On Memorial Day, Kate started fantasizing about demons. She woke to the sensation of a scrape of claw along her arm or was it a tooth?
Reflected streetlight created splinters on the bedroom ceiling. She watched the yellow-gold shapes as they seemed to vibrate with energy. She tried again, in vain, to lure sleep to her bed. Like so many others, it refused to be seduced and left her alone to ponder its reasons.
Kate turned over in the bed, seeking a cool spot on the thin cotton sheets. Her back clung to the damp fabric. It was nights like this that reminded her of her childhood growing up in Alabama, before she moved the to bright lights big city.
The heat would be oppressive and stifling, but they had only one window unit air conditioner and that was in the living room of the family house. She had her mom keep the door to her room cracked to get a passing blast of cool air and to hear her if she had to yell about monsters under the bad.
She laughed at the idea. What illusions childhood held. The real monsters were out there in the streets and the office buildings, and the storefronts. She got up and went to the adjoining half bathroom with out turning on the light. She tinkled, then washed her hands with mulberry liquid soap and splashed the scented water on her face.
Still amused by her memory, she said out loud. “I can’t believe I thought about Mom checking under the bed at night in 15 years. She’d make me say, ‘There’s no monsters under the bed, right?” And there would be no answer and she felt safe because Mom said even though they’re scary, monsters can’t lie.
“There’s no monsters under my bed, right?” She lay back in bed, comforted by the oversized t-shirt she always slept in. She’d settled down in the little dent her body made in the mattress when the response came.
“There’s only me,” it said.