“It’s not my imagination!” I slammed my foot down into the soft carpet causing a dull thud.
“Sure sure,” my parents said, as they tried to suppress their giggling laughter.
Their attempts to hide their small smiles behind morning papers and coffee mugs did little to that effect. Instead only making my face grow more red as they ignored my claims.
Seeing the shade on my face my mother attempted to wiped the grin off her’s and tried to paint a picture of concern on it instead. “Don’t you think you’re a little old for monsters under the bed dear?”
“I didn’t say monsters!” I blurted out, “I said-”
“Sounds coming from under the bed,” my father interjected from behind his newspaper, “are you sure it’s not just an overactive imagination?”
I was positive it was not just an overactive imagination. But it was quickly becoming apparent I was in a circular argument with my parents. The sounds had started last Thursday night, that made it three nights in a row without getting much sleep. The first night I ignored it as best I could, but still could not manage to sleep past the noise of scraping and metal dings. By Saturday I was searching the house for anything that could clue me in on what was going on. My room was on the ground floor, and there was no basement, meaning nothing could be coming from under the house. I held my ears against the walls and tapped, listening to see if there could be something in the walls, still nothing. Each attempt to discover just led to more frustration, but tonight I had a new plan.
My blank expression must have elicited real concern from my mother who pulled me from my thoughts with a hug. “Oh it’s okay sweetie, boys your age have an overactive imagination some times.”
I gave her a half-hearted hug back, muttering under my breath, “I guess so.”
My father seeing the kind expression from mom stood up to join us, placing a hand on my shoulder. “Why when I was fifteen I used to come up with all sorts of crazy things, just try and get some rest tonight for school okay son.”
I sighed out a thank you and pulled away from the pair tired of being chastised. I shuffled to my room and closed the door, content to play video games for now. My plan would have to wait till tonight, or else risk worrying my parents even more.
After what felt like agonizing hours dusk had finally settled. I knew I had to act quickly or else rick being caught. I opened my door softly and crept my way down the hall. In the living room hung a small mirror normally kept for decorative purposes; but tonight it would serve my plans instead.
I hoisted the heavy mirror from its place on the wall and carried it over my head into my bedroom. The plan was simple, I’d place the mirror on the far side of the room. Once the noises started I’d be able to see what was going on under there. A faint blue nightlight stolen from the guest bathroom would provide all the light needed to complete the plan.
At some point during the night, I must have dozed off. Three nights without sleep will do that to you. Still the scraping noises managed to wake me up much the same as every night before. I turned my head slowly towards the mirror anxious to discover what was keeping me up. My eyes began to adjust to the dim of the room as detail after detail began to emerge. About five minutes of straining my eyes later and the answers I sought began to be revealed. From under my bed I could just make out the faint glow of purple dots, seeming to levitate just off the ground. They moved across from one end of the mirror to another disappearing at either end. As I focused on the lights, more became clear, little pointed hats, the glint of blue light off of small metal tools, the small shadows cast by many hooked noses.
Under my bed a dozen small creatures worked, some walking back and forth carrying little wicker baskets, others lining up to strike at the floor where they had pulled the carpet up. My eyes grew large in fascination at what had been revealed. I shifted closer to the edge of my bed, trying to gain a better look at the reflection in the mirror. As I did so my bed gave a creak in protest. The little creatures stopped their work in an instant casting their eyes up towards the bottom of my bed. I stayed as still as I could, not wanting to alert them to my presence. After what felt like minutes they trudged back to work, leaving me to fascinate once more.
Now I could practically make out their little faces, hidden under the cover of tiny beards. I scanned each face in the mirror one by one working my way along the reflection. As I skimmed across I noticed one that did not work like the rest. Rather than swing a tool or carry a basket, he stared directly at me. His purple eyes reflected in the mirror found my eyes exactly. I tried not to look at him, instead casting my eyes away from the mirror, suddenly feeling a small measure of fear growing in me. From under my bed faint squeaks began to emerge, first one or two but growing to be many more. I risked another look back in the mirror. I tried to hide the look of horror on my face as I caught my own eyes in the mirror. Two large orbs of white that reflected everything. Under my bed the squeaking grew, drawing me to look further down the reflection. The single set of purple eyes had grow to a dozen, so many I could hardly make out where one pair began and another ended. I lay transfixed, terrified, as the squeaking sounds grew, along with the number of purple dots.
The following day.
“Honey, have you seen Damien?”
“His school left me a message, they said he never came.”
“That kid better not have skipped school to play that Fortnite crap all day.”
“I check his room, the bed is made, and all of his stuff is there.”
“Where do you think he went?”
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