I hated sleeping in Mommy’s bed. Her breathing and snoring kept me awake and sometimes she talked or ground her teeth. She had terrible nightmares and sometimes let loose with a blood chilling scream. But when Dad was travelling on business Mom asked, “Do you want to sleep in Mommy’s bed?” I said yes. It meant I got to stay up late and there might be popcorn.
Eyes wide open long after Mom began whistle-snoring, I was staring at the shadow on the wall; the shape of a giant hand, reaching out, clawing.
I knew it was only the shadow of Mom’s precious split-leaf philodendron in the living room. She bragged that she hadn’t killed that plant yet. She washed and misted its glossy leaves and fed it foul smelling fertilizer. The plant wound its way up and around a fibrous post, six feet tall. Mom said she’d train it to grow all around the living room ceiling.
I thought the plant was ugly, especially the wormish looking aerial roots that crept up, reaching for something. Mom called them “breathers”. I heard “feelers”. Either way, the plant was creepy. I’d seen DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS.
It was just the street light and car headlights passing by that made the shadow-claw reach out and scratch at the wall. It was just the split-leaf philodendron, just my mother’s mumbling. Nothing to be scared of.
Mom’s horrific scream cut the darkness like white-hot lightening. It was a classic movie star scream, shrill, ululating and terrifying. It jolted me into screaming too.
The screaming! The feelers! The claw! Triffids!
I don’t wanna sleep in Momma’s bed!
Daily Prompt: Fright Night