Friday, August 24, 2012

Bedbugs

Bill squinted against the glare of the magelight that lit his path towards Billy's bedroom. His son's scream caught and died away when Bill pushed the door open.

Billy's face, red and puffy, indicated he'd cried for a while before becoming worked up enough to scream. Bill was the king's mage and his son should understand illusions. Not get worked up over things that went bump in the night. He tried to hide the annoyance he felt. It wouldn't calm the boy if he let it show.

"What's wrong?"

Billy leaned over the side of the bed and pointed underneath. "Something's down there."

Bill sat on the edge of his son's bed and stroked his fingers through the child's hair. Waiting for the child to calm. He was going to be too awake after this to fall back to sleep. He'd already begun to think about the pyrotechnics the king had asked for tomorrow's battle.

Once Billy's shaking stopped, Bill took his hand. "Look, there isn't anything under the bed."

"No, I'm not getting off the bed."

"I'll be here. I'll be with you." Bill tugged at the boy's arm, but the boy dug his feet into the boards holding the side of the bed. He was getting too heavy to lift.

"It's hiding."

"Look." Bill took a deep breath, stopping himself from what he was going to say. "I'm sorry." He pointed under the bed. "It's not what is down here that matters. But what is in your mind."

"What?"

Bill sighed. It was too early to teach the boy his heritage. Instead, he dipped his fingers into his bag of specially prepared powder and breathed on it, creating illusory bugs that scattered over the bed. Large bulbous things lit like jack-o'-lanterns with circles and triangles and other shapes swirling on their sides.

Billy's eyes grew wide and he crept towards one of the bugs. "What is it?"

"A bedbug. They eat monsters." He smiled at his son and ruffled the boy's hair. "Now go to sleep."

20 comments:

  1. Oh I loved that! The dialogue was just perfect, I could hear the boy and his father talking. The bedbugs were a really nice touch. Well done!

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    1. Thanks. The snippet of dialogue about what's being in your head that matters was the spark that started this one.

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  2. Yeah! Wish it was that easy when mine were little :)

    ......dhole

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    1. A good friend of mine convinced her daughter that the cats ate closet monsters. I was surprised how well that worked. Now if it was only that easy to convince her to finish dinner ;)

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  3. The moment I read the word 'magelight' my happy fantasy circuits lit up.

    This was a lovely snapshot of a father/son relationship. I also love the idea of a mage called Bill.

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    1. The fantasy isn't foremost, but I'm glad it got the juices sparking. Names are important to me, so I'm glad this one had a nice effect.

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  4. Monster-devouring bed bugs, a great idea, I think all small children should have these to chase away the bogey men. :)

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    1. If the war goes poorly, I'll be sure to encourage Bill's entrepreneurial side.

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  5. What a handy little creature. Could it be that lousy mortal beds are breeding grounds for monster-defense?

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    1. I've heard there's a dearth of monster's in New York and that the disappearance of monster's is spreading. Coincidence?

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  6. That was a sweet tale Aidan. I liked the dialogue between the two, and also the idea of bedbugs that eat monsters. It's really cool.

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    1. Thanks. Modern science still has lots to discover ;)

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  7. Heh, monster-eating bedbugs! Better not let my nephew read this one, or my sister is bound to find all manner of critters in the sheets. Nice job!

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  8. I liked how Bill kept his annoyance in check and cooled his son's fears. And the thought of monster eating bedbugs was really cool. I can just imagine them swarming a monster and devouring it within seconds. I wonder if it's how monster parents get their young ones to behave. Do your homework or the bedbugs will get you...

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  9. I loved the monster-eating bedbugs too!

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  10. I loved the everyday sort of event put into a fantasy setting. Still, just because it is a fantasy setting, I'd rather Bill Sr. had actually checked under the bed!

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  11. I want a bedbug! Wonderful fairy tale feel to this one.

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  12. Hi there Aidan -- welcome back :) It would've been a bit trite if there was really a bug under there -- much more interesting that it's Billy's gift that's causing the nightmares. St.

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  13. Hi there Aidan -- welcome back :) It would've been a bit trite if there was really a bug under there -- much more interesting that it's Billy's gift that's causing the nightmares. St.

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