This story was inspired by one of the "Thinks" proposed by Dr. Seuss's "Oh the Thinks You Can Think!". If you are unfamiliar with the book, you can find an online version of it here. Every day from now through February 15th, I'll be posting a short story or poem based on one of the "Thinks" in the book. Enjoy!
Did you miss me?
It’s not a complicated question. No big
words. No unusual syntax. Did. You. Miss. Me?
Nothing? That’s fine. I can feel it; of
course you did. I’ve missed you, you know. I’m quite aware it’s been no more
than, what, twelve hours since we last spoke? I just wanted you to know where
you can find me this evening. I don’t believe we went over that last night. And
of course, I wanted to tell you hello.
Under the stairs, by the way. That’s
where I’ll be.
Oh my. I can hear your little feet creaking
over my head. Yes, click on your mother’s cellphone. Find a flashlight. Light a
candle. That will make a significant difference.
choice. Patter-patter-patter-patter. Oh, there it is. You’re very quick, I’m
sure you’re aware. I’m impressed.
Oh, excuse me. I’ll tune out for a
moment while your parents tuck you in. Don’t want to be rude, you know…
. . .
. . .
. . .
Well, I’m back. Can I get you anything
from the kitchen? Iced tea? A soda pop? Some warm milk, maybe? Yes, I know
you’re not a cat. But some little children like…oh, I’m terribly sorry. Your
birthday was yesterday. Well, that’s
an anniversary of sorts, for us. The day we started this odd little
relationship, how many years ago?
You know, most children don’t get their
own personal Me. You’re rather important. Does that make you feel special?
What is a Me? Valid question. I suppose
I’m whatever you want to call me. A goblin, a ghost, a specter under your bed,
a monster in your closet….though in this case, “monster under the stairs” would
be more appropriate.
You don’t find it funny? Why ever not?
I resent that; I am nothing if not
Well, of course I’m never where I say I
am when your parents come to look. I told you, I tune out. To be polite. Should
you ever come to look for me, I assure you, the results will be different.
Oh, don’t be afraid, little one. Death
comes to everyone. Some just a little sooner than others.
Haven’t we been over this? No, it’s not
as simple as all that. I’m not a fairy; you can’t just wish me away by deciding
not to believe in me. Growing up, I’ve found, is a good antidote to Me’s. But
you’re doing an awfully slow job of that, aren’t you?
Well, go ahead. If it makes you feel
better. Stop believing. I’ll see you
tomorrow. It’s been a while since I’ve taken up residence in a closet. You can
look for me there, if you wish.
Anyway, I’ve kept you up far past your
bedtime, haven’t I? So goodnight. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.
Brianna Shrum is a writer of books. She has a particular soft spot for all things dark, twisty, strange, or kissy and has a love for fairy tales and villains and things that go bump in the night.
Meet her in real life, and you would have zero idea. She's rather sunny, and extremely nerdy, and would rather do karaoke in a room full of people than brood in a dark shadowy corner. She lives in Colorado with her husband (who is also her high school sweetheart), her crazy toddler, and her brand new behbeh.
You can find her tweeting at @BriannaShrum and on the web at briannashrum.com