This was something I did for a writer’s group I’m in. It’s rough and unedited but I may take it somewhere after I’m done with current WIP. Oh and to the left is my new logo that I designed yesterday! What do you guys think of both (logo and writing prompt)?
Cameron sat there on the floor staring at the door. He was supposed to be in bed, but his imagination ran so wild tonight he could not sleep. He lie there staring at the light that shone through his doorway to the hall beyond. The hall with the door.
It was the door that he was forbidden to go near. It was never said, “Don’t open that door” but rather it was an unspoken rule. Everyone in the house walked around as if it was just another wall but as the young boy sat there now he could hear the scratching behind it and feel the weight of whatever it was behind it.
In the rooms beyond, he could hear his father’s steady snore. The slow tick-tock of the grandfather clock made time appear to slow down to crawl. The light above him seemed to stretch spindly fingertips toward the barrier between Cameron and the thing beyond. Scritch-scritch-scritch.
It made the hairs on Cameron’s arms stand up, but he was a brave boy. Grandpa always told him that, and he believed everything Grandpa told him ‘cause he was really smart. When he was much smaller, Grandpa whispered the secret of the door to Cameron while he was tucking him into bed one night. Cameron didn’t want the usual stories read to him, he wanted to hear something different. So Grandpa sat down and pulled off his large glasses (the ones that made his eyes look wide and cartoony) and looked at him with a very stern face.
“I can tell you the story about that door, but you must never say the name of the creature behind it. If you do, it will give it powers to break open the door.”
Cameron’s eyes grew as large at the “O” he made with his mouth. There was something behind the door! He thought.
“Wh-what!” he managed to stammer out, “Grandpa what’s behind that door? A monster?”
Grandpa leaned back in his chair and bit on one of the arm of his glasses, contemplating whether to tell the boy the story.
“Nah, nevermind. Let’s read this other book. I don’t want to scare you, or give you nightmares. You’re just a boy.”
He then grabbed up Cameron’s favorite book, the one about the color green and trying to convince someone to eat ham and eggs.
“What? No! I wanna hear the story, Grandpa! Please? I promise I’m not gonna be scared. I’m almost six, now!”
Cameron’s grandfather leaned forward and leveled his piercing blue eyes at the boy whose younger eyes mirrored his. This was a common ritual between the two that Grandpa used to assess whether his grandson had the determination needed for whatever task these two were about to embark on. The two stared at one another this way for almost half a minute. Cameron was stubborn, and determined to hear that story so he held on as long as he could even though he felt the wiggles closing in. (The wiggles is what his Grandmother would call his restlessness.)
Grandpa took the glasses and put them back on his face and filled his lungs with a deep breath before blowing it out, “All right, you win. But if you can’t sleep for a whole month, you better not tell anyone it’s my fault. You hear me?”
The boy nearly leapt out of the bed onto his grandfather’s lap and leaned against his big soft belly, “I promise, I promise. C’mon, tell me!”
“You need to settle in first and relax. The wiggles are too wiggly, yet.” He said with a grin.
Cameron closed his eyes for a minute and willed the restlessness in his legs away, and did just as Grandma showed him. He took in a big yawn and then waited before opening his eyes again. As he did that, his grandfather turned off the big lamp on the table beside them and turned on the rotating night light. When the boy opened his eyes again, the room was alive with Cowboys and Indians chasing each other in a never-ending, merry-go-round.
“The creature,” Grandpa began in his low, story-telling voice, “was a boy, just like you, once.”
The story goes that the boy was so naughty and unruly, that his mother and father always called him a “little monster”. The boy was pleased by this name and not discouraged from acting out and misbehaving. In fact, it made him do these things even more! He’d stomp through the kitchen and living room where everyone was. He’d interrupt them with loud growls and slamming of cupboards. He’d eat with his fingers instead of using his silverware.
This behavior continued on and on until one day the boy walked in and saw his mother crying.
“Mommy? Why are you crying?” the boy-monster growled.
“Because you’ve turned into a monster and I lost my little boy.” She said.
The boy-monster laughed and held his belly as he did. He turned and did a happy dance and then stopped and looked at his reflection staring back at him from the kettle used to make his mother’s tea. His entire body was covered in fur, and his teeth were long and jagged. His fingers were no longer short and stubby, but razor-sharp claws. In shock, the boy-monster jumped back and felt a sharp pain.
“Ouch!” He cried out.
He twisted and looked down at his backside only to see he’d stepped on a tail – his tail!
From that day forward, the little boy was locked behind that door and never seen again.
Cameron sat there this night, brave and true. He would make sure the monster did not get free. He worked his shoe strings around the doorknob and tied them to the bottom of the heavy table next to it. He sat. And he watched. And watched.
He sat and watched so long, he fell asleep right there in the hall.
The next morning he woke to his father’s voice, “Cameron, what are you doing out here on the floor?”
Cameron rubbed his eyes and watched just at his father had unraveled the shoe string and turned the knob. The boy jumped to his feet and shouted, rushing toward the door.
His father had already pulled the door open and looked down strangely at his son.
“What’s wrong with you? I need to get to work.” His dad said from inside the door.
The boy watched as the fur peeked from behind the door and backed away slowly one step at a time. There was rustling and things being tossed around. He realized he wasn’t brave, anymore! His dad was being eaten by the creature behind the door but all he could do is stand there with his eyes glued open.
When the door swung open more widely, Cameron jumped and covered his eyes. He felt the furry hands on him trying to pull his hands away and he began to scream.
“Cameron! What is it! What?”
It was his father’s voice! The boy dropped his hands and blinked.
There was his father standing before him in his winter parka with large fuzzy gloves.
“Dad?” Cameron asked, squinting to see inside the big hood.
“It’s me, kiddo.”
His dad kneeled and pulled the hood down so that his son could see his face. Cameron realized there was no monster in the closet. It was just a coat. A big, fuzzy, winter coat.
His father chuckled and ruffled his son’s hair, “I see Grandpa told you about the boy-monster.”
Cameron’s jaw fell and he then he folded his arms, feeling cross with his grandfather. His father winked and stood. He turned to head to the door, pressing a kiss to his mother’s cheek. When he bent over, there was a something sticking out of the bottom of his coat.
It was a tail!