Monster

I loved it. Cutest thing in the world. when a “scary part” came on the TV (and that could be the moon rising in a commercial for a nighttime cold medicine), ZMan would cover his mouth with a hand or two and just stare, eyes wide.
Damn cute.
He was doing it now but it was not so cute.
The TV wasn’t on. And he wasnt even looking at it, really. He seemed to be staring at the wall above. The blank wall.
“Scary.”
“What’s scary?”
“Monster.”
I look over, scan the shelf beside where he is looking. Books and toys. His toys.
“There’s nothing there.”
He’s frozen. Both hands up. I decide to take control.
I get up and walk right over to where he is looking. A blank part of the wall just above the right side of the TV, between two large shelves that frame our entertainment unit. I walk right up to it and put my hand against the wall.
“Daddy, no!”
“There’s nothing here.” I’m waving my hand against the wall, ducking so as not to disturb Miss M’s streamers hanging from the tall shelves.
“Monster!”
“Nope. Monster gone!”
“Monster’s mouth open!”
I jumped back. I don’t know why.
He’s terrified. Not quite doing my job. Damn. I sit down beside him, put my arm around him. He clambers into my lap.
“I’m scared.”
“There’s no monster.”
“I’m scared. Kitchen.”
He’s still staring at the exact same spot on the wall, has never taken his eyes off it, and now I’m staring at it too. There is nothing there!
“Monster” and this time he whispers it.
Fuck it, we are out of here!!!

I grab hold of him and run to the kitchen. Every hair on my body is sticking straight up. I’ve read shit like this on Facebook! Damn, I’ve shared it! Little kids and pets see scary-ass shit! We’re moving! I’m not staying in some Amityville Horror bullshit fuck townhome! Nope! Not getting sucked into my TV! I’m done!!!
“Why don’t we cook dinner?”
“Okay.” Meek.

My heart is pounding through my chest. I cut veggies as Little Man sits on the counter beside me. Everything is normal. Everything is normal. We poke each other and laugh. No one gets stabbed. And I’m wondering how I tell LadyK and MissM that we have to leave because of the fucking monster in the fucking house.

They return from their shopping, all excited about their new fashion choices. Styles set for the next six months. Or two days. They walk into the living room all happy, can’t see the monster at all. Strange.
I timidly walk in with ZMan and he is scared.
“Monster.”
Still staring at the same place on the wall.
“There’s no monster” his mom says.
“Scared!”
She walks over to the wall. Her head hits Miss Ms streamers. She grabs them and tears them down.
“These are old, she mutters, throwing them to the side.No monster.
LadyK is now waving her hand against the wall like I was.
And just a little, just a little, ZMan calms down. And then a
little more.
“Monster gone?”
Silence. But his hands are coming down.
Monster gone, she declares, and then proceeds to show us their score from the mall.

I finally got it after a while. It was the shadows of the streamers. But for a moment, I did believe. I did believe there could be a monster in our living room and only our son could see it and we were going to be brutally haunted until we fled screaming from our towering abode.
But only for a moment. And that fear was amazing. To believe in the unbelievable, and to act on that pure instinct. To be a kid again, just for a second. It’s a gift from this little human that I will always cherish.


Two months later and every time I walk into the living room, I still check behind the fucking TV.

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