Not Ascared of the Darkness

So, as I said, I’m trying. To prove it to everyone I’ve written a cute little shorty. I hope you like it.

They’re not gonna find me! I may be short, but I can be quiet. It’s dark. Darker than dark, but I’m not ascared of the darkness. Nah uh. Not me ‘cause I’m a big boy at just 4 and a half years old and big boys don’t get ascared in the darkness. Mommy and Daddy call me Benji which is short just like me for Benjamin James Harrison which is what my mommy calls me to let me know I did something bad. I sit and be quiet as I listen out for them. They are looking for me, but I’m as quiet as Mr. Squeaky. He’s my mouse. He’s really quiet. ‘Cept when he’s hungry then he gets all squeaky. That’s why I call him that. He’s cute, gray, fuzzy, little, has long whiskers that he twitches from side to side, and he’s cute. Oh, I just said cute. And he’s quiet. So, I’m pretending to be just like Mr. Squeaky right now. I’m sitting behind my dresser in my room. At least I think it’s my dresser in my room.

We were watching TV while a lot of lightning was flashing outside. We were watching my favorite big boy movie while I was sitting in my new big boy chair, and Boom! It got dark. I wasn’t ascared until Mommy screamed. She ascared me right onto the floor. Daddy laughed at her for being ascared and asked if I was okay. I said, “I’m not ascared, Daddy. Big boys don’t get ascared of the darkness. Right, Daddy?” He told me I was right and gave me a big, squeezy hug ‘cause I’m his big boy. Then he said we can play a fun game in the darkness.

He said it was called, “Hide ‘n Seek”. I love when we play games. We play games all the time, and I win all the time ‘cause I know how to play better than Mommy and Daddy. There’s this one game where we play and you get to pick your people – and I always pick the one wearing the blue clothes ‘cause blue’s my favorite color. It used to be green. Now it’s blue. – we roll a dicey thingy that has black spots on it to see who gets to go first, and I win that all the time so I always gets to go first, and you pick a card with these colors on it, and you move your person to that color and you go all the way around the board until you get to the “Finished” line, and you win! I always get to the “Finished” line first so I always win. I love that game. Only I didn’t know the hide ‘n seek game. That sounded like a lot of fun.

I ask him how we can play if we can’t see the hide ‘n seek board thingy if it’s too much darkness, and Daddy tells me that there is no board. I looked at him like he was being silly. I never heard of a game without a board thingy and he says that all I have to do is hide. He and Mommy will count to a hundred and I find a place to hide in the darkness. He says I have to be really, really quiet when I hide ‘cause they gotta find me when they got done counting to a hundred. He finds my dino flashlight and tells me to use it to find my hiding spot. When I hide I gotta turn off my dino flashlight and wait for Mommy and him to find me. If they can’t find me then I win. I laugh and run when Mommy starts counting to a hundred. Now I’m hiding in the darkness behind my dresser being quiet just like Mr. Squeaky and I’m not ascared at all.

As I said, at least I think this is my room. The darkness is too much for me to look around and be sure. I could be in Mommy and Daddy’s room hiding in the darkness beside their dresser. Or, I could be in that other room that Mommy calls the “off limits room” that has a bed that is bigger than my big boy bed that is a firetruck but littler than Mommy and Daddy’s bed. I don’t know. I never been in the off limits room before. Only Grammy is allowed in that room when she stays over. Mommy and Daddy won’t let me go in there. I want to turn on my dino flashlight to look and make sure I’m in my room hiding behind my dresser, but I don’t want them to find me. I gotta be really quiet and not turn on my dino flashlight so I can hide so I can win.

I look out and see Mommy and Daddy’s flashlights go around and around in the hallway. Daddy says, “I’m going to find you, Benji!” and Mommy giggles. They point their flashlight in the room and I duck into my corner just a little more. I let out a giggle then cover my mouth. I try not to laugh hard, but this is so much fun. I start laughing with my mouth covered and I have to move my hand so I can breathe. I take a breath and close my mouth really tight but I still laugh a little. I remember that I need to be really quiet like Mr. Squeaky. Then Mommy and Daddy go away down the hallway. I giggle because I’m winning. They can’t find me, and I’m not ascared of the darkness.

I hear something on the other side. It is a weird sound. Something squeaks. I must be in my room ‘cause that must be Mr. Squeaky. Then I hear it again and I say, “Shh!” I don’t want Mr. Squeaky to let Mommy and Daddy know where I am. Then I won’t win any more. Then I hear a weirder noise then a squeak. Then I hear it again only without the squeak. It sounds like a cage rattling really loudly. It has me ascared a little bit. I don’t like that sound. I hear it again and my chest goes bumpity-bump a little faster. I want to know what that sound is, but I don’t want Mommy and Daddy find me. I wanna win. Then I hear a different kind of sound. Something goes Bump. Then I hear my Mommy say a no-no word and I hear Daddy giggle and say, “Ow!” I still don’t know what that bump-noise was. Now I’m a little more ascared and my chest goes bumpity-bump a little bit faster. I hear the first noise again without a squeak. Then I hear a great big Bump! Then I hear Daddy say lots of no-no words while Mommy laughs. I don’t know what that great big bump was or that first noise was, but I’m getting ascarder and ascarder and my chest is really going bumpity-bump really, really fast.

I don’t want to play hide ‘n seek any more. I want them to find me. I don’t care if I don’t win. Then I hear scaping noises. I don’t know what it is, but I want Mommy and Daddy. I start crying a little, but I don’t wanna cry. I wanna be a big boy. So I sniff back my tears and buggery nose so nobody can tell I wasn’t a being big boy. Then there are more bump noises and more scraping noises and more rattling noises and more squeaky noises and my chest is really hurting from going bumpity-bump too fast and I don’t wanna be a big boy any more and I don’t wanna win any more and I am ascared of the darkness and I want Mommy and Daddy!

And the lights come back on again. I pull my shirt over my face and wipe my tears and the runny buggers from my nose and I smile. All the noises stop. Except the cage rattling noise and the squeaky noise ‘cause Mr. Squeaky is rattling his cage and squeaking ‘cause he’s hungry. I walk over to Mr. Squeaky’s cage and get some mouse cookies for him and drop them down into his cage so he can stop squeaking and eat. Then Mommy and Daddy walk in with big, red boo-boos on their toes. They look silly ‘cause they are walking silly like I did when I hit my big toe on the door. It hurt a whole lot. Mommy and Daddy must have hit their big toes on the door too.

Daddy picks me up and gives me a big, squeezy hug and says, “Look! The lights are back on!”

Mommy looks really excited and says, “And you know what, Benji?”

I look at her and shake my head. “No. What?”

They say, “You win!”

“Yay! I win!” That’s right. They never found me in the darkness. I win!

Daddy says, “You were a big boy, Benji.”

I smile up at him and say, “I know. I wasn’t ascared of the darkness and I was really good at hide ’n seek in the darkness.” I didn’t say that I did get ascared of the darkness just before the lights came back. They don’t need to know. Next time the darkness comes around again, I will be a bigger, big boy and I know I won’t be ascared of the darkness then.


L.S. Quail


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