His wide eyes stared at the cupboard door just visible in the moonlight sneaking in through the gap ion the curtains.
His hands gripped the sheets close to his face, his nose protruding over in an almost comedic fashion.
He held his breath as his ears strained in the silence. He was sure the noise that had woken him had come from the cupboard.
His earlier tossing and turning had caused the sheets to come loose from the normally secure ‘tucked-in’ position at the bottom of the bed which left him feeling exposed and vulnerable as he pictured something being able to crawl its way along the floor, just out of sight, and able to make its way up and under the sheets at the foot of the bed.
He could imagine the tenting of the sheets down by his feet as a hand, tail, face, whatever, made its way under towards him in a nightmarish cloth shark fin scenario.
Heart beating faster and faster he tried to shake the image from his head. His breathing was now short and rushed, roaring in his ears, stopping him from giving his full attention to the cupboard.
He wanted to scream out for help, to pull his legs up away from the threat of the untucked sheets and scream but they would only laugh at him again. Mum’s new boyfriend would give him another talk about how, since he was eleven now, he should act more like the man of the house.
The thump from the cupboard focused his attention again. His vision, already locked on the small handle of the old wooden door, now seemed to twist and roll with fear, making everything around the handle unfocused as if looking down a silvery tube. Nothing else in the room mattered at this point but that tiny little handle. If it moved, he thought, I’ll die.
He held his breath after each long, but shallow, gasp. His heart thundered in his chest, blurring the edges of his vision more with each explosive beat.
The next thump broke his incapacity. He sat bolt upright in the bed and let out a shriek, screaming the last of the air from his lungs. His bedroom door was flung open and the ceiling light burst into brilliance.
“What is it?” yelled the boyfriend, the anger obvious in his voice.
All he could do was point at the cupboard door.
Storming over to the cupboard in his greying boxers the boyfriend yanked the door open and leapt back in fright as the Monopoly box, which had been put back haphazardly earlier that evening, spilled the rest of its contents out into the bedroom. Little red and green houses tinkling down the woodwork followed by the final few thumps of the die cast characters.