Micheal’s mother pressed his head against her body as she wept, trying to suppress the sound of her sniffling with her other hand. He was crying too; despite no knowledge other than a command to be quiet, all it took was the tears of his mom to know there was something to fear.
The only light coming into the closet was from the television in the living room, peeking through the door that Michael’s mother was too hasty to close all the way. The sounds of faint late-night television were interrupted by a tap on the window. Micheal flinched, but was quickly snapped back into place by his mother.
“Don’t move. They might see you,” she whispered, “just- stay calm.”
Michael feared this closet. It was always dark, and he felt that something lurked in it's shadows. Why his mother thought this place was safe from whatever was scaring her, he had no idea.
A brighter light panned its way into the closet. Micheal’s mom shot to the ground, pulling Michael down with her. They both faced the opening in the door frame. She pushed him deeper into the closet, behind the coats hanging above. He began to weep harder, muscling through his mother’s shoving arms.
“N-no, no, please, the monster hides behind the coats,” Micheal whimpered between sniffles.
“No it doesn’t, baby. Please,” she pushed him back further.
He brush one coat to the side to look out the crack in the doorway. There, he saw what hit the window. While not as fearsome as the monster living in this closet, this being was a monster, nonetheless. Clad in a dark mask, his bright green eyes peered into his living room.
Watching the monster loom back and forth across the window, it shined a bright light into the living room. Michael’s stuffed animals, his mother’s favorite pillow, and the glass she’d been drinking from moments ago, all lie on the floor, flooded with light from the window.
He was soon joined by another dark figure, with the same eyes. They spoke.
“No sign of the suspect, but the TV is still on, and the scattered pillows and blankets make it look like they may have fled,” one said.
“ Open the doors, we’ll search the rest house,” the other replied.
They nodded to each other, and went separate ways. Within moments, chaos erupted outside Michael’s home.
The door was being whaled on, with a crashing boom every few seconds. Michael’s mother held her hands to her ears, and gripped her son tightly.
The door came off its hinges, and a seemingly uncountable number of dark figures barreled into their living room, stomping down Michael’s toys.
They spread out throughout the house, tearing through the house like bulls in a china shop. Doors slammed open, tables kicked over, glass shattering. They hardly communicated, the simply stomped from room to room.
The door to the right of the closet burst open, with footsteps rushing through that room. Then, the one to the left. Then-
The closet door swung open. Michael put the coat over his face.
“Found her!” the shadow shouted.
Michael’s mother screamed, as she was quickly dragged out of the closet, and into the living room.
He pulled back the coat again to see. All of the beasts gathered around her, as Michael stand, petrified by fear. He couldn’t save her, his body wouldn’t let him.
Some pulled out batons to swat her as she lie on the floor, others kicked, throwing slurs and horrible words her way. Weeping, and screaming, she curled into the fetal position. The light from the television silhouetted the monsters, a paper cutout of violence is all Michael could see.
One of them calmly took out a piece of paper, and began speaking above the beating, “Ma’am, you are under arrest by authority of the Republic, for crimes of treason, subversion of the state, and dissent. Your punishment will be heard i n the coming trial. Please, do not resist arrest.” He cleared his throat, and said, “Enough. Take her to the station.”
Micheal didn’t see his mother again, it was blocked by the mass of bodies. Soon after, the sounds of cars drove away into the distance. The commotion had stopped.
He’d never been truly alone. Crying alone, still unable to move, with only the television’s quiet whisper, Micheal wished that the closet monster was there, so that he had someone to cry to. Such a fictional horror didn’t prepare him for the monsters he saw tonight. The monsters of reality didn’t hide in the closet, they came to him.