Chris Voisard - Applied Creativity
Micah & the Monsters
Micah wasn't the only little girl afraid to go to sleep in the dark.
But she was one of them.
Micah knew about the monsters. She knew about the red monster, and she knew about the green monster, and she knew about the yellow monster, even though she had never really seen any of them. It was too dark in her room at night. Sometimes, when the moonlight fluttered through her curtains just so, Micah thought she saw the tail of one of the monsters disappearing under her dresser. She was never sure if the tail was red or green, but she knew it was a tail. Or maybe a foot. She could hear the monsters too, shuffling and scuffling and making their muffled monster sounds.
The monsters liked to hide. Even though they snarled their teeth, swiped their claws, and puffed their chests to make themselves look scary, the monsters were more nervous than Micah, because they were terrified of Micah Waking Up.
Say Uncle
In the morning, when the sunbeams broke open into her room, lighting up the colors of all her Special Things, bouncing and splintering off her shiny harmonica (if she had put it on her dresser just right) Micah felt safe from the monsters.
Micah felt safe because it was light. Micah thought that she was awake because it was daytime, but really she was still in a dream, which she was about to find out that day.
Micah walked to school with Morley every day. Morley lived next door, and even though he was a boy, he was Micah's best friend. Either Micah's mom or Morley's mom walked with them every day, but the moms stayed way back so that Micah and Morley could pretend they were walking to school all by themselves like the Big Kids.
Micah was always happy when there were red, green, and yellow leaves to crunch and kick on the way to school, but this particular morning she was especially glad because she was scrunching down on the leaves with her brand-new, pink-and-white sneakers. These sneakers were extra special because they had a picture of a cute brown mouse eating a chocolate ice-cream cone, stamped on each toe.
"Don't you like my new shoes, Morley?" Micah called behind her as she skipped ahead. Micah felt bouncy, even though her backpack was a little heavier than usual because it was library day.
Morley didn't answer her. He shuffled behind, looking at the brown shoes he was wearing. Right now Morley hated brown, he hated laces, he hated leather, he hated shoes. Especially his shoes. Morley had begged his mom for the black and white tennis shoes that had holes for laces, but no laces. She said, "Morley, honey, money does not grow on trees. You have to wear out your nice brown shoes first." He dragged his toe on the sidewalk, trying to wear the shoes out faster. Just then, four or five green leaves floated down, landing all around his scuffed brown shoes. He looked up in the tree, and saw all the green leaves that were still left, even though it was October. He wished the leaves were money. What he didn't see was the green monster who was hiding there, waiting.
The small, muscular green monster started down the tree quickly, his long green toenails digging into the bark of the tree. Green leaves and twigs clung to his matted fur. His eyes were bulging; he saw his opportunity. When the monster had clambered to the bottom, he leaped up on Morley's shoulder, and started whispering in his ear.
"Morley, don't you wish you had new shoes? It isn't fair! Micah didn't even ask for new shoes, and you did! Why does Micah always get everything she wants? When is it going to be your turn?" Morley thought the voice was in his head, but he could smell the monster's stinky breath.
"Morley? Did you hear me?" Micah called. She had stopped prancing down the sidewalk, and turned to face her friend. She didn't see the green monster perched on his shoulder because he was hiding down in the hood of Morley's green sweatshirt. Micah wouldn't have seen him anyway, because she thought monsters could only live in the dark, which wasn't true. Monsters only live in Dreams.
The green monster popped out of the hood, and started whispering ferociously in Morley's ear with his green grating voice. "Look at her shoes! They're so clean and white. Isn't it hurting your eyes? You deserve new shoes. She doesn't! Look at your shoes; they're so ugly! You might as well step in that big mud puddle in the corner of that yard. They wouldn't be any more nasty than they already are!"
Morley stamped over to the mud puddle, covering his shoes in the smelly mud. The green monster was laughing his snickery giggle. "That's it. Cover 'em good. Ha, ha!" Then the monster said something that shocked Morley, only he thought it came out of his own head, which made him feel bad. "Now go over and step on her shoes. Why should your shoes be all horrible and hers be all glowing with that dumb mouse on them? Wreck 'em!"
And he did.
Morley didn't know that it was the monster talking to him. Micah didn't know either. Morley didn't know that he could just tell the monster to get lost, and the cowardly thing would go scampering into the bushes. No, now the monster took his long skinny green fingers and was gently squeezing Morley's head. Before he knew what he was doing, he stomped over to Micah, splattering the ooey gooey mud, and stepped on one of her feet, and then the other, smearing them good but good.
