“I’ve imagined monsters in the corner for as long as I can remember…”
The first monster appeared on a winter night in the late 70’s, in the town where I grew up outside San Francisco. The rain had drizzled on and off for three days, but the constant patter on the windows had finally stopped.
Every noise reverberated in my brain and sent my pulse drumming. I tossed and turned with each creak, every whisper. At the sound of the floor in my room groaning, I bolted upright. Heart pounding, I squinted into the dark.
A scream stopped cold in my throat when I saw him.
He stood as tall as the door. A dark hood covered his face, revealing only the shadows of deep-set eye sockets. Long sleeves draped past his hands, hiding what I was sure were long, sharp claws. The metal headboard dug into my spine as I clenched the covers in damp fists. He stepped forward. A tiny whimper escaped my lips when I tried to scream. I was frozen. But soon the room grew silent. Eyes slowly adjusting to the darkness, I forced myself to look again.
The man had melted into a robe hanging on the back of the closet door--his head the hood of my green terrycloth bathrobe, his eyes nothing more than shadows in the fabric’s folds, his arms the robe’s sleeves.
Trembling slightly, I turned on the porcelain fairy lamp on the bedside table and the light cast the room in a pale amber glow. There was no man. Instead, the room was just as it had been in daylight--the small desk under the window, stuffed animals and scattered toys scattered across the carpet from that day's play.
The monster was in my mind. He still is…
Today, I get to spend my days (and some nights, too) in an office where I stare at the blinking cursor, dreaming of that man and others far creepier.
My husband, who is careful never to lurk in dark corners of the bedroom, and I split our time between San Francisco and the northern Rockies. I am currently working on the fourth book in the Dr. Schwartzman series, EXPIRE, out July 9, 2019.