Short story on a prompt: You take your son under the…

Hemant Kulkarni
4 min readOct 12, 2020

The Prompt:

You take your son under the bed, “See? Nothing under here.” You then hear something climb on top of the bed.

We crouched near the bed. Krish grabbed my little finger and squeezed it. I smiled at my little man’s strength. ‘See? Nothing under here.’ I said. I wiped his snot away and let him observe the empty space under his bed.

‘But… but I heard someone cry.’ Krish said in a slow, sucking voice.

‘Let’s go exploring, shall we? I’ll make sure nothing has jumped into the bed.’ I began to crawl under the bed. Krish’s eyes darted around and he slid under the bed with me.

‘See? No hiding space anywhere.’ I said and tapped on the underbelly of the bed.

The bed squeaked above us and a baby’s muffled cry filled the room. Krish was right beside my left ear but the cry seemed above me. I looked at Krish who was biting his lips and then I realized his nails were digging into my hand.

Silence.

My breath fogged the floor. This wasn’t my son’s imagination. There was something on the bed. I put my arm across Krish and began to slide out of the dark place. I put my finger on his lips and nodded at him. He nodded back and sucked his cheeks in.

I put him on the floor facing away from the bed and wiped his tears. I closed his eyes and said, ‘Don’t open your eyes. Daddy will check what’s annoying my baby.’ I smiled. I am glad that the last thing my son saw was my smile. Hope it was reassuring.

I stood up and a deformed bag of flesh with a yellow set of eyes stared back at me. I almost fell back. My stomach threatened to throw out its contents. I could see blue veins across the mass and familiar structure of arms and legs.

‘What… what is this?’ I said and looked around almost expecting someone to jump out and shout “It’s a prank, bro!” I was ready to punch the face for involving my son.

A hole transformed into the mass and I heard that cry again. A wet patch of hair flew out of the hole. I was going to yell for the prankster to show themselves when a voice came out of the thing. ‘Hi Papa.’

Air escaped me. Papa? ‘Who… what are you?’

‘You don’t even recognize me.’ came that raspy voice and it wailed. My son at my feet slammed his hands over his ears. ‘I’m your daughter, Papa.’ It’s tiny arms opened up towards me. Slime trickled down on the bed.

‘Huh?’ I could not pinpoint how the thing spoke but the voice was coming out of it. Maybe there was a speaker hidden under there. ‘Stop it. It’s not funny!’ Now I yelled to the room.

‘You feel I am funny? You made me this way, Papa.’ the thing said.

Fuck this, I thought. I didn’t want my son to be traumatized. I turned and began to stoop down to pick him up.

‘Touch him and I will rip the skin out of his body!’ the thing screamed at me.

I froze. Who has the guts to take such a sick joke so far?

I looked back over and the thing was standing crooked on its things that resembled legs. Instead of toes, one leg had a single slimy nail. I could not see any speaker around and the thing did not have any wires flowing out of it.

‘Who are you?’ I found my voice cracking.

‘I told you.’ Did I see a tongue moving inside the thing’s mouth?

‘Stop it.’

‘Stop what? I just want my share of love.’ the thing said.

‘What?’

‘Mommy and you tried to kill me two years ago. You flushed me down the toilet. But I survived. Life is agonizing. Help me, Papa.’ Both its arms stretched out towards me.

No one knows my wife’s only abortion. ‘Yana, this is NOT funny at all.’ I yelled again.

‘Mommy is downstairs.’ The thing replied.

This is a nightmare, I thought and bent down to pick up my son. As soon as I put my hands under his arms, he gave out a brain freezing cry. I saw skin come off his fingers as if they were bananas. I let him go and pleaded, ‘Stop it. Please stop it.’ I cried. How do you wake up out of a nightmare when you are aware of it?

Suddenly, my son went quiet but I could still see his red flesh and the skin hanging from it on his fingers.

‘This is not a dream.’ The thing said.

‘What do you want? Please. My son — ‘

‘Take my hand and I’ll fix your son. We both then go to a place I’ve found where you will be my Papa. Reject it, and I will take him and I will make sure you never have a child again.’

I looked down at my son who had his mouth open but eerily silent as if I was watching him in a muted TV. ‘Krish, go to Mummy.’ I said.

I just want this damn nightmare to end, I thought and touched the thing’s tiny hand. The world went dark.

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

--

--