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"Welcome to my head. My thoughts, dreams and pretty much anything else that gets blurbed out."

Sweet Dreams 29 November 2013 |

At the sound of the third thunderclap, I knew tonight was going to be a difficult one.


I stood and began my stretches. I'm not really sure if it was the TV or one of the G.I. Joes that said I should stretch, but it really has been helping. 

Once the stretches were finished I reached under the pillow, careful not to disturb William in the process, and retrieved my sword and shield. Thankfully, Karen had gotten some nicer sheets this year, and they didn't make the crinkling noise that the old ones made. Although, I had started to enjoy Mr. Squarepants.

I took my time walking the perimeter of the bed this time, careful not to get to close to the edge. Silky sheets are great for sliding quietly, but terrible for tread. Plus, On a night this dark, you don't want to catch yourself falling off and letting those things get in a cheap shot, or worse, grab hold.

Hopping up on the headboard, I sat myself down in my usual spot, next to the nightlight, and began my vigilance. I was thankful that the nightlight was able to cover the entire bed top, as this gave me quite a bit of protection. I couldn't say much for beyond the bed's edge, but I am thankful for at least the whole bed. 

Most nights, I would sit up here and keep my eyes on the corners and the edges of the bed. William kept the room pretty clean, so I didn't have to worry about things trying to hide out in the middle of the floor. 

As I sat and kept watch, I spent the hours trying to fix the tear in my left knee. I was just glad that the claw hadn't ripped the leg off. Last time I was sure I was going to be lame forever, but Tom is an excellent Dad and must've found the right leg while I slept, because when I awoke the next night, it was sown back on. Still aches every once in a while though. I was glad for it though, as I was a little confused as to how to sew until I finally saw how the stitches were done. 

So, I reached behind the headboard where I had taped the needle and small spool of thread; what an adventure getting that was, and began sewing up the knee. 

I had just finished stabbing the needle back into the paper when I heard it, that sickening sound of metal scraping along wood, that signified the end of my easy night.

I grabbed my sword and shield and hopped onto the pillow.

As soon as I saw the silvery glint at the foot of the bed, I jumped from the pillow and raced towards it.

"Greetings guardian..." it hissed. 

I stared coldly back and warned, "Back to where you came from shade."

The smoke with red eyes and morphing shape hovered at the edge of the bed, daring me to come after it, to enter its domain.

"You will slip one night guardian, and..", It began.

"And what?!? You will kill me?" I huffed.

The misty red eyes narrowed to just slivers, "Kill you? No guardian. I won't kill you."

I shifted the shield and sword in my grip, bracing myself in case the creature tried something funny.

"No, I want to rend you, limb from fuzzy limb, and toss you down the vent so I can hear your cries for help as you slowly rot in the dark." 

"You are awfully long winded." I teased. 

"That, guardian, is because I am not like the others."

At this, I snuck a peak at the edges of the bed. This one is up to something..better keep him talking.

"So, what makes you special, creature."

"I have a name guardian and I can assure you, you are not ready to face me." It hissed.

I was glad that I didn't have veins, or blood, or skin right at the moment. Otherwise, the creature would have seen it drain from my face. As it was, it took all my effort not to make my eyebrows stand up in surprise.

A shade who claims to have a name? This is bad. Most of them were born of the darkness that crept up after the day. Only living long enough to claim the single night, and then vaporize with the rising sun like the rest. 

This one must have survived somehow. 

"A name? Ha. So you have a name. Who cares. Even dust has a name, and it's just as weak a speck as you." I jibbed while keeping my eyes locked onto it.

It began to laugh. A haunting sound that reminded me of the tickle me Elmo when the batteries started to die.

"Guardian, I am Fear." 


I hadn't actually meant to say it, and by the widening of the creatures eyes, it had heard me.

"What say you now Guardian?" Fear asked, "Shall we cease this game of cat and mouse?"

I remembered what those before me had said, and tightened my grip on my sword.

"This is still my domain Fear." I said, "You can't cross into the light."

At this, the shade locked its eyes on the nightlight plugged in at the head of the bed.

