Watching Me Sleep

The monster watched slumly from the foot of the bed, jaws dripping with the green ichor squirting out of the Blume-Sprite it snapped from his dream.

A dream unkind to his mind. A nightmare if such things really existed – for a dream is a dream regardless of one’s perception of it.

Many debate that point – the inherent nature of dreams and their tendency to bliss, bad, good, wet, terror, or prophecy – but the monster (or so he styled himself with the glowing eyes and shadowy countenance and fangs from which the ichor dripped) knew differently. Had tasted differently. Ever since this man was a child, he had been plagued by dreams of the unkind sort.

Night terrors. Tasty tasty terrors tonight.

The Mbfulk ran it’s tongue over the fangs licking the ichor clean.

Each sort of dream had a different taste to him and the one he watched provided him with such sumptuous variety he was glad he never at the child’s mind – when a child he had been – or nibbled his toes from the edge of the bed or skulked from the shadowy closet breathing husky noise or any of the other tactics his brothers used.

No, this monster under the bed had been befriended by the child-now-man.

The child had never been scared of him though he was quite scary.

“You’re not scary, Fulk,” the child had said. “In here’s scary.” The little human child pointed to his head.

Intrigued, the Mbfulk – Fulk as the child had called him – dipped his claw into the mind of the child – lancing the foul festering – and regretted it immediately.

The child must have a soul of steel for one not yet bled for Fulk cried out as his three hearts lurched at the scene before his mind, tears in the monster’s glowing eye in sympathy for this boy.

“Small wonder you do not fear to step the shadows and fall through the world.”

“No, I wish I would.” the child cried and with tears in his eyes, “would you eat me Fulk?”

A little harmless childhood terror was all the Fulk was after. The overactive imagination ripe for fun without lasting harm. Not this desolation.

Now, I should mention the Mbfulk was quite small then. Not quite three apples high, though not blue as one might think. Rather black, iridescent to green and purple – like a crow’s feather.

But then Fulk began to feed on the unkind dreams of the boy who became his friend. For thirty years he devoured the nasty, pugnescent vitriol pooling between the boy’s ears. At first only nibbling little bits and pieces as he could, facing the fears lancing the boy’s mind like purple lightning. Lapping up the poison.

And Fulk grew. Stronger and stronger with each dream conquered.

Gradually the dreamscape changed from cesspool to verdant meadows.

-j.e. pittman