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Silent Duel

Shadows stretched across the room. Rays of moonlight shined through the upstairs window. The child slept soundly, unaware of the danger. Only twice in his 6 years, was he aware of what hides under his bed and lives in his closet. Normally he has no clue as to what battles rage around him. Tonight was one of those nights. He snored lightly as the monster emerged from the shadows. It was the one in the closet this time. His claws bent and twisted with shreds of skin hanging down. His large clawed feet silently tread across the carpet. He barred his teeth, excited for the meal to come. Tonight he feasts. He stops at the end of the bed staring at the small child. He takes a moment to relish in the victory to come. He halfway hopes the child will wake up and see him. Fear makes the meat taste deliciously bitter. But he would have to be quick. If the child screams he will have to return to the closet or risk his head exploding from the high pitch. Plus, the parents run fast when they hear the screams.

The monster creeps closer until he can bend down over the boy. He bears his teeth and issues a low excited growl. Something fuzzy hits him in the mouth. It hits him so hard he falls back and almost hits the ground but he catches himself on the small desk under the window. He adjusts his jaw and stares in disbelief at the warrior on the bed. He stands approximately 18 inches tall. He wears a velvet purple tux and his white fur shines bright in the moonlight. The bear doesn’t say a word. He merely stands and glares, daring the monster to try something.

The monster bares his teeth and is about to roar, but the bear puts his paw to his lips shushing the monster. The monster clamps his mouth shut. The bear is right, waking the child would cause him to scream and the monster has no desire to have his head explode before he can rip the stuffing from this defiant little creature.

The monster lunges at the bear claws swiping across. The little bear jumps back and then pushes himself with his fuzzy legs into the air somersaulting over the monster’s head landing on the floor behind him. The monster spins and tries to grab the bear as it runs between the monster’s legs, but the bear was too fast. He landed a strong hit to the back of the monster’s knee causing it to buckle. The monster had to grab the small desk again to keep from falling all the way down. The bear jumped onto the monster’s back and began striking it about the head and shoulders. His hits were far more powerful than one would imagine from a teddy bear, but the monster felt every one of them. The monster was swinging his arms wildly trying to get the bear off. One of his swings hit the small dinosaur lamp on the end table. The bear saw it and leaped down to catch it before it shattered on the floor. Both bear and monster froze as the boy shifted in his bed. The child rolled over and resumed peacefully snoring. The bear gently placed the lamp back on the table and the monster quietly stepped to a more open part of the room.

The bear turned and rushed the monster. The monster landed a kick to the bear's soft middle sending it back into the end table causing the dinosaur lamp to once again almost topple. The bear steadied it then dove under the bed before the monster could grab him. The bear rolled out the other side and jumped to his feet. The monster saw an opening. He looked at the sleeping child and lifted his mangled claws to strike. The bear launched himself over the bed and slammed his head into the monster’s chest. This time, the monster could not catch himself. He stumbled backward over the desk and crashed through the small bedroom window. He hit the ground with a thud. Through his blurred vision, he could see the teddy bear standing on the window sill looking down at him. Eyes daring him to come back and try again and promising it would not end this well for the monster a second time. The monster willed himself gone from this place and the well-dressed fluffy white warrior. He vanished into the shadows.

The window shattering had startled the boy awake. He almost screamed but saw his teddy standing by the window and he smiled instead. The bear sat down on the desk and stopped moving just as the boy's parents came rushing in to investigate the loud crash. The wind had picked up and the branches of a tree outside were swinging wildly. The parents dismissed it as a rogue branch hitting the window too hard. They taped plastic over the window frame and said good night to the boy as his teddy was placed in his arms. They turned the light out and closed the door. The boy fell asleep and his bear kept watch.

Photo by Akshar Dave 🪁 on Unsplash

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