"True, but I have only to wait." It spoke.

As soon as the words hits my ears, I knew I was in trouble. Lightning flashed outside, and dread began to fill me. If the power went out, there would be nothing to stop it but me.

It sat there and watched me, eyes growing brighter as saw me connecting the dots.

Bright lightning flashed again. This time, the thunder was close. 

"Soon, guardian. Soon."

Minutes passed as it sat there, floating, and despite the torment of black swirling around it, the eyes remained perfectly still.

I checked the perimeter once more, and went back to the foot of the bed. Preparing myself.

I shot a quick glance at the clock on the wall, 3:32am, and gripped my sword tighter.

The flash came before the blow.

The second the power went out, the creature flew across the edge of the bed, straight towards me. Silver claws, like knives grew from the roiling mist below its eyes as arms began to take shape.

Claws slashed and tore at my fur as I dodged and shielded myself. Flashes of silver and chips of wood flew as the shade and I danced back and forth. 

It became obvious that I was going to lose as each of its blows landed on my shield and sword, and the wood came away in chunks. 

Minutes seemed like hours as I dodged it's blows and scrambled to keep my footing. The creature however, was relentless, and showed no sign of slowing. 

Finally, the creature lashed out, and I slipped on the silky sheets, tumbling across the bed from the blow and shattering my shield against the footboard. 

The creature began laughing.

"Time is up Guardian.", It said as it glided slowly towards me.

Slumped against the footboard my mind began to race, and I quickly took stock. My left arm was torn open, and my shield was shattered and the only thing that remained of it was the small metal strip I used to hold it up.

Fear floated towards me, claws outstretched and twitching. 

Suddenly, there was a quiet pop, and light poured in from under the door.

The power was back on!

Then, my own horror, became a full fledged nightmare. The pop sound was the nightlight bulb blowing out.

Fear let out a triumphant shrill as it floated above me.  "You see guardian! Even fate believes your time has come."

As I stared in disbelief at the burned out bulb, terror began to take over. Cold chills began to run down my back and legs and into my hand. 

My hand. I felt it there, a coldness that lingered after the chill, and thats when I knew what to do.

I stood and stared at the creature, "You want to tear me limb from limb.. Well?"

As the creature stared at me, I took my sword, and what was left of my shield and dropped them in front of me.

This brought a silvery smile to the mist, and a mouth began to form.

Then, with all the strength I had in me, I grabbed my left shoulder, and ripped the arm off. 

The creature froze as I yelled in fear and pain. 

"HERE!" I shouted, "This is what you wanted isn't it."

I tossed the limb as high into the air as I could. 

Fear took the bait, and as its red eyes followed the limb into the air, I grabbed the sword and shield handle with my right arm and ran for the head of the bed. 

I was just past the creature when I heard it scream in rage.

Without looking, I ran for the light, holding the sword in my mouth, while bending the small piece of thin metal that I used for a handle on the shield, over the end of the sword. 

I hit the edge of the pillow and vaulted myself onto the headboard, while bringing the sword down as hard as I could into the bulb. 

Plastic and sparks flew as the wooden sword broken through the small christmas light and into the metal contacts underneath. 

I don't know if the sound I heard was the sound of the metal causing a spark, or the creatures howls, but it didn't matter.

I spun around before the creature could grab me from behind, and faced it.

Fear stared at me, just out of the light being given off by the small flame.

A cold, lifeless sound escaped the creature and it said, "Bold move, Guardian."

I stared back, unsure of what would happen next. The creature made the decision for me.

Fear narrowed it's eyes at me, spun and raced for the edge of the bed. Without thinking, I leapt from the headboard, and pressing my weight into the pillow, sprang myself towards the creature as fast as I could.

It managed to make it before I could reach it, and there it stopped, just over the footboard, hovering.

"It would seem that this round is yours Guardian." It said, "We shall meet again."

It began to float away towards the closet, and I knew that the next time it returned, I might not be so lucky. 

I quickly climbed to the top of the footboard and looked down towards the shade, floating to the floor and towards the underside of the closet door. 

"I have a name as well." I called.