Micah looked down and took in big gulps of air. She didn't know what hurt more, her toes being smushed, or her shoes being ruined. Before she could let all that air out, someone who had been watching the whole time saw his chance.
The ratty red monster, hiding up in a branch of a tree with leaves that had turned to rust, jumped to the ground in one leap, landing silently, but the ground shook, he was so big and fat. All of his forty-seven pointy teeth dripped with saliva when he laughed. He was laughing now. Micah didn't even see him come up behind her, wrap his hands around her belly, and with a gentle pull, it didn't take much, push all the air out of her lungs.
"AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" is what it sounded like when it came out.
The sound made the red monster dance with delight. He was hopping up and down saying, "Hit him! Hit him! He wrecked your shoes! He stamped on your toes! Hit him!"
And she did.
Say Uncle
Micah didn't know the monster was talking to her. Morley didn't know either. Micah didn't know she could just tell the monster to mind his own business, and the big red thug would lumber off to hide in a hole. No, now the monster was tickling Micah's tummy, and pounding gently on her chest with his fat, stubby, red fingers. Before she knew what she was doing, she pulled her right arm back, and clenching her fingers together in the tightest fist she could, and hauled off and slugged Morley, luckily missing his face since her eyes were closed, but she still slugged him good but good.
Micah and Morley stood looking at each other, breathing hard. The green monster, his dirty work done, went scampering up the tree with the green leaves that were not money. The red monster, his dirty work done, went scampering up the tree with the rust color leaves. The monsters were shaking in fear because, in the tree right next to them, where the leaves had turned a golden yellow, was the biggest, most yellow monster of all.
The yellow monster had wings, and he flew out of the tree, holding a large branch in his teeth to cover his face. The yellow monster thought he could hide behind that branch, but he could not. Micah and Morley could see his yellow tail floating out behind him. Everyone could see his yellow teeth glowing through the leaves. Everyone could see his bright yellow belly.
"Run!" He hissed. "Ruuuuuuuunn! Your mom is running up here Micah, and she's on the phone to Morley's mom. You guys are in SO MUCH TROUBLE! RUN!!" The yellow monster jumped up and down, shaking the ground, hiding behind his branch so that neither Morley nor Micah could see him. But they could hear him. They could feel him.
Micah's mom ran up. Morley's mom was right behind her. Micah and Morley burst into tears. The yellow monster flapped his wings in joy.
I don't know why I stepped on her shoes!" Morley cried. "I'm a horrible person! I'm scared!"
"You're not a horrible person. You just listened to the monster," Morley's mom said. Up in the tree of green leaves not made of money, the green monster shook even harder than before.
I don't know why I slugged him!" wailed Micah. I'm a despicable person!" She had just learned that word in a movie she had seen.
You're not a despicable person, you just listened to the monster, Micah's mom said. Up in the rust colored tree, the red monster shook even harder than before.
"I'm scared of the monsters!" Micah cried. The yellow monster did a somersault of delight.
"Well, let me tell you a secret." Morley's mom said. "The monsters are actually afraid of you! You don't have to listen to them. When you're still, and face them, they go away."
Just then, three rust colored leaves fell to the ground. Micah looked up and saw, for the first time ever, the red monster, clear as day. She saw his forty-seven teeth, and his big fat fingers. She stared at him. He stared back. The monster hissed, "He stepped on your shoes."
"Get Lost!" Micah suddenly yelled, and she saw the red monster scamper down the tree and wedge his fat body under the neighbor's fence. Then she spied, for the first time ever, the green monster, the one that made her friend Morley feel bad. "Scram!" Micah screamed, and the green monster scraped his nails all the way down the tree trunk until he hit the ground running.
Micah didn't need to say anything to the yellow monster. She just looked at him. The yellow monster was flapping his wings like crazy trying to get away. Then Micah blew. She didn't have to blow hard, she had blown harder when she had the seven candles on her last birthday cake. She blew like she was blowing on a dandelion, *phfft!* and the yellow monster floated away, high above the clouds until it looked like a little yellow balloon. When the yellow dot disappeared, Micah woke up. She was no longer in the dream.
Micah and Morley hugged, and they were best friends until they were old.
Micah never listened to the monsters again. Once in a while, one would try to perch on her shoulder and whisper in her ear, but she'd flick the annoying ogre off with two fingers. Micah slept peacefully in the dark with the moon dancing on her face.
She hardly ever heard the monsters, but if she did, she'd yell "GET OUT!"
And they did.