„Mom, leave the door open“, Tom whispered when it was time to sleep. The light blinded him, but he felt safer when he knew it was there. As long as it was visible, nothing could happen to him. The monsters under his bed and in his closet, which they had searched and not found, like every night before going to sleep, could not harm him. Mom always said, „The monsters only exist in your imagination, Tommy, they’re not real,“ he knew she meant well but she was wrong. He was quite sure about that. He had seen them approaching him. Their grimaces pressed close to his pillow, laughing maliciously. What the monsters wanted, Tom did not know. They had never hurt him. Were they just pleased to scare him? For many nights and days, he thought about it. Did they come to explore the area and strike when the time was right? Did the mean beasts simply enjoy chasing children with a cold shiver?
Maybe they were having fun laughing about it, together with their monster friends.
The older Tom became, the fewer the monsters appeared. Night after night it was less until only a shadow was left. He stared at the ceiling when he did that long enough, he could see him. He shifted his head and looked closely at the shadow. He then became more menacing, as if he was coming down on him. After a few minutes, he had disappeared again. Until the day came when he never appeared again.
Tom was laying on his sofa as he awoke. The TV was still running. Ever since he grew up and lived alone, it happened to him regularly that he watched TV for so long until his eyes finally closed and he did not get to go to bed anymore. Blindly he reached for the remote control and switched off. He could turn off the TV, but not his thoughts. The demons that chased him were more real than the old monsters. Nevertheless, they were not tangible. What they wanted, these black thoughts, his demons, he did not know.
The bright light which had helped him fall asleep as a kid did not bring any relief. Now it was only a disturbance of his sleep. Often, he was lying in the pitch-black room, staring into the darkness. The thoughts couldn’t be stopped. The suffering of the world was enriched in them. He could not understand why he wasn’t able to let go of what it was, that took hold of him. Every night.
He found himself regaling the old monsters. Those who laughed and giggled at their supposed monster gathering, because children were in fear and fright in their beds. Thanks to them. The demons he had right now didn’t laugh.
They chased him, in complete darkness and during daylight. They were always there. Even being only in his mind, they were not less menacing. They did not leave him. The demons became a part of him.
But who had let them in?