by Betty Owens
I’ve seen a lot of confessions here since May 1st as our team of writers examine their Monster Under the Bed. Now it’s my turn. I gaze into the mirror and wonder, what is my biggest fear?
There are several things running around in my head, but they pale in the face of The One: Deep, dark water scares me. I don’t like it.
I’m not a great swimmer. In fact, I can barely tread water. So the thought of deep water with no visible bottom–I don’t like it.
I’m not paralyzed by the thought of an ocean voyage (except for the vertigo that plagues me). I’ve cruised the deep green waters of the Puget Sound on a ferry. I’ve been on a clipper-ship sunset cruise in the gulf. But when there’s no floor beneath me, just water, and I can’t see what’s in it or where it ends–panic sets in.
So I’m okay in a pool or in the gulf when I can see right through the crystalline waters. But don’t expect me to jump into the deep blue or anything I can’t see through. No way.
I once swam in a nearby quarry lake with some of my high school friends. We hung out on a tractor-sized inner tube. But there were things nibbling at my toes. My friends told me it was only minnows. But how did they know, really?
Yes, I was one of those kids who checked beneath the bed every night (every single night) before getting into bed. I also checked the closet. Whenever possible, I had a dog or cat with me for the night. Just to keep me company, of course. All right, not just for company. Guard cat. Guard dog. No monsters under my bed or in my closet while they’re on duty.
Yes, that kid’s movie struck a chord with me–Monsters, Inc.–I loved it. It explained a lot. Of course, by then I was grown and no longer checked beneath the bed. I don’t have to anymore, because we have a bed that sits on a storage unit. There are drawers and compartments under the mattress, no room for anyone (or anything) to hide.
I do still check the closet from time to time. But only because I have no dog or cat to protect me. Just a husband who thinks I’m very silly.
I do hope this month’s topic has helped you face your monster under the bed. Or if you’re a writer, perhaps it served to spur your imagination to round out your characters with real fears and emotions. Yes, these feelings and phobias are real. We fight them and sometimes fend them off.
Imagination is a wonderful thing, except when it runs away with you.
So what’s your monster under the bed?
Here’s your chance to show your stuff as a writer and add a double entry to our quarterly contest for your comment/writing prompt.
After finishing her pre-bed routine (flashlight sweep beneath the bed, closet check, window-lock check), Emily snuggled into her covers. With a soft whistle, she invited Ribbet, her Jack Russell Terrier, to join her there. Lights out. All is quiet, until…