Fear stopped and turned to look up at me. 

The small flame had begun to melt the fibers on my chest and arm, and I knew Tom wouldn't be able to fix it this time. 

I flexed my knees, tightened my grip on the sword, raised it above my head and stared into Fears bright red eyes.

"My name is Solder Bear!" I shouted, and leapt from the footboard.


"Honey, you know he will be devastated if we can't fix him this time."

"I know. After Will goes to school, I will look and see if I can find the arm." 

Love. True Love. 05 April 2013 |

Every day he walks into the classroom. Perfectly straight brown hair, and a jacket so blue it makes me remember the ocean picture in the art room. Sometimes, I just can't stand it.

His name is Derek Sanders, and I am desperately in love with him.

Some days it's easier to cope with then others. I spend most of the day doing my best not to get walked on by adults after the lunch period, and the rest of the time just sitting in class with him until the bell rings.

Then, I go home, and look at the small collection of odds and ends of his that I have managed to scrape up. Little bits of paper, pieces of discarded eraser; anything and everything I can get hold of. I am getting pretty good at it by this point. The teacher, Mrs. Sanigrosy, keeps a pretty tight schedule and, as long as I don't disrupt it, she won't notice.

I'm pretty sure my obsession started back in September. I remember sitting over by the window on the first day of school for the year, doing my best not to be noticed, when in he walks. Blue eyes, brown hair, Ninja Turtles backpack. I was hooked, and it felt like I had only been alive for months. You can imagine how red I was, and seeing him walking towards me made things considerably worse.

Thankfully, he didn't notice me. In fact, I don't think he even saw me until around the end of November; hopefully he remembered that day. I know I will. Him sitting on the edge of the playground quietly eating his sandwich. Me, shaking like a leaf, and finally working up the courage to scuttle over. He saw me, I froze, and he did the most amazing thing anyone has ever done for me. He broke off some of his sandwich and gave it to me. Obviously it was more than I could have eaten at that moment, but the fact that he shared it with me made it the best tasting sandwich I have ever had.

Over the rest of that month, I spent countless hours just sitting and watching him in class. Daydreaming about the day that I can work up the guts to try and communicate with him in some way. What I wouldn't give to have the courage to just drop down in front of him and start up a conversation.

Last week, I finally realized my only chance. The 3rd grade teacher announced a show and tell day for pets. This was my big chance. I knew Derek loved animals because he was always talking about his amazing, yet personally terrifying, Tarantula named Bob.

Today is going to be the day, I finally do it. Derek Sanders will either know who I am, or I will die trying.

The class room is like any other classroom (trust me, I've seen quite a few), with its large dry erase boards at the front, and young masterpieces plastered all over the walls. Mrs. Sanigrosy's desk sits at the front left of the class, and is almost always littered with more paper than any one person should be responsible for. Honestly, I'm not sure what it all is, considering that she doesn't assign that much homework.

The desks are laid out in a pretty standard grid and there are those interesting hanging florescent light bars above. Generally we think of them as too high off the floor to be useful, but today they will be perfect.

I did my best to be in position before anyone else got to class. This way, I could have as much time to calm my nerves as possible. Show and tell was tomorrow, and if I wanted this to work, it needed to happen today.

So I sat and waited. Let me tell you, if the fear (or the fall) doesn't kill you, the impatience will. The key here, is to do it before everyone gets settled. There is always quite a bit of commotion going on when everyone starts to arrive, and hopefully I can go unnoticed.

The class bell rings, and I almost die.

"Get ready," I whisper to myself.

All the other kids begin to file into the classroom and I watch for Derek. At this point, I would know the top of his head in a crowd of a million.

Then, he rounds the corner of the door and my heart stops. Like a slow motion scene from a cheesy teenage movie, I watch him walk into the classroom. Eyes sparkling and a grin on his face so lovely that it could make the sun jealous.

Then, like a stick of chalk breaking, reality snaps back into normal speed and I brace myself.

4 desks to go.
3 desks.
He turns to sit... ... and I drop.

