The Thing Under the Bed

Well this is starting to become something of a pattern isn't it? Putting sod all on this blog for months (or in this case, YEARS) on end only to pop up again in time for Hallowe'en with some random weirdness. Ah well, who am I to fly in the face of tradition.


For some reason known only to my brain, this year it's come up with poetry. Well, doggerel for the most part. I'm not laying claim to any kind of artistic merit here. Little fragments of strangeness that get lodged in my brain, too small for a story, too itchy to ignore. If you like them, cool. If you don't - meh, go buy some of my books so that I get another novel contract (because it has been a GRIM three years, let me tell you), and I'm forced to do something more productive with my time.

I've got, like, ten or so of these things, and I'll post them throughout the month until Hallowe'en. Collect the set!

Here's the first.

The Thing Under the Bed

I can hear it breathing:
Long, slow, snuffling in-breaths
And the occasional giggle

I can smell it
Stale, cabbagey farts
Sewer breath
And something sugary
Like old sweets found in a coat pocket
Sticky and furry with lint. 

It's scratching lightly on the underside of my bed
Not because it's trying to get through
Just to let me know it could if it wanted to
It plucks at the springs:

I can't move

I feel something pulling the edge of my mattress down
And I know that it's reaching up
From underneath 
And its hand or claw or whatever 
Is crawling like a spider towards me
And any second now
It will touch my face
And I open my mouth and I scream


So hard my throat hurts. 

There's running footsteps up the stairs 
And the bedroom door opens
And light streams in from the hallway, 
Making me blink 
And my mum says

"For God's sake, James, stop terrorising your brother!"
And my big brother in the bunk bed below me says
"But I wasn't doing anything!"

He always says that.