The Monster in the Closet
Michael was not a well behaved little boy and on that particular day he had been less well behaved than usual.
His day had started at 7.30, when his Mom came to wake him; it was during the school holidays but as both of his parents worked Michael was supposed to be dropped off at his Auntie Vera's.
Mom prodded him awake, and told him to get up; 15 minutes later Michael was still in bed. She prodded him again; Michael just rolled over, his eyes closed once more.
“C'mon Mickey.” she implored. “I need to be in work by 8.30, and Auntie Vera is waiting for you.”
“Tired.” grunted Michael, and stayed in bed.
Mom sent Dad to get her lazy son, and Dad had much less patience. He shook Michael by the shoulder, and, when he still didn't jump out of bed, he threatened to spank him if he wasn't ready in 20 minutes time.
Now Michael knew that his Dad was a man of his word, and so, exactly 20 minutes later, he tottered down the stairs into the living room. His hair was uncombed, his shirt buttons were not in the correct buttonholes, and he had on both odd shoes and odd socks. His Mom sighed but ushered him out to the car anyway.
She dropped him at Aunt Vera's, asking her sister to feed him as he had been too late for breakfast.
“What would you like?” she asked.
“Cereal.” came the surly reply. His aunt had a sunny disposition, and rushed off to prepare a bowl.
She presented it to Michael, who stirred the cereal around in the milk, and then took one mouthful. He turned up his nose, and spat the spoonful back into the bowl.
“I wanted chocolate cereal!”
“I'm not sure that I have any.” said his aunt, but checked anyway. She was delighted to find a small box, from a variety pack, both in date and unopened. She poured it into a fresh bowl and added milk.
Michael took the bowl from her, and, head on one side, examined the cereal. It passed this initial test, and he lifted a spoonful to his mouth.
“Yuck!” he cried out. “This is soggy! I want a new bowl.”
His aunt explained that she had no more, and Michael became huffy. He banged his feet on the legs of the kitchen table, and sighed deeply.
“I suppose you'll have to make me some toast then.”
Although thoroughly fed up by now, Auntie Vera had a very kind heart, and agreed to make him a couple of slices.
She toasted the thick fresh slices of bread under her grill, and smothered them with soft margarine; she bore it, like an oriental feast, to her nephew. He took one look at it, and sat back, crossing his arms.
“I wanted peanut butter on my toast.”
“Well, the jar's there, on the table. Feel free to spread it yourself.”
“No, I wanted peanut butter instead of margarine; make me some more!”
“I will not. Eat that or go with out.”
Michael picked up the toast and threw it at her; one piece struck the end of her nose, which was rather pointed and the other landed, margarine side down, on her hair. He dropped the plate on the floor.
“I hate you!” he screamed. “You want me to starve, you miserable old cow!” He ran outside, banging the kitchen door behind him.
His aunt let him go; if she had been able to get hold of him she would have wrung his neck! Spiteful little brat!
Michael spent the day outside; he insulted the neighbours as they passed, he threw stones at the local cats, and he aimed a kick at a small dog that he saw exploring. He striped every branch that he could reach from his aunt's peach tree, and he pulled every rose from her prize winning bushes.
At 5.15 his Mom came to fetch him; Aunt Vera informed her that Michael would not be welcome to stay with her in future.
Mom was furious; in the car on the way home she lectured him on his behaviour. It seemed likely that she would need to take the next day off, to arrange for someone to stay with him in the future. She hated to lose a day's pay like that.
Michael's Dad was disappointed in his son, and spoke to him at length, asking why he had been so mean. As far as Michael was concerned he had behaved perfectly well; he told his Dad that his aunt had been telling lies about him, because she hated him. She was jealous because she had no children of her own.
This did nothing to mollify Dad, who told Michael to get undressed and go to bed; he had already eaten his supper, calling for seconds in order to fill his empty stomach.
After half an hour Dad put his head around Michael's door; he was sitting on the bed, reading a Batman comic, still dressed in his jeans and casual shirt.
“Michael, I said bed. I mean now. If I check back in 5 minutes and you're not in your pajamas, under the covers, I will spank you. I mean it this time. I've had enough of threats.”
This time Dad's anger cut through Michael's indifference; he had sounded quite serious. Michael did as he was told, and snuggled beneath his cosy quilt.
His Dad popped in, said goodnight, and turned out the light.
Both Mom and Dad had worked hard, and had very tiring days, so by 10.30 the house was quiet, and dark.
When Michael was younger he was convinced that there was a monster in the closet that lay at the foot of his bed; he pictured it creeping out in the night, and gobbling him up. Lots of times he ran crying into his parents' room, waking them up with his frantic yelling.
Finally his father became tired of these far too regular occurrences; he told Michael that he was a big boy now, and that he had to stop telling these tales. If he kept it up he would get a spanking.
