The Monster in the Closet

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The monster in the closet stirred again, quietly scratching against the wood and rustling the clothes. Jimmy tensed and pulled the blanket right up to his chin, glancing warily towards the closet.

A narrow strip of warm light pierced the gap under the door but did not reach the part of the room where the creature lurked in the deep shadows. It had been waiting until everyone in the house had fallen asleep, so that quietly, with barely a creak of the closet door, it could sneak up to the sleeping boy's bed and eat him.

Jimmy was convinced of this and he was terrified. There were tears in his eyes, he wanted to cry and call his parents for help. But his mother would always tell him that monsters don't exist and his dad said that he was big enough to deal with his monsters on his own now.

And indeed, he had dealt with them. He had seen off the one who rustled the curtains and tapped against the window as well as the one hiding under his bed ready to grab him by the bare feet and drag him into the darkness. They had been easy. Well, almost easy.

Not long ago on his fifth birthday, dad had said that he was already grown-up enough to be trusted with a serious anti-monster weapon. A powerful LED flashlight capable of sending any monster packing with its beam of magic light.

The torch was large, heavy and powered by six whole batteries. It was yellow and so powerful that Jimmy quickly drove out the creature hiding under the bed. Forever and ever. After all, it was an anti-monster torch.

Dad had also given him a lightsaber, a real Jedi one. He and dad trained a lot and dad said Jimmy was doing well. His sword shone brightly in the dark with a white, blue or green gleam.

"Why not red?" asked Jimmy.

"It'll only turn red if you go over to the dark side, son," said dad.

Jimmy didn't understand much about the dark side but a red sword would have been pretty cool. When they fought with their lightsabers, Jimmy was usually the young Skywalker, and dad said that he would be his 'yoga' master. Jimmy also wanted to become a 'yoga' master but in order to achieve this, he needed to do a lot more training. And to become an adult.

It was thanks to the Jedi sword that he'd been able to defeat the curtain-flapping monster. Jimmy hacked and hacked at him until he too finally disappeared. He had clearly been impressed by a real Jedi lightsaber and no longer bothered Jimmy at night.

For several months there was peace and quiet until the monster hiding in the closet turned up. He had already been hiding there for a week but Jimmy felt that he was getting bolder and readying himself for an attack. Although he was still only a young Padawan apprentice, he had already had dealings with monsters, and so he decided to take the fight to this new intruder.

In order to do this, he would need to be well fortified. What was required was not just any ordinary children's food, but a special high... high protein food for hunting monsters at night.

"Mom, are these anti-monster cookies?" Jimmy asked, as his mother placed a glass of milk and a bowl of cookies in front of him.

"Honey, monsters don't exist, now eat up," Mom patted his hair with a gentle smile and kissed his forehead.

But dad winked at him over her shoulder, indicating that they definitely were. Mom hadn't spotted him. It was their little secret. Jimmy winked at his dad in response and then ate everything in front of him down to the final crumb of cookie and last drop of milk. The upcoming battle was going to be a serious test and he needed all the strength he could get.

The subdued scratching and breathing continued to issue from the closet. The monster seemed hungry. He was probably in a bad mood and perhaps big enough to take up the whole closet.

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