Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Childhood Monster

A fellow blogger and author, Christine Rains, is celebrating the release of her paranormal romance, FEARLESS, by hosting a blogfest based on childhood monsters. I couldn't resist an entry, especially since my next project is going to be revising the YA horror novel I wrote when I was a YA. A very grounded YA.

My childhood monster answers the age old question once posed by Luke Skywalker: Why would Storm Troopers want to slaughter Jawas?

Well Luke, because they are scary little suckers. Storm Troopers may be an army of evil, but they wear white, shiny uniforms. Not quite the image of a childhood terror.

And as I child, I thought I saw one in my bedroom and to this day, the image still haunts me.

I grew up in a foreboding house located up in the hills where there were few residents and lots of wildlife. The city hadn't bothered with putting up many streetlights, so the nights were silent and dark. Tomb silent. Grave dark. My father claimed that any light, no matter how dim, that might be on anywhere in the house would keep him up, so no nightlights in my house. No sir.

I would sleep with my window open so that whatever moonlight available could break up the pitch blackness of my room. Some nights, I would sit up--rigid, teeth clenched-- in my elevated, antique brass bed, and wait for my eyes to adjust to the shadowy darkness so that I could make sure I was alone in my room before lying down to vulnerable sleep.

Yes, that's my dresser.

Yes, that's my laundry basket.

Closet door is definitely closed.

Oh my god, what is on my chair in the corner? Whew, just my teddy bear.

I was never quite brave enough to check under my bed. Probably should have, because that's the only place the Jawa could have been hiding.

One night, I went to sleep feeling safe, but it must have been a bad dream that jerked me from my slumber. I shot up from my repose, panting.  I wish I had just stayed in the nightmare.

At the foot of my bed, I saw a cradle. In the cradle, the profile of a hooded figure, no bigger than a small child. While the cradle seemed to be rocking from side-to-side, the figure rocked forward and back. I knew by the way the hood pointed at the back, and the rim formed what seemed a perfect, stiff circle that it was a Jawa.

A Jawa sucking his thumb.

Well, not sucking his thumb in the traditional sense. When the Jawa rocked backward, the thumb slowly pulled away from the hood; when the Jawa rocked forward, the hooked arm and jutting digit disappeared behind the folds of cloth. Rock back, rock forward. Rock back, rock forward.

I sat in complete terror: heart pounding, sweat dripping. I did end up screaming for my parents. But instead of begging for a light to be left on, once they reassured me that a Jawa nor a crib was nowhere to be found in my room, I shut my curtains, wanting  my room to be at dark as tar so that whatever was in my room, I wouldn't be able to see it.


  1. Wow, now that was freaky!

    "If the Jawa's a'rockin', don't come a'knockin'!"

  2. Wow, I never thought of them that way, but you're right. They are scary!

  3. I think life was a little more interesting when I believed in monsters. At some point, I realized the only real monsters in life are other humans and what they do to each other. That's worse than any boogeyman.

  4. That is a frightening dream! I do wonder why the cradle too. Thanks for sharing your monster with us and for helping promote my novella.

  5. You might the first person ever to admit they are scared of Jawas. Though with the way you describe them I am a bit surprised that more are not!

    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side

  6. Don't worry. I can understand a fear of Jawas. They're small and their eyes are creepy. They're obviously up to no good. And the idea of a Jawa sucking its thumb is even creepier.

  7. GAH! Dude, that totally gave me chills! I have to say, I was kind of lucky that my kid never suffered from nightmares, but I've gotta believe if he had, I'd have let him sleep in my bed with me or something...especially if there were no night light!
    Some Dark Romantic

  8. Childhood Monster... E.T. He wasn't so much as phoning home as he was trying to murder me in a dark wine cellar. As I was hiding behind the wooden wine rack, I could see his creepy white sickly body moving slowly toward me as he calling out my name. He then spots me through negative space of the wood planks and comes at me. That's usually when I would wake up. I had other nightmares with E.T similar to that when I was a kid, but for some reason that particular one was very vivd. I tired very hard to conquer my fear, by reading (well more looking at the pictures) a children's book version of the movie my grandmother had at her house. Every time I'd flip to the page where it showed the scene of E.T sickly and white in the incubator, my heart would race and I would snap the book shut. So whoever says E.T is cute, friendly, and sweet little alien is sadly mistaken. He will cut you in a heart beat.

    If you check out my fb page in the mobile pictures album, I made a print, in my printmaking class showing just how creepy E.T really can be. I titled it appropriately, "Nightmare of '88".

  9. Ooooo, gave me the willies! I'd scream too.

  10. Jawas are nasty little buggers, and that dream/waking nightmare sounds freaky!!

    My monster:

  11. Creepy post.

    I hope I don't think about those glowing eyes when I go to sleep tonight.

  12. Ooo, that's scary! Jawas look very creepy. It's no wonder they caused nightmares.


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