Dispatches From the Monster Who Lives (Mostly) Underneath the Bed

Flash fiction.

Scott Muska

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This dude has — and has had, for quite some time — some very strange rituals, if you want to call them that. Every morning when he makes his bed he tucks his stuffed animals in, which is my gentle way of letting you know that a 35-year-old still sleeps with several stuffed animals. He talks to them, too. He’ll often wander into his room randomly throughout the day and just say, “What up, gents? You having a good day?” It’s fucking bizarre, man. I know they’re inanimate, but I sometimes wonder if maybe they aren’t, not entirely, and know that I’m there, hanging out under the bed. As one does.

Sometimes when he leaves I get up and wander around. Give the legs a stretch. That’s partially how I know (almost for sure) that the stuffed animals do not possess any life force. Otherwise, they’d surely either join me or find a way to sabotage me, if they’re more the nefarious type. Occasionally, I won’t leave things exactly as I’ve found them, to see if he notices and if freaks him out. The other day, I ate one of his donuts straight out of the box. I’m pretty sure he picked up on the fact that the last cream-filled was gone, but probably just chalked it up to his having been stoned the night prior, like out of his gourd enough to have eaten several hundred calories without having any recollection of having done so. He believes what he wants to believe. And, to be fair, he does get pretty ripped sometimes. Always takes a gummie then gets too impatient for it to kick in and so takes another one and then the first one kicks in and it’s off to the races after that. I will say, it’s nice to hear him giggle freely on these evenings, even if it’s drug-induced laughter.

His screen time has been off the charts lately. The guy’s entire life revolves around blue light, pretty much. He talks to people more through messaging apps than he interacts with people in real life, and this is by a rather stunning margin. And he has a personal computer that he uses almost exclusively for pornography and Magic: The Gathering.

There used to be a woman who would visit with regularity. She even had her own side of the bed. He hasn’t changed the sheets since she left for the last time. I don’t really get it. And yet, at the same time, I kind of do…

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Scott Muska

I write books, ads and some other stuff. (You can find the books on Amazon.)