Here's a creepy little tale I wrote a few months ago, a challenge to tell a story in only 300 words.
Daddy closes the door, turns the key and leaves me alone.
Locked in my room.
Daddy says it's for my own good; I have to learn the lesson.
Daddy says I shouldn't be afraid of the dark, but I'm not. It's the monsters lurking inside the darkness that scare me.
Daddy says there's nothing under the bed, but he's a liar. I've heard them whispering, seen the smoke curling upwards, smelled the breath of nightmares. Every night I huddle under the quilt, whimpering because Daddy stopped listening to my screams ages ago.
I close my eyes tight, try to remember the prayers Mummy taught me, but that was so long ago. I stumble over the words, and I know I've got some of them wrong when I hear the laughter below me.
I can't move, frozen into place as if a great weight is being pressed against me. I can't see anything, but I know they're there, here for me. Shadows, cast from a slice of moonlight through the tiny gap in the curtains, shift and shimmer to take on new forms that shamble towards me. Arms are raised, hands outstretched to haul me back to whichever hell they come from.
They approach from all around, leaning in to get a good look at their latest feast. They like what they see, because they all smile; my hair is ruffled by a tentacle, then swept to one side by a claw that scratches my forehead.
“Sorry, little guy.”
The words unlock something inside me. I can move again, but I'm happy to stay here and listen to what they have to say. I smile, and realise everything's going to be all right.
My new friends are going to help me teach Daddy a lesson.