Michael hated bedtime.
He loved Spiderman but wished sometimes that he was Ironman. To
be able to fly off at a moments notice and get away from all the
bad things in life.
He had a routine and with the help of his mother he stuck to it
Bath, drink, story, sleep.
Most of the time he interrupted story and sleep with a visit to
the bathroom. The first thing her did was to brush his teeth
after his bath and he regularly spanned that out as long as he
could. His bedtime routine was getting longer and most nights his
mother had fallen asleep while reading the story so he turned
down the light and stroked her hair until he'd falled asleep
himself. This comforted him and he wished it would happen every
night but most of the time his dad would come in and wake her up.
This was followed by a whispered 'night night.'.
He could hear them downstairs in the kitchen making a snack then
going to watch tv and he wished he could grow up quicker, he so
wanted to protect his family.
He measured how much he'd grown every day on the "How tall am I
today" poster and prayed each night before he went to bed that
tomorrow he'd be all grown up and able to fight off the goblin
that lived in his wardrobe.
Mornings were great. When he woke up he threw back his curtains
and smiled because the goblin in the wardrobe had passed him by.
But in the back of his mind he still dreaded bedtime.
The wardrobe was heavy, old and wooden. The darkest wickedest
wood had gone into making that two door robe. It also had the
strangest symbols carved into it.
"It's Eastern European I think" stated his mother when it had
arrived from the saleroom, she unlocked the door very carefully
with the silver key and voila!! there it was, all green and slimy
with red eyes and a hunched back. She didn't see it of course but
Michael stood rooted to the spot staring wide eyed and thankfully
wearing dry nite pull ups.
His mother filled the new addition to his light bright room with
clothes and bedding and cuddly toys that Michael had outgrown but
he still had a fondness for. He felt awful for Tigger having to
share the same space as that horror and he so wanted to close the
door and never open it again, but he couldn't as his schoolbag
was hanging in there.
He named it the goblin after the one in Spiderman. It was green
alright but it was slimier and uglier than anything he'd seen on
tv, it also looked at him like it was working something out. It
looked like it had intelligence but also slyness and cunning.
It licked its lips whenever his mother was near and leered at
her in a not very nice way.
Michael was only six but he knew that this was wrong.
The first night he made sure that the door was locked and the key
put into his bedside drawer. Next morning his toys were strewn
about his room, the drawer open and the goblins home visible.
He tried telling his parents but as they bundled him off to
school and rushed off to work he decided to wait until later, but
later became too late as his bedtime approached.
If he woke in the night he could hear it shuffling about picking
up his possessions with its sticky fingers and as it licked his
robot with its forked tongue he wondered what Spiderman would
Night after night he fell asleep not knowing if the goblin would
get him. He tried to tell his teachers who told him it was a bad
dream, only Henry his best friend believed him as they tried to
plan a sleepover so they could get rid of it.
The night before Henry's visit Michael was a bit more upset than
usual. His Iron Man duvet cover didn't match his Spiderman
pyjamas. If things didn't match then his routine would be messed
up and he liked the routine as it gave him time with his mother
and he felt safe. He lay down on the bed and made a decision,
tonight he'd confront the goblin as he didn't think Henry was the
sort of boy who could fight it off and it might just make things
His bedtime came around and he went into the bathroom to brush
his teeth, as he brushed intently making sure all the peanut
butter had gone he heard a noise behind him. Turning quickly he
knew what it was, it was out too early and it was making faces at
Michael's mother and scratching itself in a rude way.
He ran towards it and it moved, the wardrobe door was open and
Michael tripped on his robot now smeared in goo and headed
straight for it. The door slammed behind him and he nearly choked
on he smell of rotting food. A dead cat stared up at him its
eyes like marbles, cold and frozen.
The goblin peeked through the crack in the wardrobe door, the boy
on the bed playing with his toys and waiting for his story kept
it locked and had hidden the key.
A tear rolled down his cheek. Michael needed to get out and get
his body back from the goblin who'd stolen his life.