not awake, they would come alive and scare the children. It was what they were made to do.
As head of the company, duties for Scarescream ever seemed to end. It was his main job to assign each child a monster for under the bed based on what their fears where. Which brings us to case file 13845 also known as the bane of Shadescream’s life. She had built up a reputation around the monsters, as no matter who Scarescream designated to her, she never feared them. The pile of paperwork on the desk was all the attempts the monsters had over the years. A child gets their first monster when they turn two and it stays with them until they reach eighteen. The monsters can shapeshift and evolve into the things they think will scare the children the most: self-doubt, loneliness, not good enough. The list goes on. By the time a child reaches eighteen, the monsters will have helped the child to fear nothing preparing them for the real world. However, case 13845 was turning thirteen and nothing so far had scared her.
Scarescream had been the head of the company, after inheriting it from his father, for the last fourteen centuries. Dating up until this point, no child had ever resisted fearing their monster. Sure, they would have to change their approach and shapeshift into what the child feared the most, but no child was exempt from the monster under their bed. No child in history had ever not been afraid of their monster, and Scarescream wasn’t going to be the first head of the company to fail now. He had a duty. “Well,” he stood back up from the chair and closed the file that was open on the desk. “It appears case 13845 has faced every monster we have.” He paused. A smirk swept across his face and a glint in his eye appeared. It had been years since he had done fieldwork, but there was no time like the present. “Every monster but me” He left the room and the other monsters stayed silent. They all knew this child was fearless, she would go down in history as the only child that couldn’t be scared.
Scarescream turned up at 13845’s house, he didn’t care for her name just her fears and worries. He positioned himself under her bed. It was when the child was about to drift peacefully to sleep that their heads filled with their fears and worries, and the monsters could shapeshift themselves into them. He waited as she said her goodnights, kissed her mother and snuggled into the duvet for a peaceful night’s sleep. But she didn’t fall asleep, she waited for her mother to go to bed. Confused Scarescream remained still, his time would come. For hours he lay there waiting to see visionaries of her fears. He had missed the scent of fear that filled the rooms of the children who were meant to be sleeping. But it never came. Scarescream crawled out from under the bed something had to be wrong. He moved, without being seen into the corner to observe what was happening.
He saw her sat on her bed scrolling through her laptop. She was intently staring at the screen, in her own little world reading. However, she was crying. Scarescream was confused, usually, only monsters made children cry at night, he didn’t understand. He walked closer to the girl, she didn’t even notice him. He peered closer to the laptop hoping to get a better look at it. None of it made sense. “Hello case 13845 my name is Scarescream and…” the girl jumped and through her tear-filled eyes stared at him.
“Are you… real?” She looked the monster over and said through sobs.
“Once again” he cleared his throat, he was determined to get answers. “Hello case 13845, my name is Scarescream and I am the monster from under your bed. Well actually, I’m not I mean I wasn’t but well I mean I guess I am now. It is all rather confusing.” He shook his head, “But my dear, nothing is as confusing as you.” he said matter of fact. The girl wiped her teary eyes and stared blankly at Scarescream. “I just don’t get it” Scarescream continued. He slumped down to the floor and sat there staring at the only child in the history of children that couldn’t be scared.
Silence filled the room as the two stared at one another. It was only broken when a message popped up on the girl’s laptop. She took a second to read the message, a tear rolled down her cheek. She promptly closed the lid of the laptop and placed it on the floor. Tears continued to roll down her cheeks one at a time, tumbling to the bedding below her. It was then that Scarescream realised what was happening. He treaded carefully as he moved towards the bed and perched himself on the side. “I think I see what is happening here” he said looking towards the girl who was still sniffling. “You’re not scared of anything I could become, because you already feel that way.” She glanced towards him half expecting him to continue, and that is exactly what he did. “Us monsters are here to help you grow and learn and shape you in to the people you become. We teach you to face your fears. However, you don’t have any do you my sweet girl. Anything I could become, loneliness, self-doubt, not good enough, anything you could possibly fear, you are already feeling. You aren’t scared of us because this is your reality.” This was the first time the girl had ever admitted just how she really felt. The monsters on her computer were much worse than anything she would have to face under her bed. She sobbed uncontrollably realising how lonely she truly was. Tears continued to roll down her cheeks one at a time, tumbling to the bedding below her
Upon collapsing into the bed, Scarescream comforted the young girl. She had her own monsters to face except these ones were inside her. These fears wouldn’t go away on their own and no child should have to fight them. They should know what these feelings are but not face them alone. Scarescream was feeling sorry for a human child. That was unheard of but what he did about it was rarer still. He looked at the girl and bared his teeth in what resembled a grin. “My dear child it is I the monster under your bed, I am here to guide you and help you into life, it is my job now to protect you.” He moved closer to the girl as close as she would allow and called out to his friends back in the company and appeared a whole hoard of monsters at this girls bed. “This girl needs protecting, and it is our duty as her monsters, to help her.” Scarescream explained what was happening to the other monsters. He explained how the girl was alone and scared, she felt not good enough and doubted her worth. The monsters all listened and were gone in a flash to protect their dear girl who feared nothing but herself.
Scarescream jumped off the bed and took the girl by the hand. “I promise to protect you, you are good enough.” The girl smiled, she almost believed that she was enough. “I promise I’ll always be here when you need me” Scarescream reassured her. The other monsters were working scaring all her fears away. The horrible humans who were leaving 13845 hate messages and making her doubt her worth were spoken to by the monsters who were protecting her. Their fears all changed and reflected how 13845 felt, and so by the end of the week, the messages stopped. Scarescream went back to see the girl every night and she never felt alone or unworthy again.