Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite

Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite

A Story by Sarah J Dhue
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One of the stories I wrote and submitted to the 2020 #ShareYourScare contest.

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            “Brush your teeth.  A full two minutes, remember!  Use the timer Grandma bought you!” I shouted up the stairs to my eight-year-old son, Gavin.

            “Yes, Dad,” he shouted back, and I heard him trot into the bathroom and the faucet turn on.  I finished folding the laundry I had laid out across the sofa; my wife was working an overnight shift, so it was my job to make sure that Gavin got to bed on time.  And who said that men shouldn’t fold laundry?

            I heard the toilet flush and him trotting back to his room.  “I’ll be up to tuck you in in a minute!” I hollered, folding the last shirt in my hands and stacking the clothes accordingly, then putting them neatly in the basket to carry them upstairs easily.  I rested the basket on my hip and walked up the stairs, stepping into my and my wife’s bedroom briefly to set it on the bed, and then continued down the hallway to Gavin’s room.

            He was sitting on the bed in his dinosaur pajamas, the covers thrown back, grinning at me expectantly.  His spaceship bedside lamp was still on, projecting stars, the moon, and other planets on the walls.  “All right, pal, let’s get you tucked in and cozy,” I said, gripping the sheet and comforter as he laid down, scooting so that his head rested on his pillow.  As I brought the covers up around his chin, he lifted his head and planted a kiss on my cheek.  I grinned, leaning over him and kissing his forehead.  “Good night, buddy,” I said, smiling down at him as I reached over to click off the lamp.

            His arm shot out from under the covers, gripping my wrist.  I looked back at him to see his grin gone, replaced by large, round, puppy-dog eyes filled with concern.  “Dad, please don’t turn off the light.”

I sighed heavily, doing my best not to roll my eyes as my shoulders slumped.  Not this again.  “Gavin, we’ve been over this before.  It’s time you started sleeping with the light off.”

“But what if there’s a monster under my bed?” he whimpered, the look in his eyes evolving from concern to fear.

“Gavin, you have to stop this,” I stated in a tone that was both comforting yet stern.  “You are too old to still be sleeping with a night light on and thinking there’re monsters under the bed.  It’s just silly; there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

“But how can you be sure?  I thought I heard something moving around under there before you came in…  It won’t come out if we leave the light on.  Monsters only come out in the dark, when no one can see them,” he insisted, sitting up.

“How do you know they’re there if you can’t see them?” I asked skeptically.  He stared at me seriously, his eyes still wide and frightened.  “Okay.  Just to prove it to you, I’ll look under there, just to be sure.”

“No!  Don’t!” he cried out frantically, but I had already dropped to my knees.

“There’s nothing down there.  You’ll see,” I assured him, resting my palms flat against the floorboards.  I lifted the bed skirt and looked under the bed.  Imagine my surprise when I came face to face with a pair of eyes staring out at me.

I stifled the startled yelp trying to make its way up my throat.  It wasn’t a monster under the bed…  It was a child.  My child.  He scooted further back under the bed, staring at me with the same wide-eyed expression he’d just had on the bed.  I started to speak, but he put a finger to his lips and shifted his eyes up at the box spring above his head.  It was then that I realized he was in his construction truck pajamas, but I could have sworn he had been in his dinosaur ones…

“Dad,” he whispered, a barely audible sound that I had to strain to hear.  “There’s something in my bed.”

A chill ran down my spine as his words sunk in.  I put my hand to my cheek where Gavin had kissed me, and only then did I notice that my skin was tingling there.  I heard the mattress springs creak as Gavin swung his legs over the side and thick, bubbling drool dripped onto the floor next to me, sizzling as it splatted on the hardwood.

© 2020 Sarah J Dhue


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Added on October 2, 2020
Last Updated on October 2, 2020
Tags: Sarah J Dhue, Dhue, horror, spooky, story, bed, monster, share your scare, 2020

Author

Sarah J Dhue
Sarah J Dhue

In the author's lair, IL



About
I am Sarah J Dhue. I am an author, as well as a photographer & graphic designer, currently going to school for web design. I've been writing since I was in elementary school. I live in Illinois. My f.. more..

Writing