When the sun sets…


When the sun sets, the monster comes out to play.

The children crawl into their beds with a kiss on the cheek and a pat on the head. With a creak, the door closes to the world, and night begins. The creepies crawl from their hiding places beneath the bed and fill the room with an ache, a dread. With every passing second, the darkness deepens and defines shapes and lines, outlining the monster no longer under the bed.   

A soft rumble grows in the throat of darkness.

Mom and Dad talking downstairs, the creak of an old house, my brother playing a prank, I think.

I beg my mind to believe the lies I feed it and yet, I know. Deep down, my body knows the rumble to be a warning of what is to come.

With every inch the sun drops below the horizon, the beast grows darker still.

As furniture in the room loses shape to the dark, the dark feeds definition to the beast.

Soon, claws of night begin to wrap around the bedposts at my feet. Each one gaining purchase with a scratch. A slight deepening of darkness is all I see as the beast’s form slowly rises above the plane of my bed, a reminder of the sun which gave the beast birth with its descent below the horizon. But you don’t need eyes to see a creature of the night. For this beast plays with shadow, this beast is the shadow. And the shadows play devious tricks on the eyes. No, you don’t want to look at this creature with the eyes in your head. But rather look upon it, if you dare, with your heart, your mind, your soul.

My soul knows the beast instantly. A constant companion. A close comrade. The beast and I.

But this is no rendition of The Beauty and The Beast for I am no beauty, and this is no beast.

This is me.

I am my own darkness. I rise as the sun sets. I am the monster under the bed. The figure rises further from darkness and while the features may be obscured, there is no question that the silhouette is mine.

For who better to torture you than yourself?

My own mind haunts me, keeping me up at night with an unparalleled endurance. Night after night, it’s the same story: a setting sun, a rising beast, a rumble, a scratch, and then…

The beast drags itself onto the foot of my bed where it will sit until the sun rises in the morning. Close enough that its presence will never be forgotten and yet just far enough away to give me hope that it will leave. But it will never leave.

For it’s no beast, it’s me.