Like a meteor of love falling from the heavens I plummeted. Releasing my grip on the bottom of the light fixture, I fell through time and space in the blink of an eye. Using every ounce of skill I had learned over the last few months of climbing down the wall near the top right of the first dry erase board, I maneuvered my falling body so that my legs would land on the topmost ring of the backpack. This way, when he set it on his desk and talked to his best guy friend Paul, I could scuttle under the desk and hide.



I grabbed the ring with the three legs on my right side and hung on tight, and like a plan in an the Oceans 11 movie Derek talked about, he flipped his backpack up into his desk, with the ring I was grabbing hanging just over the edge next to his chair. I quickly grabbed the bottom of the ring and began to move to the underside while feeling for the desk with one of my feet.

After finally finding the desk, I let go of the pack and began attempting to crawl to the right hand corner of the desk. I knew there was a piece of gum stuck to the bottom directly under the edge. I had watched Suzy put it there a few weeks ago.

Believing in myself and how far I had gotten so far, I walked off the desk with 4 of my 6 legs and swung my body over the edge of the desk and grabbed the wad of gum under the desktop.


That's when I began to freak out.

After so much success, was I doomed to failure? Would Derek still not love me, despite how much I had just overcome?

No time to think, he was getting ready to sit down.

I navigated my way along the underside of his desk using all the nooks and crannies I could get my feet wedged into and was able to dodge Derek's knees without too much trouble.

Now, all I needed to do was wait until he put his backpack under the desk, and I could drop onto it, and figure out how to get inside. I'm not to worried about being squished once I get in the pack. At least that's one perk of being me.

The bell rang again and he slid his backpack under the desk and put his feet behind it.

"Eeeeeee!", I squealed, and then quickly clamped my mouth shut. Hopefully nobody heard that.

After a few cautious seconds of checking to see if anyone had heard me, I moved over to above his pack and dropped the few inches to the top.

From there it was only a few minutes to get one of the front pocket zippers open, and scoot inside.

Now comes the waiting game.

For what felt like an eternity I sat in his pack. When the final bell rang and Derek grabbed his pack, I wasn't sure what jumped harder, my body or my thudding heart!

IT HAD WORKED! So far at least. Though, come to think of it. This was the easiest part.

"Keep it together Amanda", I tell myself. "Deep breaths."

When the backpack finally stopped moving for a considerable amount of time, I decided it was safe to take a peek.

I was sitting on a chair in a slightly smelly room. Walls filled with posters of what I knew to be Ninja Turtles, and some kind of mutli-colored animals I had never seen before, were the first things I saw. As I gazed around the rest of the room, it didn't take long for me to realize I was in what must be Derek's room.

My final clue, was the giant glass ball hanging from the ceiling in the corner by the bed. Inside sat what can only be known as Bob, the deathly terrifying. Who on earth would want to keep such a creature as a pet! Although, given my circumstances, it was exactly the kind of person I was hoping Derek was.

I spent a few more minutes checking out his room and decided that waiting on top of the dresser was the best option I was going to get. This way, I could hide behind something on it, and wait for best time to introduce myself.

Navigating across a sea of discarded, heavenly smelling clothes, I made my way to the dresser and climbed.

Thankfully, I didn't have to wait long. Almost as soon as I walked behind his digital alarm clock, he came into the room and plopped down on the bed like a brick and went motionless.

At first I thought he might have fallen asleep immediately, but after finally looking around the edge of the clock, I was able to see he was playing his game. It must be a really good game, because he was always playing with it. Silly little grey box with its two red buttons and black plus symbol. Yet, he seemed to love it, and if it made him happy, then I was glad he had one of whatever it was.

I watched for a few minutes, just to make sure there wouldn't be any immediate changes, and then decided that it was time.

I dropped to the pillow next to his head and quietly made my way along the edge of his arm to where he was holding the game. I had decided when I was up near the clock that presenting myself near his game might make it easier for him to understand that I intended to get his attention, and wasn't just caught unawares.

Taking what might have been my last breath I slipped under his wrist, positioned myself between the game resting on his stomach and his face, looked him in the face, and waited.

