Maniah took her last breath one hundred-fifteen days after her fifth celebration of life. She was snuggled tight in a purple bedspread, brown curls askew. Her soft breaths filled the room that cold, winter night as she glanced nervously around her new bedroom. It was dark. Maniah was very frightened of the dark. Her little eyes widened when she heard a low, throaty growl.
He’s back! He wants to eat me! She thought, feeling more afraid with each passing second. When she saw the blue, fur covered paw slowly creep up to grab her blanket, she screamed. Her parents burst into the room, fearing the worst for their precious little girl. She explained the monster to them, the same one that had tried to get her every night since her fifth birthday, and felt defeated when they didn’t believe her.
“Mommy! He’s real! I promise!” she whimpered, her green eyes pooling with tears. “I know he is! Daddy! Don’t you believe me? Don’t you?”
Her parents looked at one another and shrugged slightly. “Of course we do, Maniah. Why don’t we turn the night light on so he won’t get you?”
Maniah sighed. She knew that they wouldn’t believe her, they were grownups after all. She agreed and let them tuck her back into bed. As soon as they left, the monster was back.
I have to be brave to make him go away. Maybe he wants to be my friend, like in that monster movie. She tried to convince herself. As the hand got closer and closer, Maniah prepared herself. She winced as it jerked the blanket off of her legs. Then, it wrapped its calloused hands around her bony legs and dragged her underneath her bed.
She struggled against his grip, but that only caused his claws to dig into her skin. She shrieked and cried, trying to get away. The claws only got deeper into her delicate skin. Blood poured out of the wounds, making Maniah feel dizzy. She tried with one final burst of energy to hit him, but failed. He sunk his teeth into her neck and began his feast, ending Maniah’s life.