Sometimes late at night, when the house is deathly silent, I can hear it calling. It starts out slow and soft, then grows steadily into a pain-filled howl. The sound echoes through the house and chills me to the bone.
I can't count how many times I've tried to find it. Just as the stories say, light can't touch it. Perhaps, it is only children that can see it at all.
After years of trying and failing miserably, I was lucky enough to find the location of the sound once. The creak in the stairs is usually quick to give me away and the thing goes quiet. Having years of practice creeping around my home in the wee hours has allowed me to perfect the pattern finally. Though I still got hung up by the squeaky floor board in the hall. I lost the element of surprise, but I definitely traced the source to Art's room. It echoed slowly out from under his bed.
Art must know about it. I think he just might like it there, hidden away. It seems sometimes that he doesn't want me to find it. Maybe that painful moan translates itself into a lullaby of sorts while he's dreaming. Like a soft love song whispered in his ear that soothes away the daily woes.
Or maybe it's completely opposite. Not soothing at all, but disturbing his rest. Perhaps it is not pain in his legs that sends him racing to my bedside at three a.m.I can't be sure exactly...
He swears he's never seen it.
It's been a full week of this. The sound used to come and go, but this week is different. Seven nights it has woken me in sweats with that instant mom panic that grips you when you hear your child cry at night.
Today, I declared war.
I tip-toed into Art's room, in the full light of day, hoping the beast would be sleeping since it's awake through every night. One by one, I slipped the toys out. Cars and trucks moved. Army men returned to their troops in the toy box. A few stray socks and a lost t-shirts given renewed life in the hamper.
And there it was! I could see the face of this sleeping monster. I sped up my work. Quickly and carefully I uncovered the beast. Stunned and silent, I fell backwards. I couldn't tear myself away. This thing, it wasn't horrendous, it was marvelous! A true beauty of nature, right there under Art's bed.
It was light brown and fuzzy, incredibly soft. I stayed there a few minutes more taking in the moment, running my fingers through it's soft shag. I closed my eyes, thankful for this glorious gift I had been given and I think I heard that beautiful creature say
"Thank you. I've waited so long to be free!"
I've always believed it was just a myth, something that people just made up to scare their kids. But I'm telling you, I know the truth. It is real. It does exist. I've seen it with my own eyes.
I bet, if you are willing to try hard enough, you can find it in your kids room too. Start slow, just move one thing at a time.
And you too