Henry's Dream

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: BoMoWriCha Prompts


A short story written for CheyJade's picture prompt at the BoMoWriCha House.

Submitted: June 12, 2018

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Submitted: June 12, 2018

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Henry’s Dream.

“He’s teething! That must be it.” Henry’s father was trying to come up with an explanation for why the previously happy toddler had turned into a clingy and miserable little thing.

“I don’t know about that. I can’t feel any of those tell-tale lumps on his gums. And anyway,” his mother continued, “wouldn’t that be causing a problem through the day and not just at night.”

Henry had been one of those babies that, right from the start, slept through the night. But recently, he had cried whenever bedtime got anywhere near, and turning off his bedroom light brought on almost hysterical screaming.

Henry’s mother would stay and read until he fell in to an uneasy sleep, while his father insisted that by doing so she was only making the situation worse. Ignoring it was the way to go, or that he was certain.

Neither of them had the slightest idea of the real cause of their son’s distress. Only his teddy understood and he could not tell anyone. It was the nightmares. And the monster was growing in size and in strength every single day.

Henry would toss and turn, moaning and whimpering, clinging so tightly to his teddy that sometimes he worried that his seams would burst and he would come unstuffed. But he bore it willingly for he had seen the monster too.

Like a ferocious dragon, it was. When it was small, about the size of a kitten, it had seemed quite friendly, and Henry had enjoyed it’s night-time visits. Within a week it had doubled in size, and then every single day it just grew and grew.

If it had been just a case of size, maybe the young boy would not have been so distressed, but the dragon became more and more angry, more and more vicious along with its growth. It would move down close to Henry’s face and roar, showing its sharp, dagger-like rows of teeth. Even worse was when it would salivate, making it obvious that it found Henry appetizing.

It would reach out towards him with it’s claws and inside his head Henry would scream and scream. Nobody heard, apart from the dragon and the teddy.

If he could talk, if he could speak, maybe he’d be able to let Henry’s parents know what the true problem was. But of course he could do neither. And even if he could, would they have believed such a far-fetched tale. After all, they still would not be able to see the monster, would not understand the pure and utter terror that it induced.

No, Henry was all alone. Unless.....

When the house was quiet, and everyone was sleeping, the teddy climbed off the bed and set off on a trek to the kitchen. Getting down the stairs was easy, for all he had to do was fall. Full of stuffing as he was, it did not hurt at all. Then into the kitchen. He hauled himself up on to a chair and clambered his way up on to the table. There he was rewarded. A sharp knife, just like he had wanted to find.

It was hard for him to climb back down with the knife so he pushed it until it fell. The clattering sound it made seemed so loud in the silence of the house; surely, he would have gone and woken Henry’s parents, if not Henry himself. He let himself fall to the floor, where he waited, listening for the sound of footsteps on the stairs. They never came.

The climb up the stairs was an onerous one. Each stair almost as tall as he was. A toss of the knife, then he’d haul himself up after it. Just as he’d begun to think that he’d never make it, there he was at the top. Now all he had to do was to scamper along the hallway, get back to Henry and.....

The sight that met his eyes as he made his way through the boy’s bedroom door stopped him cold. The monster was bigger than ever, and was leaning forward, preparing to go for the kill. In a speed he’d never before have believed himself capable of, Teddy made his way across the room and up on to the bed, roaring himself as he waved the knife at the attacking beast.

Was that scary roar really coming from himself? Teddy was pretty impressed. It caught the attention of the beast who then turned his head towards the stuffed toy. It was now or never. Could he really slay the monster from Henry’s dreams. One chance; that was all he would get.

Holding the knife out in front of himself, Teddy made a mad, upward leap and stabbed the dragon straight in the eye. It roared in pain, which woke Henry up. But something else was happening too. The dragon was shrinking, evaporating, disappearing in to the air.

Henry sighed in relief and reached for his teddy. The bear dropped the knife, which landed under the bed, and snuggled up tight to the boy. He’d return the knife some other time; slaying dragons was such tiring work.

 

(860 words)


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