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.
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.