I'm not really sure what I was expecting, but I guess it wasn't what happened.

It took me a second to realize that he had spoken to me, and that I had reflexively jumped on top of his game. Now, with my heart thudding in my ears, I was finally able to understand that he was talking to me, and being this close had made it MUCH louder than I had always heard it from atop the classroom.

"Cool! You can jump!", he said.

"Of course I can Jump!", I replied.

"Oh man, and you sound just like a cricket!"

"CRICKET!?!?", I shouted. Wait.. He thinks I'm a cricket?

"Uhh. High Mr. Cricket", Derek said.


I slumped. Feeling utterly defeated. Here I am, putting myself in the most vulnerable position I have ever experienced in my 6 months of life, and the human I love thinks I'm a boy.

Feeling a loss worse than a limb I plopped myself down on top of his game and just hid my face. I didn't want him to see me crying.

I didn't get long to sulk though, because after a moment Derek began to get up, and I had to grab the top of the game to keep from falling off.

"I'm going to go get a container, hang on a second..", he said.

Setting the game on top of the dresser, Derek ran out of the room, leaving me curious as to what a container was and if this was a good thing or a bad thing.

Hopefully it isn't something just for boys.

"Uhhhgggg. I can't believe he thinks I'm a BOY! Why did I not paint myself in pink nail polish or something. ", I grumbled.

Before I had time to think about that any more, Derek returned with some kind of clear thing with holes poked in the top.

"Here you go", he said as he picked up the game and stuck the end with me on it inside the clear thing.

Feeling like I was supposed to let go of the game, I dropped down inside the clear thing and sat at the bottom. Kind of neat to be standing on what looked like nothing.

Suddenly, I was speeding through the air as Derek began moving and I quickly realized just what it was like to have legs as long as Derek's as we crossed the room in a few quick steps and went out into the hallway.

Sitting inside the container, Derek quickly went down the Hall to a room with a long brown thing sitting against one wall and set the container down on the ground.

"Be right back Mr. Cricket, I am going to go and get you some food and bedding before Mom get's home."

I didn't really have time to ask what a Mom was before he was gone and I was alone inside the container, but that didn't both me too much. It looked like my plan had gone as well as possible, despite the fact that the he thinks I am a boy.

That's when it hit me. I HAD SUCCEEDED! In only my wildest dreams was I able to wish that Derek would be willing to accept me, instead of just try and squash me. From that day when he shared a piece of his lunch with me, I have wished for nothing less, and here it finally was.

I only had a few minutes of singing to myself before Derek came back into the room and dropped some grass inside the container, along with a few raisins.

I wonder if he knows that I LOVE fruit!

Derek sat on the floor and watched me while I sat on my new bed of grass and watched him. After a little bit he began to ask me questions and I did my best to answer. Though, how I was going to convince him that I wasn't a cricket and DEFINITELY NOT a boy, was beyond me.

At some point, the conversation was abruptly ended when Derek's attention went to the wall, and he quickly grabbed the container yelling, "Mom's home!"

Not really sure what that I meant, I could only assume it was something good, considering how happy he looked.

He walked to the wall and opened the door and outside was another human exiting a large black thing.

I've seen the humans arrive in these to the school before, so this must be what a Mom is. I wonder if Mom's are symbiotic between the large black thing and the human. They are certainly always together... ..

Before I was able to finish that thought, Derek was presenting me to the human part of the Mom and saying, "Mom! Look at the cricket I found."

Then, everything went wrong.

First, the human part of Mom began to say, "Ohh let me see.." but stopped before finishing and just stared at me.

I wasn't sure what else I should have done, and not wanting to be thought of as a cricket, I did the only other kind of communication I knew of and just made my hissing sound.

Apparently, this was my last mistake.

The Human part screamed, and threw the clear thing and myself with quite a bit of force.

The container landed on something solid and black. I could see an orange stripe near me on the blackness, and I saw another Mom symbiote go past me a little ways away, and very fast.

The last thing I saw was Derek's terrified face, and a huge shadow come over the container.

"I Love You Derek."

Go ahead and run, you will only die tired.

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The end.