Electric Dreams

La BÍte Noir

Patricia Garfield

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Garfield, Patricia (2005 March). The Monster (La BÍte Noir). Electric Dreams 12(3).

Mommy and Daddy are playing cards downstairs.
I lie beside the coats on someone's bed in
The dark and say my prayers.

The door's ajar enough to see the shapes of stuff.
I lace my fingers through the fur
Of a stranger's cuff.

Below, the voices murmur, a muffled laugh lifts
Above the slap-slap of the cards
As drowsily I drift--

Suddenly I see It in the corner behind the door--
Bigger than Daddy, a monster with
Shaggy black hair--or--

Too scared to move, I whimper as I stare,
A crackle snaps across the floor,
A puff of breeze, a furry arm--a bear!

It's going to pounce--I scream with all my might.
Clumping pounds up the stairs, clamor, uproar.
A glare of light.

"What's wrong?" I point a shaky finger. "Where?"
Tear-streaked, I squeak, "There, there!"
Daddy pushes the door wide to reveal hanging
On its backside--
The bathrobe Beast in its fuzzy hide.