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The Stuffed Knight

An Underbed Tale

Little Percy slept soundly in his bed, cuddled up with his old teddy bear, Flash. The boy called him that because there was a bright and sparkly lightning bolt across the bear’s tummy; that bolt of lightning reminded Percy of his favorite superhero. Flash was about six years old and Percy was seven; they were inseparable, especially when it came to sleeping because Percy was afraid of the dark.

A snarl from beneath the bed brought Flash to life, cracking one of his blue button eyes open as he peered this way and that. The teddy bear sat up, careful not to rouse the sleeping boy beside him as he retrieved the small sword from under the pillows.

“Who goes there?” Flash demanded in a whisper as he slowly got to the balls of his stumpy feet.

Of course the monster didn’t respond to his question; they never wished to be caught by him. If they did, they had a severe problem or they were just in the wrong place. Flash pointed his sword toward the foot of the bed, cautiously moving forward.

With a suppressed growl, the Boogey rose from the floor, achieving a full height of seven feet as he loomed over the bed rail. He gave off the pungent odor of sweaty socks soaked in onion and garlic juice — with a sprinkle of cat piss for good measure. Flash’s button eyes scaled his opponent, taking in the frightening visage: pale, dry skin; a slimy and gnarled tongue that was approximately two feet long; three sharp claws on each hand; and of course needle sharp teeth lined by blood red lips.

“Ugly sack of bones, aren’t you?” Flash muttered, waving his other stump of a forepaw in front of his face to ward off the scent assaulting his button nose.

“Let’s be reasonable about this, shall we?” the voice of the Boogey was so bone chilling that Flash’s fur was forced to stand on end.

“Reasonable? And how would you suggest we go about that?” Flash asked, his confidence beginning to develop deep in his cotton gut.

“Hand over the child and there will be no trouble, bear,” the Boogey’s beady black eyes were on Flash.

Flash chuckled, “And why, sir, would I do that?”

“Monster’s gotta eat. Now, give me the boy.” The Boogey bared his teeth, wiggling his tongue out through his pearly whites, “I won’t ask again; I’m losing my patience.”

“And, frankly, I’m losing mine. Every night I deal with one of you. I am sick of it,” Flash put one paw on his hip. “I’ll just ask you this once: Go away, please?”

A snarl rippled in the Boogey’s throat before he gnashed his teeth and raised a clawed hand. 

“That’s it,” he roared, “give him to me!” He lunged forward, his large maw ready to tear into whatever came close enough for his tongue to wrap around.

Flash stabbed down at the tongue with his sword, “Not so fast, buddy.”

He yanked his blade back when the monster yowled in pain, swallowing his tongue back into the safety of his lips. The teddy bear’s thread-sewn mouth curled into a smirk of confidence.

The Boogey growled deep in his chest before he sank to the floor and disappeared beneath the bed, returning to his home, Underbed Town.

With a satisfied sigh, Flash put away his sword, hiding it under the pillows again. He glanced at the clock on Percy’s bedside table and quickly slipped under the blanket just in time as the boy’s mother opened the door.

“Percy, dear, it’s time to wake up.”

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