“There’s No Such Thing As Monsters” By Jason Cantrell

by E.V. Jacob on October 19, 2013

Thirteen Days of Halloween has officially begun!! We’re kicking things off with the terrifyingly awesome Jason Cantrell (@CantrellJason)!


Emma Samuels believed in monsters under her bed.

Her daddy always told her they weren’t real. He said they were just ‘fig men of her imagination’. She made him check for the fig men every night anyway, just to be sure.

“Do you see it?”

Daddy had his head poked under the bed, checking with a flashlight. “There’s nothing down here, sweetie,” he said. He sat back up shined the flashlight on her, flicking it up and down from her face to her legs to her belly. It made her giggle. “I checked and made sure, okay?”

“Check again,” she said. She’d pouted at him. He sighed.

Daddy leaned back under the bed again, shining the flashlight all around. He sat back up and turned the flashlight off. “I checked again,” he said. “There’s nothing. There’s no such thing as monsters.” Emma looked away. She believed in monsters. “Now go to sleep.” He leaned over and kissed her forehead. “I love you.”

“I love you too, Daddy,” she said. She pulled the covers up under her chin and watched Daddy head towards the door. “Don’t shut it!”

“I’ll leave it open a little so the light comes in,” he said. “Good night.”

He left her there alone and shut the door, except for a crack. The light from the hallway fell across the bed by her feet. Emma lay still for a moment, then crawled down to the foot of the bed. She set her pillow there, in the light, and tried to sleep.

Later, she didn’t know how much later, she heard noises outside. Fire trucks and police cars. She climbed out if bed and brought her blanket with her. She went over to the window and looked out. The hardwood floor was cold on her bare feet. She leaned against the window trying to look out at where the fire was. The window felt like ice against her hand.

The sky was red. Something was happening up the street, near the school. There were flashing lights, but she couldn’t see the firemen. The school was too far down the road to see in the dark. All she saw was the lights. The flashing lights from the fire trucks and the scary red light from the fire.

Then another light came. A bright white light. Magic light. The light shot up into the sky like a rocket and made everything bright. She thought it looked like light from God.

She squinted and covered her eyes. Daddy said light like that came into the city last week. That light changed everything and broke the city. It made people die. Her friend Janie’s dad said the light came from wizards. Emma’s daddy said there was no such thing as wizards, that it was ‘tear-or-wrists’. He said ‘tear-or-wrists’ were bad men who used bombs to hurt people and scare people. After he’d told her that was when Emma started making him check under the bed for monsters.

The light burned. Emma started to cry. “Daddy!” she screamed. The light didn’t feel like what she thought a bomb felt like. It made her skin tingle and feely funny. It felt like wizard light. Light that changed things. Daddy said he didn’t believe in wizards. But he didn’t believe in monsters under the bed either.


Daddy ran into the room. “Emma, are you okay?” he asked. Emma turned to face him. She saw the light from outside crawling into the room and under the bed. The light that changed things and hurt people. She didn’t think it was God’s light anymore. It was bad light.

“Emma,” Daddy said, stepping closer. Then he screamed.

Something reached out from under the bed, where the light had changed things. The monster. It was real now. It grabbed Daddy’s ankles and pulled him to the ground. Emma screamed. She saw blood. She closed her eyes and covered them with both hands. Daddy screamed like no one she’d ever heard scream before. Emma smelled burning things. She heard tearing and chomping and gurgling and scraping.

She ran into the corner and hid, still keeping her eyes closed tight and covering her ears with her hands. “There’s no such thing as monsters!” she said. She shouted it at the bed. “There’s no such thing as monsters! There’s no such thing as monsters!”

The monster didn’t listen. It just kept eating Daddy.

  • christiney

    Woah at the ending…

    • http://www.ravenhartpress.com/ Eve Jacob

      Right? Jason’s brutal XD

      • Jason Cantrell

        Tee hee. This was mild compared to what I COULD have done…

        • http://www.ravenhartpress.com/ Eve Jacob

          Oh, I don’t doubt it ;) One day you’ll have to go all-out–I’m a big fan of “taking things too far” (at least in stories) :D

  • T.C. McVay

    Dang. That really was a crazy ending. Loved It!

    • Jason Cantrell

      Thanks! I’m glad it’s been well received.

  • Alexis Roberts

    After I read the ending, I literally sat back and said ‘Wow.’ lol. I even had goose bumps (though I do scare easy…)

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