Julia huddled under her blanket and kept her eyes shut. If she pretended she hadn’t heard anything, maybe it would just go away.
The giggle came again and then a tap tap tap of small feet scurried across the hardwood floors.
Julia whimpered involuntarily and then clapped a hand over her mouth. The thing would know she’s awake now. She shrunk further under the blanket and held her breath.
“Come and pla-ay!” The voice sing-songed. Then the tap tap tap of feet came closer to the bed.
The blanket shifted as the thing tugged on the corner. It tugged harder, and the cloth slid off Julia’s face. She couldn’t help it. She opened her eyes.
But no one was there. She closed her eyes again and pulled her knees up to her chest. She tried to think of what to do. Mommy and Daddy were asleep downstairs. Would they get up here in time if she screamed?
Another giggle and something jagged dragged along the bottom of her foot. She lashed out reflexively, and her leg made contact with something solid. She scrambled into a sitting position and clutched at the wall behind her. Her face whipped back and forth as she tried to find what she’d kicked.
A hand – no, a paw – grabbed the edge of her bed and pulled the creature up to its feet. And when Julia finally saw what had woken her, she almost laughed. Was that her stuffed bear? But its eyes were different. They were really seeing her. And it looked so… angry.
“You never play with me anymore,” it whined and poked out its bottom lip.
Julia couldn’t believe her eyes. She had to be dreaming. “What do you mean…?” She felt silly talking out loud to her toy bear, but what else was she supposed to do?
“You don’t play with me anymore!” The bear stomped its foot for emphasis and crossed its little fuzzy arms across its chest. “I’ve been at the bottom of your closet for ages.”
Julia giggled nervously. “I… I’m sorry.”
“Don’t laugh at me! You said you’d love me forever!”
Terror gripped her chest, but she couldn’t let go of the idea that this was just a dream. Or a nightmare. Toys didn’t talk, that was all make believe. She bit her lip and felt tears burn her eyes. Should she scream now?
“I just want to pla-ay with you! Why won’t you play with me?” The voice dropped an octave and the last words came out as a growl. It pulled itself onto the bed and crawled towards her.
She squeaked and hopped to her feet and then let out a scream. “Moooommmy!”
The bear giggled and clawed closer. Sharp nails protruded from the soft paws now and tore at her sheets.
Julia closed her eyes and pressed her face into the wall, and hoped they’d get to her in time.
When Julia’s parents opened her bedroom door, they found an empty bed with her blanket on the floor. She was nowhere to be found, but her window was open, with the curtains flapping in a light breeze.
Thank you for reading! What did you think of my little story? If you haven’t picked up my new book, All Signs Point to Hell vol 2, I include this story in that collection. And maybe this is an incentive to pick up the book 😉
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