Rieka, The Contributor

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Discord Tax on 9/16/2021 5:03:10 PM
Hey y'all ^_^ Haven't been on in a while, so I wanted to hop back into things! (It's been a while, but I'm assuming the penalty to rejoin the Discord is still a 1k+ short story?) I'm quite rusty as this particular piece will likely show. However, to be frank, I miss you guys!


Kelly Dinsmore was not a liar. Sure, she wasn't perfect. What six-year-old is? Why, just last week she had pushed a boy for being a stupid yucky jerkface. Sometimes she took an extra candy from the doctor's office when she knew full well the sign said to take one. Even then though, Kelly always fessed up when she was caught. She simply didn't say things that weren't true. So it was with utmost frustration that she insisted to her parents that there was, in fact, a monster under her bed.

"He really is there!" she cried with building desperation. "I heard him!"

Of course, Mr. and Mrs. Dinsmore could not entirely be blamed for their ignorance. Children are well known for their irrational fears and vast imaginations. Kelly recognized those dismissive stares from many grown-ups she had met before. Still, these were her parents. They of all people should have known her better than that!

Again she recounted her tale in a small but urgent voice. It had been the dead of night when the little girl stirred from her slumber. As with many who wake at such an odd hour, she was struck by a sudden and desperate urge to relieve herself. Of course, Kelly knew that leaving her room at night was forbidden, but she quickly emphasized that she had a good reason. Six was far too old to be wetting the bed. So she had lowered a single bare foot, preparing to make a silent trip to the potty. Only that foot had not landed on a solid wooden floor as expected. The thing she had stepped on was warm, furry, and squishy. And though she only saw a brief flash as she looked down at it, she swore up and down that the thing was orange. There had been a small yelp, followed by a soft growling from beneath the bed.

“It was probably the wind.” Mrs. Dinsmore’s voice was more exasperated than reassuring.

Mr. Dinsmore, however, looked quite concerned. “Kelly dear, you haven’t been sleeping through the night?” He cocked his head to the side, eyes widening. “Perhaps you need a bigger glass of milk with your dinner.”

“No!” Kelly protested. She hated the milk. It smelled and tasted weird, and she always felt funny after drinking it. Besides, Daddy was completely missing the point. “I don’t wanna! And what about the monster!”

“Kelly Elise Dinsmore!”

The girl immediately fell silent. The “E” word always meant she was in trouble.

Her mother was standing, tall and red-faced. “You will not speak to your father that way. Go to your room. NOW!”

My room? The child’s eyes practically popped out of her head, her face flushing white. Anywhere but there...

Mr. Dinsmore gave his wife a strange look. “Surely we can’t send her to bed without supper. Right, darling?”

“I’m hungry!” Kelly interjected, latching immediately onto the potential loophole.

Unfortunately, the older woman was not so easily swayed. “She can eat in her room,” she stated coldly.

The six-year-old gave her father a pleading look. Perhaps he could rescue her from this unfair punishment. After all, she had only spoken out of turn because they were such horrible listeners! But after a moment’s pause, he simply nodded his head. So she would have to go back to her room… back to where the monster lived? Useless parents, both of them. Well, there was no way she could go back there!

Kelly turned on her heels and bolted for the door. But she had barely taken a couple of steps when a pair of burly arms caught her in their grasp. “No! Stop! You can’t make me!” she wailed, pounding her fists against her captor’s back. But her father kept a tight grip. He carried the small girl toward the top of the steps. “Daddy, please! I don’t wanna get eaten by the monster!” Daddy said nothing.

Mommy called out from behind them. “There is no monster!”

“There is! There is! There is!” Her pleas fell on deaf ears as she found herself shut behind the door to her room. The once-familiar place seemed to be a land of horror now. Every sound, every shadow made her want to crawl out of her own skin. Tears streamed down her face as she pounded on the door. “Let me out! I’ll be good! Please!” It felt like a million, billion, gazillion years… but there was no response.

When she could cry no more tears, she turned hesitantly toward the bed. “Mr. Monster?” she spoke softly. Again, no response came. “P-please don’t eat me. I taste yucky!” Still nothing. Kelly waited a few moments before cautiously taking a step forward. She didn't hear any monster noises. Ever-so-slowly she made her way toward the bed, terror giving way to curiosity. By the time she had reached it, the trembling child had worked up enough courage to throw off the covers. The space beneath the bed was empty.

So that was it then! Clearly the monster only came out at night! With this realization, her remaining fright melted away. A plan began to form in her mind. Why, if her parents didn’t believe her, she’d just have to prove it to them! Kelly rushed to her toy chest and rooted around until she found her old skipping rope. Perfect! She’d stay up late tonight. When the monster came out, she’d surprise him and tie him up! Then she could prove to her parents once and for all that she was not a liar.

As she was pondering over the details of her plot, a knock came at the door. She quickly stashed the jump rope under her pillow. Nobody could know about what she was going to do. Not yet.

“Kelly dear, you must be starving.” Mr. Dinsmore opened the door. He set down a tray of food for his daughter, accompanied by an extra-large glass of milk. “Make sure you drink up dear… wouldn’t want you having any more nightmares.”

“I didn’t have a - oh, never mind.” Kelly took the platter with an exasperated sigh. She was rather hungry, come to think of it. She began nibbling at her dinner as Daddy walked away. The food was not great, but not terrible. Just the standard tasteless oatmeal. The milk, however… Kelly held the glass out as far from her face as she could possibly reach. It was futile to try and stomach it. She could never stand that weird chemical smell. Besides, it always made her super sleepy, which would be counterproductive to her monster-catching exploits. So the young girl crept up to the window, sticking a single tiny hand between the bars. She pulled on the latch and slid open the window ever so slightly - just enough to pour a stream of liquid out. As the milk disappeared out into the cold, a knot began to form in her tummy. There was one more thing she would have to do… something she was absolutely dreading.

