Надежда Гридчина (Intermediate)
III Место в конкурсе короткого рассказа
Childhood Fears (Short story, 2011)
It is hard to believe, but that actually happened to me and my mother many years ago when I was a child.
At that time we were living in Tallinn in an old house built by German prisoners in the postwar period. The external greatness and indestructibility of the facade hid a dark labyrinth of attics, staircases and basements. The house was always full of mysterious sounds: noises, creaks and perturbation. I was a sensitive child and so, got a powerful incentive to dream.
But who knows, something mystical and otherworldly might actually have lived with us for all those years, side by side; living, watching and waiting for a right moment...
...That night I suddenly woke up with an unusual sensation: it was very cold and there were tears on my face (I was crying in my sleep). My body was lying in bed, but my legs were hanging over the edge and touching the floor. It was uncomfortable, so I wanted to lye down in bed in full length.
At that moment, something grabbed me strongly by the ankle and dragged under the bed. The grip was so strong that I almost fell out of bed. Making an effort, I managed to escape. I was really scared and afraid to call anybody. Severe tiredness swept over me and I feel asleep.
In the morning I wanted to talk about the nightmare, but my mother was ahead of me: she said that at night she had woken up with a heavy feeling that something was watching her. She tried to get rid of this nightmare but at the same moment felt that something grabbed her arm and tried to drag her under the bed. She wanted to wake my dad, but she couldn’t talk: her voice was gone. With the last effort, she managed to pull back her hand and then fell into a heavy sleep. All that sounded really scary!
Soon we moved from Tallinn to Penza. A lot of time has passed since the incident but I still remember the events of that night clearly.
Whether it was an "underbed monster" or just a fantasy, I still do not know. The only thing that I know exactly is that I'll never laugh at childhood fears...