"Where monsters lurked, love also waited.
Bigger than any monster could be."
It started when I was a child when I'd spend the summer nights with my nan. When the humid, sticky air would cool and the breeze would cause the trees to creak in a low groan outside her house. Sometimes when they creaked it was like they were talking to me, like they wanted to wish me a good night’s sleep.
They weren’t the only thing I’d listen for. I’d listen to how the wolves would howl at the blue corn moon as she would tuck me in. How the wind would make the house groan all around us. I’d listen for the crickets as they chirped and the frogs croaking in the nearby pond where’d we fish. All of those things were my lullabies, something to help soothe away the fear of being in such a dark room.
Dimming the room - allowing the only light source to be that moon the wolves would howl at - she would sit on the edge of the bed and lightly stroke my hair. At times in the dark, she would look like a looming shadow. The kind that lurks in the corner or outside your window, lightly tapping begging to come in.
I would always implore for a story, one filled with adventures and happy endings, but she'd whisper legends that she grew up on. Tales that her parents and her parent’s parents listened to growing up. They were tales about naughty children and the monsters that would come and take them in the dead of night. She’d beg me to stay tucked in tight, otherwise, they'd come from underneath the bed to take me.
When she left, the noises of the house would become louder, and at times they weren’t as soothing as I wished they’d be. They would cause me to sink further down into the bed. Cowering as the house settled in the night. And I’d wait for monsters long fingers to grip into the bed, dragging me down to whatever Hell they had waiting for me.
There were no monsters that ever came from under the bed for me. I never saw it heard those monster's warnings.
Until Nan died.