by Teresa Cain
Meggie wasn't happy.
Meggie's Aunt Tillie had come to visit.
Aunt Tillie was Mommy's big sister, and she was very nice. She was soft and smelled like baby powder and perfume. She would cuddle Meggie in her lap and sneak her little chocolates when Mommy wasn't looking. Meggie liked her Aunt Tillie.
But she didn't like her cousin Scott, who was two years older than Meggie. He was mean and a bully. He smelled like dirt. When Aunt Tillie wasn't looking, he would pinch Meggie's arm or take away her favorite doll. He liked to try and scare Meggie. He would hide behind corners and jump out with Halloween masks.
Meggie told him his real face was scarier.
Poor Meggie was so tired by bedtime. Scott would even keep her awake during naptime. Meggie liked naptime, because it helped her stay awake longer at night. And at night she played with her friends. But she was so very tired that she crawled right into bed and under the covers.
And Meggie went to sleep.
But mean ol' Scott had a plan. He wanted to scare his stupid girl cousin more than anything. So he sat in his bed and thought. Then he had an idea. He snuck quietly to his suitcase and got his favorite monster mask. Then he put it on and tip-toed down the hall. Slo-o-o-o-o-owly he opened Meggie's door and crept inside, then closed the door behind him. Slo-o-o-o-o-owly he crept over to Meggie's bed.
Scott smiled meanly behind that mask. This was gonna be fun!
Scott reached and shoved Meggie until she started to wake up. And when her eyes slowly opened, he jumped closer and yelled, "BOO!"
Meggie sat up and yawned. She rubbed her eyes and glared at mean ol' Scott.
"That wasn't scary," she said, and she propped her tiny hands on her little hips.
"Aw, it was too!" Scott said, mad because she didn't scream. "You thought I was a big ol' monster."
"Did not," Meggie said. "Monsters are scary!"
But Meggie just shook her head and pointed. "That's scary."
Scott frowned and turned around. And standing behind Scott was a big ol' monster. It was all bigger than the slide at the park. It had great big curvy horns, and big yellow eyes, and long sharp teeth. It was covered in long shaggy fur and smelled of cotton dresses and corduroy overalls and leather sandals and plastic toys. It bent over and put its face close to Scott. Then it growled and said, "Boo."
Meggie laughed and clapped her hands. The monster picked up mean ol' Scott by one arm. Then it dangled him over its mouth, snapping at his bare feet.
The monster said, "I'm gonna bite your little piggies off. One-by-one. And then I'm gonna eat ya all up. Crunch crunch. Yummy."
Scott didn't seem very mean now. He screamed and cried and called for his mommy. Meggie smelled pee and poo. It made her laugh all the more. Meggie bent over the side of the bed and whispered. Then a long, long octopus arm came out and grabbed Scott by a leg. The monster grabbed the other leg. The closet monster and bed monster played tug-a-war with Scott.
It made Meggie think of Thanksgiving and wishbones. It made the closet monster think of it, too. He grinned very big at Meggie and told her, "Make a wish!"
Then there was a loud pounding on the door. Mommy and Aunt Tillie rushed into the room and turned on the light. But all they saw was Meggie sitting on her bed. She blinked in the light.
"What was all that screaming?" Mommy asked, her hands on her hips.
"Scott was trying to scare me," Meggie said.
"Oh, that awful little boy," Aunt Tillie said. She shook her head and patted Meggie's hair gently. "Where is he?"
"I think he is under the bed, Aunt Tillie."
Aunt Tillie got on her knees. She reached under bed until she felt a leg and pulled. She pulled Cousin Scott out into the light. And she screamed.
"Oh my God!" Mommy wailed, hugging Meggie tight. "What happened to him?"
"I don't know," Aunt Tillie cried, picking up Scott. "What happened, Scott?"
But Scott didn't answer. Meggie thought he looked much better now. He didn't look so mean with his hair white as snow and skin like dirty white Play-Doh. She liked how big his eyes were, and the little noises he made. And he didn't smell like dirt anymore. He just smelled scared - which smelled just like pee and poo.
"I'll call 911," Aunt Tillie said, and she left with Scott.
"Meggie, just stay here," Mommy said, and she left too.
Meggie sat on her bed for awhile. Then she got up and shut her door. She turned off her light and turned around. And she smiled at the big shaggy monster sitting on her bed. It grinned at her with sharp, sharp teeth.
"That was fun," Meggie said. She climbed into bed and sat on the monster's lap. Meggie rested her cheek against its soft, furry chest and hugged it tight.
"Yes, it was," said the monster, patting her head.
"I told you he screams like a girl. Didn't I tell you?"
"You were quite right," said the monster.
Meggie smiled again and gently drifted off to sleep.
design ©2001 by Cindy Rosenthal
Cousin Scott ©2001 by Teresa Cain
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