“It’s no use hiding under those covers, Julie. I can see you.”

Shaking, Julie lowered the covers, opened her eyes, and made herself look at the two huge glowing eyes staring back at her from the darkness of her room.  Underneath, two rows of long, sharp, glowing teeth appeared in a leering smile. “You’re not there!”, Julie cried out.

“Really? Then why are you talking to me, Julie? Why do you look so scared?”

“Mrs. Whateley said there’s no such things as Night Growlers.  She said you’re just in my imagination.  You’re not really here.” She tried to sound positive, because she knew Mrs. Whateley knew a lot of things.  Mrs. Whateley was real smart.

The smile faded, and the eyes seem to shrink back for a moment, then they grew wide once more.  “If I’m not here, who ate your brother, Julie?”

Julie faltered. “I’m not sure.”  She wanted to pull the covers back over her head and hide once more, but if the Night Growler wasn’t really there, that would just be silly.

“If I’m just in your imagination, then I can’t have eaten your brother, can I?  But I did, Julie, you saw me, didn’t you.”

Julie took a deep breath, she had to be brave.  “I must have imagined that too.  If you’re not real, then no one ate my brother!  I don’t believe in Night Growlers!”

Fire burned in the huge eyes, and the mouth seemed to form a scream, but there was no sound.  Just a silent cry.  Then the face was gone.

Julie waited, sure the creature would return.  When it didn’t, she slipped out of her bed. The floor was cold on her bare feet, but she needed to be quiet.  She slowly made her way across the room, slipped out into the hall, and made her way to Danny’s room.  She paused outside his door to summon all her courage, then she quietly slipped inside.  She crossed to his bed, afraid it would still be empty.

Something stirred in the room.

“Danny?”

“Julie?”

“Danny!”  She jumped into his bed and threw her arms around him.

“Ugh. Get off.”  Danny pushed her away. “What are you doing in my room, booger head? Go back to bed before I tell Mom.”

Julie jumped down and made her way back to her own bed without another word. For some time she lay awake, unable to sleep, wondering if it was possible to believe something ate your brother and didn’t exist a the same time.

Categories: 2014

Jason Penney

I'm a software engineer who likes to write. So I should do that more.

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