Lottie is not the kind of girl who believes in boogey men or monsters under the bed, or in the closet for that matter. When she was a little girl, maybe. Maybe she would ask her dad to leave the hallway light on and check under her bed. Maybe she wouldn’t let her feet or her hands dangle over the edge of her bed at night. Maybe.

But she’s an adult now and those silly childhood fears were replaced by very real adult ones. Things like student loans and if she could stretch her meager paycheck to the next. The real boogeymen were the guys from collections. The real monsters were in her bed, not under it.

She comes home from a long day on her feet and sighs heavily, only able to really breathe now that the door is closed behind her. She’s home, away from that godawful place. For a little while, at least. She strips before she even makes it to her bedroom and barely throws on a pair of pajamas before throwing herself into bed. Her stomach grumbles, but she doesn’t even have time to ignore it before she’s asleep, arm hanging off the edge of the bed and everything.

Her clock reads 2 am when she snaps awake.

Why did she wake up like that? She wasn’t having a nightmare, was she? She can’t remember.

Then she hears it – the voice that woke her up.

“Lottie,” it whispers, rough and high and excited. “It’s time to come home.”

Then a hand’s grasping hers, tugging her off and under the bed. Except when she finally reorients herself she’s not under the bed at all.

In front of her sits a green creature. It looks at her with a wide grin on its face and says, “Welcome home Lottie. We missed you.”



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