Every couple of weeks, the group will be issued a
"challenge entry". The site will post a excerpt from the challenge entries, as
well as the link to the complete entry found on the journaller's own journal site.
THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT
November 1, 2000
This is an entry for Challenge #3 in the Survivor Journal competition.
The challenge reads:
Since I dont know Bobs daughters name, Im going to write a scene between myself and my own daughter. This probably actually happened at some point, if not with Jeri, then with one of the boys. If not this, then definitely something like it.
What are you scared of?
Theres a monster in the closet.
With a sigh I get up and go to the bedroom.
How do you know theres a monster in your closet?
I can hear him breathing.
Let me get the flashlight and Ill check for you.
I go to the kitchen and find a flashlight. I make a big deal out of opening the closet door, shining the flashlight in all the corners, yelling at the monster to get out, and then showing her that there is no monster in the closet.
Ok...now I need for you to go to sleep, OK?
I return to the living room.
Whats the matter now?
Theres a snake under my bed.
Yes. A big snake.
With a sigh I return to the bedroom. I get down on my hands and knees and shine the flashlight under the bed. I invite her to join me. Tentatively she gets down on her hands and knees and shines the flashlight around. We see that there is no snake there.
Do you feel better?
OK...now its really time for sleep. Good night, honey.
I return to the living room.
I feel sick.
I go into the bedroom. Her eyes are wide and she is still afraid. I want to tell her to go to sleep and stop the stalling tactics, but I remember a little girl about 30 years before, lying in the dark, wide awake, imagining monsters in the closet and snakes under the bed. A little girl who lived in a world with iron lungs who was terrified of contracting polio. A little girl whose father insisted she sleep in the dark, with the door closed, in spite of her screams. I feel her forehead.
Theres nothing wrong with you. Youre perfectly healthy. But you know, Pooh Bear here is looking kind of afraid. Do you think you could take care of him so he wont be scared?
She looks doubtful.
Sometimes its scary to lie here in the dark, so lets leave this little light on for you. Pooh can sleep with you and you can talk to him so he wont be afraid any more. Ill even leave you the flashlight so if you think you hear something you can turn it on and check out the noise. Will that make you feel better?
She gives me a smile.
OK, Mommy, she says.
I give her a kiss and tell her what a grown up girl she is and how
Im sure she will keep Pooh from being scared. She hugs me and as I leave the room,
leaving the door open so she can hear me moving around in the living room, I wonder why,
when its so easy to take a couple of minutes to calm a childs terrors, I had
to spend so many nights trembling in my own bed when I was a kid.
|created 10/31/00 by Bev Sykes|