Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Bed Who Was Afraid of Children -- a fictional story written by me

Once upon a time, there was a bed named Zem that lived in a little boy's bedroom. Zem was a very troubled bed, and so was talking to his therapist, who happened to be the monster that lived in the closet. The therapist sat on his great hairy haunches, writing in a yellow legal pad. He pushed his glasses up his muzzle with a long, yellow claw.
“What is it that is troubling you so, Zem?” he asked in his deep growl, green ichor dripping off his crooked fangs.
“Oh, doctor,” said Zem, “I have a great fear, a phobia. It paralyzes me and consumes my life.”
The monster peered over his spectacles with his large, red eyes. “Oh yes? And what is it that you are afraid of.”
Zem glanced up at the therapist with an embarrassed look. “Children.”
“What, human children?” the monster asked.
“Every night that little boy comes and sleeps on me and it terrifies me something awful.” Zem said. “I think I'm getting an ulcer. I just wish something could be done about him.” Zem looked at his therapist with a hopeful look.
“Like what?” the monster asked, stroking his great horns with one clawed paw. “Perhaps you would like me him?”
Zem gave an excited twitch, but then settled back down into an embarrassed posture again. “Yes,” he said peevishly. “Would you?”
The monster let out a laugh as from the pits of hell, and then said, “No, I can't do that. You will never be able to overcome your fears if you let other people handle your problems for you. You cannot run away from what is bothering you. The best way of overcoming a phobia is to inundate yourself with what it is that you are scared of. In this case, you need to accept the child's presence and grit your teeth and bear it, and soon your phobia will fade away.”
Zem slumped in dejection. “Are you sure?” he asked.
“Of course I am sure,” his therapist replied, and then licked his nose with his forked tongue. “Just give it time.”
“Oh, okay,” said Zem, and braced himself for a fearful night.
That night, when the boy came to bed, Zem tried his hardest to keep from going into hysterics. But after some time, when the boy was asleep, Zem's fear overwhelmed him and he wet himself.

The next week, when Zem saw his therapist again, the great beast settled in with sulfurous grunts and asked, “So how are you doing today, Zem?”
“Oh, doctor,” Zem answered pathetically, “I am not doing very well at all. Every night I get so scared that I wet myself. I am so ashamed.”
“There is no reason to be ashamed,” the monster soothed with his demonic croak. “Uncontrolled micturation is a natural response to fear. In time, it will pass.”
Zem rumpled his blankest together in dejection and said, “I just don't know, doc. I think I'm getting worse, because the boy seems scarier every night. Ever since I started wetting myself, his appearance has been transforming into something even more terrifying! At once he was merely scarefyingly fair-skinned, but now he has developed large purple bruises and welts. Just the very thought of his appearance gives me the heebie-jeebies! And the terrible screaming and crying he does when his father pats him! The sound gives me nightmares! And water comes out of his eyes in a very frightening fashion. I can't handle it anymore.” Zem broke down in sad moans.
The therapist picked at his fangs in thought, and finally said, “Just give it a few more days. I know your fear is intense, but I believe that soon everything will be all right.”
“I hope you're right, doc,” sighed Zem. “I hope you're right.

Zem's fear never lessened, and so he kept wetting himself every night. But then, after a few more days of this, the boy was gone forever.
“So what happened?” the monster asked at their next therapy session.”
“I don't know, doc, but it sure is great!” Zem answered exuberantly. “All I know is that the boy's father kept telling him that if he didn't 'stop it', then he would be sent to a foster home. And now he's gone!”
“Ah, yes,” the monster said knowingly. “I told you it would be all right.”

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