There’s a Minotaur in my closet. I’m sure of it.
I’m six and that’s too scary for a boy my age.
It’s dark and I can see his glowing red eyes through the cracks in my closet door, and I can smell his acid breath from under my blankets.
If I lay still, I swear I can hear his snorts from behind a curtain of shirts and pants. I know I’m not dreaming because I only dream of school or space or Star Wars. I don’t dream about Minotaurs.
I can’t stay here under the blankets forever. My friends told me that Minotaurs can sense fear and they like to eat little boys for late night snacks. I’m really afraid and I bet I’m really tasty (because I like donuts and candy).
That Minotaur is going to eat me up. I have to get out of here before it’s too late.
“Mom,” I whisper loudly into the room across the hall where my parents are sleeping. I don’t want to attract too much attention from the Minotaur. I hear movement coming from their room, but no response from Mom.
“Mom!” I say it a bit louder this time. My only hope.
“What?” She stirs. I hear my dad groan a question mark.
“There’s a minotaur in my closet!” If the Minotaur wasn’t on to me before, he definitely is now. Only a matter of time before he stomps through the closet door and eats me up.
“Can I come sleep in your bed?”
There’s a long silence. Then a snort behind the closet door.
“Just for 5 minutes?” I plead.
“5 minutes,” she agrees.
Now for my escape.
I carefully fold off my blankets and take a tip-toe step onto the floor. The wood floor below me creeks. Did I hear a huff just now? A puff? Time is running out. I have to get out of the room before the Minotaur attacks. He’s going to break down the closet door and gobble me up.
I bet I’m delicious.
I place a second foot on the floor and hold my breath. Did I smell the Minotaur’s breath steaming out of the closet? Is it warmer in here? I swear I can see his red glowing eyes through the crack in the closet door.
I hear my mom’s voice find its way into my bedroom, “you coming?”
I don’t respond. Can’t risk disturbing the Minotaur further. It’s now or never.
I dash for the bedroom door and hold my breath again. The Minotaur won’t catch me. My Star Wars socks make it hard to run on the wood floor, so I glide like a figure skater towards the open bedroom door. I’m sure of my escape when suddenly, my closet swings open to reveal the angry Minotaur! He huffs and snorts and kicks a hoof.
The faint light from the hallway reveals the Minotaur as it charges after me. He’s as tall as my ceiling and as scary as I’d always imagined. His eyes are glowing bright red and he snorts angry, hot steam from his nose. I turn back towards the open bedroom door and skate like a madman.
I might not make it. I just know he’s going to grab me with his strong, hairy hands and eat me up with his sharp teeth. I don’t want to be a Minotaur snack!
I hear my mom’s voice again, “honey?”
I turn back to look at the Minotaur, his claws reaching out to grab me, when he awkwardly places a hoof down on my slippery wooden floor and topples right over onto his snout. He makes a loud grunt and kicks a closet door clean off its hinges.
The Minotaur’s fall startles me and sends me stumbling towards a pile of Star Wars action figures near the door, but I grab hold of the door handle and fling myself into the hallway.
I made it. I don’t turn to look back at the damage.
I hurry into my parent’s bedroom and find them sitting up, waiting for me. “What was the commotion, son?” My dad asks.
“It was that Minotaur,” I reply nervously, “he tried to eat me, but I got away. I was too quick for him.”
I suddenly feel very proud of myself.
“Those monsters never can seem to catch you,” my mom chuckles, “you’re just too fast.”
I climb up into their bed and slide between them into a warm space waiting for me. We all bring the blankets up to our chins and snuggle into a dark and cozy sleep.
Monsters are afraid of grown-ups, so they can’t hurt you when you sleep in bed with mom and dad. But grown-ups scare me too, sometimes.
I wake up the next morning in my own bed. My room is tidy, even after last night’s close call with the beast. Dad must have brought me back to my bed during the night. I bet he scared away the Minotaur; looks like he fixed the closet door, too.
My friends are never going to believe this.
Later that night, I make a terrible discovery.
There’s a Werewolf in my closet. I’m sure of it.
It’s my seventh birthday and that’s too scary for a boy my age.
It’s dark and I can see his glowing orange eyes through the crack in my closet door.
“Mom,” I loudly whisper into the next room, careful not to disturb the snarling beast waiting among my shirts and pants, “there’s a Werewolf in my closet!”
My friends told me that Werewolves love eating up little boys like me. I bet I’m delicious.
“5 minutes?” I plead.
A long silence, then my mom’s welcoming voice.