Now, the only thing that frightened Michael more than the monster was the idea of being spanked; when he was very young his mommy had read him a story in which a naughty girl was turned over teacher's knee, and soundly spanked. He was terrified; what if that happened to him?
The next night he chose the lesser of two evils; he ignored the monster, and found that he slept well. He never thought of the monster again.
He would come to regret that indifference.
Michael was woken by a creak; he checked the digital display on his bedside clock, and saw that it was 2.15 am.
He rolled over and closed his eyes again; just as he was about to drop off, he felt the edge of his bed subside, as though someone had sat on it.
He sat up, and turned on his bedside lamp; blinking in the sudden harsh light he was startled to see a wizened figure, around 4 feet tall, perched on the edge of his quilt.
Michael shook his head and pinched himself.
The grotesque figure shook its large head, hairless and wrinkled, and spoke.
“No, you're not dreaming. I really am here.” Its voice was cracked and aged; it sounded as though its vocal cords had been roughly sanded. It was dry and carried the smell of ancient evil.
“But who are you? Where did you come from?”
“Surely you recognise me? I'm the Monster from your closet.”
“What! Don't be ridiculous. I'm far too old to believe in that stuff.”
“Doesn't make much of a never mind to me whether you believe or not; I'm still here. I have a job to do, and, by my fabulous floppy earlobes, I mean to do it well.”
“No hold on; this isn't right. How did you get in? There really isn't anything in my closet except clothes.”
“Shows what little you know, you rude child. I came in through your closet; I've always waited there, until you needed me.”
“Needed you?” squeaked Michael, who by now was quite frightened, and considerably confused.
“Yes, needed me. One of my tasks, one of the most funnest, is I get to punish naughty little boys. And by my ever hairy armpit are you ever a naughty little boy.”
“Punish me? For what? I'm not naughty!”
“You are rude, lazy, ungrateful, spiteful, mean and all around nasty. Naughty doesn't start to cover it. But, by the hairs of my littlest toe, tonight I'm going to do something about all of that.”
“What are you going to do?” trembled Michael, although in truth he had a pretty good idea.
The grinning little gremlin had shuffled down the bed while they talked, getting ever closer to the frightened child; it reached out with long spider leg fingers, and delicately clasped Michael's eat.
“I'm going to spank you until you are pink! I do enjoy a good spanking, and I have prepared a particularly leathery palm to use on you. I'll just place you so...”
The Monster pulled Michael out of bed, and across its spindly thighs; his thin cotton pajamas were almost transparent as he lay there, bottom sticking up, and feeling extremely exposed.
The little creature raised its hand, and flattened it against the upturned rump; Michael screamed, a shrill explosion of pain and panic. His tormentor hummed to itself; this was the life.
It gave Michael 5 more spanks; even through the pajama trousers he could see a growing pink glow.
“Red bottom in morning,
Michael take warning.” it crooned to itself.
“Red bottom at night,
Michael's spanked right.”
The homunculus cackled to itself, and peppered the tiny bottom with another volley of stinging smacks; Michael cried, calling for help at the top of his voice. No one came to his aid.
The spanking continued for a little longer, each slap bringing a sigh of pleasure from the monster, and an exclamation of a different sort from Michael. At length the creature pushed Michael off its lap, onto the floor.
The Monster looked down at its prey in satisfaction; each tear that ran down Michael's face created a fresh explosion of delight in its soul.
“There now; a good job well done, I dare say; but, by my foaming green bogeys, if you are naughty again I'll be back. But for now, I'll say my goodbyes. Be seeing you. I hope.” It hopped off the bed, and opened the closet door; it creaked behind the monster as it pulled it shut, leaving behind a ghastly evil chuckle that seemed to hang threateningly in the air.
Michael sat for a moment, stunned; it was like a dream, except for the burning he felt in his bottom. He jumped to his feet; he must tell Mom and Dad at once. Maybe they would board up the door to the closet.
He slammed open his door, ran down the corridor and then hurled himself at the door of his parents' room. It opened with a bang, and he threw himself onto their bed.
“Mom, Mom, Dad, Dad!” he yelled. “The monster in the closet came out. And he sat on my bed. And he spanked me for nothing at all! He did!”
“What, what, where's the fire? What time is it?” Michael's mother was full of questions, while his Dad just lay there, blinking furiously as he struggled to awake.
“Come quick; the monster spanked me.”
His Dad found his voice.
“Don't be daft; there is no monster. You had a bad dream, that's all.”
“No, Dad, it's real. It spanked me Dad. Come on Dad.”
“Look Michael, I've had just enough of this. It's the middle of the night; you've been a brat all day, and now you're making this ridiculous tale up. You know what I told you would happen if you carried on about the monster in your closet; I said I'd spank you. Well, I think it' s about time; come here, you deserve this.”
Michael wailed; not another spanking!