Clara (dawnsama) wrote in dawnfic,

Testimony (Original Short Story)

Notes: "Magical Realism" assignment, for high school creative writing class. Features the monster underneath the bed.


I don’t think it’s his fault, not really. What would you do if you had been in his position? It’s not like he did it out of some petty vindiction or revenge or something childish like that. He is the monster beneath the bed; he scares children. It’s just what he does. Daddy, I don’t think you should sue someone just because he was doing what his nature tells him to do.

No, Daddy, just listen to me.

Look, it’s not his fault that the Powers That Be condemned him to forever lurk underneath twin beds and stare at the floor until night time and have random kids scream at you when you creep out from underneath so you can finally take a stretch after waiting all day. Yes, yes, I know I am one of those random kids. How could I help it? It’s not as though I’m used to scaly things coming out from the bedframe. But Daddy, this is completely irrelevant to the point I’m trying to make. Concentrate on what I’m saying…

Well, of course, I think he looks frightening. In fact, I think he’s downright ugly, and I don’t mean the rough and burly kind of ugly like some diamond in the rough. I mean ugly, ugly like there’s no beauty in the world, only scales and hair. He’s got claws, you know, talons even, hooked and sharp no less. And they’re green like rotting eggs. Haven’t you seen them before, Daddy? He held out his hand for you to shake, remember? And you took it… oh, no you didn’t. Well, I’m sure you noticed the reptilian scales. It’s a shame that he has hair as well because scales and hair make a terrible combination. At least whoever punished him with this horrible existence made sure to give colors of beauty. The swirls of blue and green in his hair complement his golden scales quite nicely in my opinion. The jutting of his jaw and the protrusion of tusks from his lower lips rather ruin the effect though.

I am not fantasizing, Daddy. You saw him yourself, didn’t you? How could you not? He’s standing right next to you.

Hey. Hey, Monster, come out a little more into the light. My daddy wants to see the thing he’s suing, wants to look him clear in the eyes. Or, eye in your case. Just a little more, don’t be shy. Here, have a drink of sparkling lemonade.

Now listen carefully, Daddy, to what he has to say.

Or don’t. Come on, big guy, you can do it. Don’t let Daddy scare you. He’ll listen… Why don’t you write it down here, instead? Write down everything that you told me last night. It’ll be like your testimony, except we’re not in the courtroom (and we won’t even go to the courtroom, will we, Daddy?). You know how to write, don’t you, Monster? Of course you do. You are civilized.

Oh leave it alone, Daddy. I assure you, I am quite far from crazy. I’m almost eleven years old and at the top of my class. I study with a private tutor because you thought the local high school wasn’t good enough for me. So shouldn’t you, of all people, trust the integrity of my opinion? Shouldn’t it be taken into account when I say that it is a bad, no, a horrible idea to sue the monster under my bed?

Ah, you’re done. Here, Monster, give it to me. Let me read it out loud, since Daddy doesn’t have his reading glasses with him at the moment. Okay, let’s see…

“I, the monster residing in the shade of your eleven year old daughter’s bed frame,” actually I’m only almost eleven, but I shall continue, “Do solemnly apologize for the havoc I have wreked upon your humble abode.” Humble? Oh, hardly. “You see, I had taken up residence in her bedroom some years ago and had kept my presence a secret quite unintentionally. Until that night, I had merely been sleeping underneath her bed. It was my fifth year of consecutive slumber, in fact.

“Please try to imagine my surprise when I woke up to see your daughter staring at me. At the time, I had been deeply engaged in a quite frustrating dream, the details of which are quite unimportant to this issue, and I could not control my rather explosive reaction. I roared at your daughter not with the intent of frightening her nor inciting her terrified screams. I also did not intend to tear up the floorboards, nor send your maid into hysterics and then to an insane asylum. I roared and tore simply in a fit of frenzy; like I said, I had no control.
“But I can understand why you want to sue me, nonetheless. And with the trouble I have caused you, with the maid and your daughter, I can’t say I do not blame you. In fact, I am ashamed of my behavior. You may not believe me, but I am capable of more civility than demonstrated that horrible night, and it was my fault entirely for not retaining it. Because of this, I insist that you take me to your courts of law and file a lawsuit against me. Thank you.”

Monster, what’s wrong with you? Daddy doesn’t have to sue you! That’s why I called you here, to convince Daddy not to sue you. What do you think you’re doing? You’re ruining all my hard work!
Don’t look at me like that, Monster. What will you do if you’re sued? You don’t have any money; you were living underneath my old bed!

Why won’t you say anything to me? Do you want to write it down or something? Stop staring at me. Are you angry at me for calling you ugly?

Hey, I didn’t give you permission to disappear into the shadows. Hey! Daddy, where you going?
Give that paper back to me! You can’t use it as evidence now!

Why aren’t you both listening to me? Stop treating me like a little kid.

Why are you ignoring me?
Tags: original short story
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