That Which Lurks Beneath the Sheets

“Turn on the fan and close the door,” Timothy Farr’s wife, Ellen, commanded from her station in the marital bed. “And turn off the light in the hallway,” she added.

Timothy did as instructed, shuffled across the carpet, and kicked off his slippers. One of them managed to sneak under the bed, but Timothy just shrugged and made a mental note to look there for it in the morning. He then pulled back the comforter, the top jersey sheet, and slid into bed next to his wife of fourteen years.

“Can you turn it up?” he asked, and without looking up from her phone, Ellen handed him the remote. A few clicks of the volume button and the soothing voice of Don Lemon echoed through the room, filling Timothy in on all the day’s happenings.

Aside from the usual reality show nonsense known as “politics as usual,” nothing on the news caught Timothy’s attention. A sex scandal here, a self-serving executive order there. Just the standard fare of a government run amok while the public watches on in complacent silence. After about five minutes repeating the same drivel he’d heard on the satellite radio on his drive home from work earlier that day, Timothy was ready to call it a night. A commercial break touting the effectiveness of the latest constipation relief medicine sealed the deal, and Timothy pushed the power button and sent the television to black oblivion.

Timothy set the remote on the bedside table and grabbed his Kindle, picking up where he left off in the latest Stephen King thriller.

“I know you’re grumpy, but you don’t have to take it out on me,” Ellen said, her eyes glued to her phone.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Timothy replied, as the memory of stupid Bob from stupid accounting hefting his stupid golden chili bowl trophy above his head in triumph flashed through Timothy’s mind.

“It’s not my fault you didn’t win.” Ellen swiped the green jellybean on her screen to the left, and it exploded in a fireworks display, accompanied by a voice on the phone shouting, “INCREDIBLE!”

“Maybe if you’d just…” Timothy began, then, thinking better of himself, shrugged and returned to his story.

Ellen connected a row of purple lollipops the phone chirped as the points added to her score.

It was about this time that the monster snuck into their bed.

At first, Timothy hadn’t noticed its presence, a small rumbling the only announcement it had entered the room. But, deeply enthralled by the story unfolding in his book, the beast snuck in and slowly established its presence. Four page turns later, and it made its presence known to Timothy.

It had happened before, the arrival of this beast … but in past instances, it had gone away with time and simple ignorance. Like any other classic monster, this one only had power when it was being observed and acknowledged. Leave it be and it would disappear.

At least that’s what Timothy hoped.

But that still didn’t mean it wasn’t there, and as its hot breath spread beneath the covers, wrapping Timothy’s legs in a poisonous cloud, Timothy’s heart began to race. He looked to his right, hoping his wife hadn’t noticed its arrival … for it always came for him first. And it was his duty to protect her from it.

Ellen shifted in the bed, unknowingly risking letting the thing slither from Timothy’s side to hers as she adjusted her pillow.

Timothy clutched the edges of his Kindle tighter and plunged his elbows to the bed, pinching the sheets between him and his wife tight against the mattress. The monster could not escape. It could not escape, but it also would not leave. The slithering ghost beneath the sheets grew, spreading across Timothy’s thighs and down to his toes. He imagined his skin burning against its touch, boils and pustules forming as it enveloped him. He pressed his eyes tight, and reminded himself that by morning, this would all be over.

“AMAZING!” a voice shouted from Ellen’s phone. “OUTSTANDING!”

“I’m … I’m just going to go to sleep,” Timothy stammered.

Focused on her game, Ellen did not reply.

Slowly, Timothy lifted his right arm from the bed and reached blindly for his bedside lamp, his eyes glued to the sheet where his arm had been. The sheet did not rise, did not take the form of the ghost trapped below, and Timothy let out a hushed sigh of relief as he clicked his light off.

“GAME OVER,” Ellen’s phone announced.

“Damnit!” Ellen shouted, and tossed her phone onto her side table. “Me too. Stupid game.”

Then, to Timothy’s horror, Ellen reached out, clutched the sheets, and rolled to her side to reach for her lamp. Before he could react, the sheet tore free from Timothy, and the monster was let free.

At first, she didn’t notice it, though Timothy surely did. As it crept up over him, tears streamed from his eyes and a sickness swelled in his belly. Timothy clenched his eyes, and held his breath, wishing it away.

Maybe, just maybe, if he didn’t say anything … if he left her to lie on her side in the darkness, she may not witness the monstrosity now loose in their room.

A choking sound from his right was the confirmation Timothy needed to know that his wish would be unanswered. The monster had found his love.

“Oh my god!” Ellen screamed, between fits of coughing. “What is that? What the hell is — ” and her voice was cut off by a rushing torrent of vomit.

“I’m sorry! I’m so, so sorry,” Timothy replied, his eyes wet with tears and a swell of sickness burning in his throat.

Ellen clambered from the bed and crawled on her hands and knees, through the thick puddle of puke, to the bathroom.

“No! Don’t go in there!” Timothy shouted between gags. “It’s even worse!”

“I … told … told you …” Ellen sputtered. “Reason you … lost …” Her eyes turned back in her head, and she collapsed on the floor, “your chili … disgusting.”

And with that, Ellen Farr, though she had not dealt it … died because she smelt it.

A Note from the Author:

Yes, you just read an extended fart joke. Normally my “creepy little bedtime stories” aren’t meant as comedies, but this one came to me one night and I just had to write it. I apologize if you expected something different, but if I got you to laugh … even just a chuckle, then I consider this one a success.

Also, remember I have plenty of other books and stories available for you on Amazon, including quite a few more “creepy little bedtime stories” — though they tend to end less with a punchline and more with a punch to the gut.

But if you’re looking for something a bit on the lighter side, be sure to pick up my splatstick vampire hunter novel, Undead as a Doornail. If you dug this story, you’ll likely dig that book as well.

You can visit me on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BO7RYA

Thanks for reading.

  • WFA
That Which Lurks Beneath the Sheets (A FREE Creepy Little Bedtime Story)

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