He wanted to call out to his parents, to tell his dad that he needed to shine his big flashlight under the bed. He could hear the heavy, wheezy breathing of the Monster down there, and the skritch-skritch of nails that hadn't been clipped in a very long time. Maybe never. With a shudder, he imagined those nails were long and sharp, thick and yellow on top, with splintery white ends.
But if he yelled for his dad, the Monster would hear him, and know he was afraid. Everyone knew that Monsters only ate scared little kids, not the brave ones.
Gulping down a great big breath, he squeezed his pillow tight and leaned out over the side of his bed as far as he dared. Everything under his bed was as dark as dark, and he couldn't see anything. But that breathing was louder and wheezier than ever.
"Hello?" he said nervously, trying to sound brave. "Are you... gonna eat me?"
He heard a wheezy laugh, and knew the Monster was listening.
"Eat you?" said the Monster. "I suppose I might. You do smell delicious. Is that cherry lollipop I smell on your breath?" The Monster sniffed loudly, and laughed again as the boy covered his mouth. He'd had a cherry lollipop for dessert. They were his favorite.
He thought he saw a gleam of yellow eyes under the bed, and heard the skritch-skritch of nails again. Maybe the Monster liked lollipops better than little kids?
"But if you eat me," he said, as bravely as he could, "then you'll spoil your appetite. Everyone knows that lollipops taste sour after eating a little boy. Like drinking juice after brushing your teeth." It was only a little lie. Maybe everyone didn't know that, but he was pretty sure it was true.
"Is that so?" The Monster's skritch-skritching came closer to the edge of the bed, and he thought he saw a claw at the edge of the shadow. "And do you have any lollipops for an old Monster under your bed?"
"If I give you a lollipop, will you promise not to eat me?"
The Monster thought about that for a long time before he finally said, "If you give me a lollipop, I won't eat you. Not tonight, anyway."
He opened the drawer beside his bed. He had a grape lollipop from his last trip to the school nurse. It wasn't supposed to be in his room, but he'd kept it, just in case of emergencies. Cautiously, he leaned over the side of the bed again, and dangled the lollipop over the edge by the very tips of his fingers.
A big, green clawed hand reached out of the shadows and took the lollipop with a quick swipe.
"Why thank you. I might have to come back more often. Not all little boys are so polite."
Inspiration for stories comes from the strangest places. In this case, it came from a single phrase in a conversation with my grandparents over dinner one day. We were talking about "Grandma's Magic Fingers" and the words "scary grandpa monster" came up. I immediately took them out of context, and this story was born.
It might even be worth doing something with. :)
If you have any suggestions, comments, or requests, feel free to let me know! I love hearing back from you guys!