Concept Art Writing Prompt: Revenge Upon The Closet Monster

Illustration for article titled Concept Art Writing Prompt: Revenge Upon The Closet Monster

This little girl is ready for the monster who haunts her bedtime—or at least that's what she thinks. What story can you come up with about the child-monster encounter?


Digital photography artist Laure Fauvel came up with an entire series of these Terreurs, images of children fighting back against the monsters who try to terrorize them—and apparently doing a good job of it. Be sure to check out the rest of the Terreurs at Fauvel's site, and if you're inspired by this image, write a short story about it and post it in the comments.

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Lauren Davis

Abby always had a creeping feeling that something was living in her closet. She would wake to catch a flash of fur out of the corner of her eye or hear the thrumming of paws against the floorboards. Her parents performed nightly inspections, but turned up nothing. She began slipping out of bed after her parents went to sleep, and more mornings than not, they would find her dozing on the downstairs sofa.

Her parents tried to assure her there was no such thing as monsters. They took her to see Monsters Inc. and said, "See? If there are monsters in your closet, they just want to make you laugh." They even hired an actor who pretended to be a monster exterminator, who blasted a toy ray gun into her closet and under her bed. One morning, after Abby insisted that something with sharp claws had decapitated her favorite stuffed unicorn, her parents called her grandmother in despair.

Abby's grandmother arrived the next day carrying a heavy wooden box. She solemnly presented it to Abby, who undid the latch and peered inside. "A toy sword?" she asked, lifting a pink foam blade from the box.

"It just looks like a toy sword," her grandmother said, "because it isn't for hurting people. This sword only hurts monsters. The next time you see that fur ball, don't run away. You chase after him and you roar."

That night, for the first time in weeks, Abby went to bed without a fight. She hugged the foam sword to her as she slept and when she heard claws scraping against her dresser, she did what her grandmother told her: she charged forward with a great a growl as she could muster.

The monster shrieked in response. Abby shook the sleep from her eyes and saw that on the other side of her blade sat a furry creature with huge yellow eyes and horns like a cow's. Its hands shot up in the air in surrender. "Is tha-that a sword?" it asked. Its voice was higher and softer than Abby would have expected.

Abby dipped her chin in a nod. "It's a sword for killing monsters."

The monster's yellow eyes went even wider. "Really?" It leaned forward to study her weapon. "Is it magic?"

Abby shoved the sword forward. "Don't come any closer," she warned.

The monster shuffled backwards until it bumped into the wall. "I won't! I won't!" It pulled at something hidden in its fur. "I was just wondering if we could trade."

"Trade?" Abby let the sword fall a few inches.

The monster nodded vigorously and held out its palm. Against the black skin sat a small silver key. "There's a door in the back of your closet, one that humans can't see. It leads to the world of monsters. If you give me your sword, I'll show you where the keyhole is. You can lock the door behind you and no monsters will ever come through again. If," the monster closed its hand shut, "I can have your sword."

Abby narrowed her eyes. "What does a monster need with a sword that kills monsters?" she asked.

The monster sat, rocking against the wall and covering its face with its hands. "I've been coming here to hide from them," he told her. "They're too big to come through the door. But if I had that sword, I wouldn't have to afraid of them."

"You're afraid of monsters, too?" Abby asked.

"The other night, I thought I heard one banging on the door and I got so scared that my claws popped out!" The monster stared at its hands, then glanced up at Abby. "I may have killed one of your toys. Sorry."

Abby wanted to help the monster and nearly handed it her sword on the spot. Then she thought about all the things that her parents had said about monsters—all of them lies. What if her grandmother had lied to her too?

Abby yawned. "Is the door locked now?" she asked the monster as she sank back into bed.

The monster nodded.

Abby patted the space on the mattress beside her. "Then why don't you sleep here tonight? We can keep each other safe."