“Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed”
What crawls through a child’s terrified mind in the darkest moments of the night? We asked twelve different authors to reach deep into their own imaginations and spin for us twelve tales so disturbing that any child would cringe at the thought of having to turn off the light before going to bed…
Those whispered tales of monsters hiding under the bed, or of the demons lurking in the shadowy corner where we dare not glance for fear that seeing them will make them all too real. Oh, how the innocent landscape of a child’s imagination lends fertile soil to horrors ready to be sown on the slightest of sounds; the tales and the terror they wreak on our youthful minds never quite leaves us.
We asked the authors in this collection to reach into the forgotten recesses of their twisted minds and share with us the tales of nightmares that can only thrive in the hidden corners of a child’s imaginings; the bogeyman under the bed, the outlandishly fiendish creature lurking in the dark, the slight murmur of sound coming from the hall… did you close the door completely?
Explore the myriad terrors that only a child can twist from nothing into some ‘thing’ in the span of a single rapid breath. Do you dare delve into your own memories? Perhaps you’ll start sleeping with the lights on again…
Tell us, who is Under the Bed?
Contributing Authors: Colin F. Barnes, Nina D’Arcangela, Phil Hickes, Amber Keller, Kim Krodel, Lisamarie Lamb, John McIlveen, Kate Monroe, Brandon Scott, Joshua Skye, Julianne Snow, and Jack Wallen
A small taste of what you can expect to find in “Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed”
‘Madeleine’ – Julianne Snow
Still nothing. No tell-tale shuffling sound of socked feet on the hardwood floor.
Nothing… Where was she? How could she have not heard?
With tears streaming down her cherubic face, Stella wondered if her dream had come true. As she debated running the short distance over the oaken surface to her parent’s room, she listened intently for the sounds of her mother’s imminent stirring.
Stella heard the soft sounds of her mother’s footfalls in the hallway. She was coming.
More tears welled up in her young throat.
As her door burst open, she was surprised to see the form of her sister in the light of the hallway, a smell pervading the room unlike anything she had ever smelled before. Burnt. Wet…
‘Show and Tell’ – Kate Monroe
He belatedly realized that tonight, there had still been no answer, no response. He leaned over the edge of the bed and cautiously lifted the sheets.
“Are you there?”
A blast of fetid air; putrid, repellent.
Satisfied, Tommy continued.
“I wish they’d bloody die.” Awestruck by his bravery in making the grand pronouncement, he allowed himself a few moments in which to savor the forbidden words on his tongue before he spoke again. “Yeah, I do. I wish they’d both just shut up and die.”
A sigh, no stronger than the breeze outside, lifted up the bed sheets and danced around Tommy’s bare feet, curling up his toes as he pursed his thin lips.
“What do you think, then?”
Before any answer could come from under the bed, shuffling footsteps announced his great-aunt’s arrival in his room…
‘Seeing is Believing’ – Amber Keller
At supper no one mentioned what had happened, and that was fine with Timothy. It was strange, but he felt like if he talked about it, it would make it more real.
When his parents went to bed, he stayed on the couch, saying he would go up to bed soon, that he wanted to finish this television show first. It was an easy lie, and they seemed to be happy that he wasn’t bringing the rat back up, so they allowed it.
He went to the closet in the hall and scooped up a blanket and extra pillow to take back to the couch when he noticed his bedroom door was shut. It had been open when he went to the bathroom after supper. Looking back he paused before going back to the living room.
From sitting on the couch, Timothy had a view of his bedroom door in his peripheral vision. He couldn’t help but be aware of the door since it was odd that it was shut…
Please visit the Sirens Call Publications web site for an extended preview available for download.