Jerry opened his eyes. The seven year old boy held his breath under the heavy comforter his mom covered him with when she tucked him in. A rustling noise woke him up, but he could not hold his breath long enough to hear it again. He gave up, released his breath, and closed his eyes to try and go back to sleep. After several moments he heard the rustling again; now that he was awake it was clear the sound came from under the bed. He smiled to himself and reached for the flashlight he kept under his pillow.
“Pleasebeamonster, pleasebeamonster, pleasebeamonster,” he whispered to himself over and over as he turned the flashlight on. He rolled over and off the bed as fast as he could to give the monster as little warning as possible. He landed on the floor with the flashlight pointing under the bed. He saw a pair of pale blue palms blocking the flashlight.
“Watch it, that’s bright!” a male voice said from behind the hands.
“Sorry!” Jerry pointed the light away from the man, but it still illuminated the space beneath the bed. The voice belonged to a bald, blue skinned man hiding under Jerry’s bed. “I have a monster under my bed!” Jerry sounded giddy and he dropped the flashlight to wave at the stranger eagerly with both hands.
“Don’t get used to it junior, I’m just passing through. The tunnel gets really cold on winter nights and I didn’t plan very well,” the blue man shrugged. “I’ll be gone in the morning. Maybe some other monster will come along and keep you company.”
“Go back to sleep, kid. I’m not looking for a playmate.” After that he lowered his head and rested it on his blue hands as if he was trying to take a nap.
“Oh, okay. Goodnight Mr. Monster,” Jerry said. He stood from the floor, climbed on the bed, and began jumping on it right in the middle. He knew his mom would not hear the noise, she never did. After about a dozen jumps the blue man crawled out from under the bed and stood in Jerry’s room. The tall, lean man’s skin was blue from bald head to barefoot toe.
“If I play with you for a little bit will you let me go to sleep?” the man asked.
“My mom says I can’t play with strangers,” Jerry replied with a smirk. The tall blue man sighed.
“My name is Hans,” he said. Jerry stopped jumping on the bed at last. He walked to the edge and fell on it in a seated position.
“I’m Je-,” Hans interrupted him.
“You’re a sleepy boy that’s going to go to bed after a game,” Hans said.
“But-,” Jerry’s protest was interrupted again by a heavy rustling noise coming from the closet. Jerry and Hans both looked at the closet, then at each other.
“Looks like you got yourself a playmate kid. Go check it out,” Hans smiled at Jerry, but Jerry shook his head and retreated to the center of the bed.
“No way. Closet monsters are dangerous.”
“You’re not kidding,” Hans chuckled to himself as he huddled on the bed next to Jerry.
“You go check it out!” Jerry said. “You’re already a monster.”
“Look kid, I’m not a monster. I’m just a guy from a different universe that happens to have blue skin. We use the tunnels to travel between universes, and it just so happens that in this universe all our tunnels open under beds.” Hans said with a shrug.
“And the closet?”
“I dunno, your universe is weird. The closet is another set of tunnels to another universe. That universe definitely has monsters.”
“So you’re just being a chicken. You’re gonna let a monster eat a seven year old boy?” Jerry asked. Hans shrugged.
“Well, I’m not against it.” The noise came from the closet again.
“Go check it out, or I’ll move my bed.” Jerry said. He had retreated even further back from the closet, and sat at the far end of the bed while Hans remained in the center. The blue man sighed.
“Fine, but if I die it’s your fault,” he said. Hans stood, paced across the room and entered the closet. Jerry checked the time on his tablet and waited. After 15 minutes he began to get worried. After 30 minutes he started to debate waking his mom, but did not know what to tell her. At 45 minutes Hans strolled out of the closet at the same moment Jerry was reaching for the door.
“Where ya going, junior?” Hans asked. Jerry turned and smiled at the blue man.
“What happened??” Hans smiled and winked at Jerry.
“Kid, you’re some kinda lucky charm. I’m gonna stick around under your bed, because I got me a date with a hot closet monster named Cardigan. She looks a bit like a demon, got ram horns and the whole works, but she seems nice.”
“Can we play a game?” Jerry asked, but Hans shook his head.
“Not tonight, it really is late. But like I said, I’m gonna stick around. We can play tomorrow night, okay?” Jerry nodded and hugged the blue man.