The small girl sat cross-legged on her bed, trying not to think about it. It was their own fault, really. Her stupid, unbelieving parents. If they would only have listened to her, none of this would be necessary. Now it had become inevitable. The dreadful question echoed up the hall.

“Did you finish your food?”

“Yes, Father.”

“And your milk?”


“And your milk?"

“Yes, Father.” There it was. A lie. The first one she had uttered in her six-year-old memory. It felt funny saying it out loud, and had she not been practicing to herself for several minutes, she feared the quality of her voice might give it away. But father seemed content. He swept into the room and cleared the empty dishes with a simple “Go to bed.”

Kelly nodded, quickly tucking herself under the covers. At least this was a command she could follow without issue. After all, he had only said “go to bed”, not “go to sleep”. She held the blanket over her head, doing her best sleeping beauty impression while Mommy and Daddy’s yelling echoed from downstairs. She could only hear snippets of it, mostly confusing words like “outgrown” and “market price.” Nothing the little one was about to concern herself with. For tonight she had a monster to catch.

When the yelling had stopped, Kelly slowly crept out of bed. He snatched up the jump rope from under her pillow. Slowly, she wrapped one end around each hand, just like in the movies when they were about to tie somebody up. Then she stood next to the bed and let out the loudest whisper she could without alerting the grown-ups. “Come and get me Mr. Monster!”

Mr. Monster did not emerge. She took a step forward. Still nothing. No sounds, no furry orange claws. Kelly took another step, then another. The longer the silence lasted, the more sure of herself she became. Oh he was in there all right… he was just hiding. Probably scared! But just as she was about to throw back the sheets and make her move, a sound came not from the bed but from down the stairs.

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.

Heavy footsteps. Father’s footsteps. With a sudden panic she leapt into the bed, scrambling to make herself look natural. Rope still clutched in her hands, she shut her eyes closed.

“Don’t worry Kelly…” Yep. That was Daddy’s voice coming into the room. And yet something about his tone made Kelly feel very worried indeed. “This won’t hurt a bit. At least, it damn well better not after a double dose of milk.”

Huh? What wouldn’t hurt? What was he talking about? She opened a single eye just a crack… but what she saw made her open both of them wide with terror. Her father was holding some horrid-looking device. It had a needle and all sorts of strange wires and things. But what truly scared her was the look on his face. It was one she hadn’t seen before, but could only recognize as… hunger.

Seeing her eyes open shifted that expression though. The odd, twisted face reformed itself into one of pure anger. “You’re awake! Why you little - well, it doesn’t matter! It has to be tonight!” He lunged forward, device in hand. Kelly didn’t even have time to scream. SHe sat there shocked, frozen, with the rope hanging limply in her hand. A flash of orange. A resounding crash. Then, everything went silent.

The child stared bewildered at the scene before her. Father, so threatening a moment before, now lay unconscious against the opposite wall. In front of her bed stood something unspeakable… something terrifying… something orange. It turned to her and spoke, though she couldn’t identify if the thing even had a mouth. Kelly looked at it, still frozen and wide-eyed. This was it. She was definitely going to be eaten.

“Kelly…” the monster said. Kelly did not move. It pointed a clawed finger toward the unconscious Mr. Dinsmore and his horrible device. “Kelly safe now. Monster gone.”

Sundown and Nova: A love that spans the stars on 11/20/2020 11:51:18 PM
Cat and Kryton are tied for best character in my mind, though it's a pretty close race between all of them.

Slime and Punishment on 11/20/2020 11:49:18 PM
I always found them annoying myself. Teenage me spent years trying to hide them underneath oversized t-shirts and find a bra that would let me survive P.E.

Slime and Punishment on 11/20/2020 11:07:20 PM
How to Not be Banned: Rule 1: Do not provoke Endmaster. Rule 2: See Rule 1.

Proofreading request on 11/18/2020 2:20:05 AM
Did anyone end up volunteering? If not I would be happy to help ^_^

Writing/Plotting Software? on 11/17/2020 9:28:31 PM
I've been using Snowflake Pro since it became essentially free (just used Google Docs and Mindmup like the cheap-ass I am before that), but I downloaded the free trial of Plottr and so far I'm really liking it! Not sure if I want to take the full plunge and buy the full verison though. If I'm going to be putting money down, I want to make sure I've looked at all the best options. So I figured I'd ask here: what software (if any) do you use to map outlines and keep track of stories? Are they free, and if not are they worth the price?

Best Disney Villain? on 11/17/2020 9:19:49 PM
I forgot the Muppets are a Disney thing now. THIS. CHANGES. EVERYTHING. Muppet Treasure Island is honestly so underrated.

Best Disney Villain? on 11/16/2020 8:20:01 PM
Oh absolutely! My aunt has a friend who can't even watch the movie because Mother Gothel is so much like their POS manipulative mom that watching it brings up traumatic memories.

Best Disney Villain? on 11/16/2020 7:36:44 PM
100% agreed on the Maleficent live action films, and I actually LIKE that kind of storyline when it's done well. Unfortunately it's very rarely done well. I think they fell into the "subversion for subversion's sake" trap, but so did a lot of people I guess since the movie is crazy popular.

Best Disney Villain? on 11/16/2020 7:34:29 PM
Hades is hands down my favorite Disney villain, and Scar's "Be Prepared" has got to be my favorite villain number. Frolo was awesome, but he was more complex in the musical (which I saw first) so I think that taints my view of him a bit. Hellfire was a huge step for Disney in my opinion, and it really paid off. I'll have to go through and watch the movies again to make a ranking. Any excuse to watch Disney movies!