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As a child, the problem of supernatural creatures inhabiting the space under my bed was a constant issue.

Approaching my parents proved to be pointless, because, unlike me, neither had shown, or still show, any wayward level of imagination. Where I got that from I will never know and wait painfully for the day of some death bed confession that I was adopted and actually the offspring of a total freak who ended up being commited for voicing his ideas too much.

My sister was younger and so still gifted with the imagination that children possess by nature before all that growing up whittles it down and eventually stamps it out of the average person, but I felt that approaching her about the issue would be cruel, so I decided early on the deal with this myself.

As I figured it, when I was in bed, I was on the whole safe until the lights went out. So I pleaded for a nightlight and to silence my fears, I got one.

The next problem, as I saw it, was getting in and out of bed.

This was when a knarly clawed hand, or writhing tentacle might grab the unwary leg or foot. I dealt with the issue as satisfactorally as possible by entering and exiting my bed at the end, my logic presuming that any lurking monster  wouldn’t be expecting this. But just in case, I developed the habit of carrying to bed a very large collected edition of Sherlock Holmes stories, which was at least 3 inches thick and bound in red leather. The logic being that if I saw anything appear or grab at me, I would drop the book on the appendage and vault for the relative safety of my bed.

Luckily my ‘End of bed, entry-exit’ stratagy appeared to have worked and I never had the chance to find out if Sherlock Holmes books were an adequate method of fending off unwanted supernatural attention.

I did play with the idea of sticks, air pistols and knives as worthy deterrents to nasty things under the bed, but I was far too concerned about what might happen if my parents found them, or if I rolled on them. Besides as a child I often indulged my imagination by swimming down into my bed (often getting stuck and not being able to find my way out of the tightly tucked in covers and having to call for my parents to help me get out) which could have resulted in damage from such items and the surety that such things would be found by grownups who didnt understand.

I feel now decades later into adulthood that those early childhood fears have remained with me, because since leaving home at 17, I have never slept on a bed, prefering a mattress on the floor.

If there are still monsters under my bed, they are very flat ones.

In retrospect, my anxieties as a child were rather paradoxical as I loved monsters when I was a kid. I collected classic monster movie models with glow in the dark parts (sadly not very glowy because of the night light), I even tried filing my teeth once to make vampire fangs! And still today, the majority of all the illustrations Ive done over my life have been of supernatural creatures and things from folklore.

Maybe those denizens under the bed left more of an impression on me than I know?


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