Serenity provided by the night-light ceased when the noises coming from the closet began.
Seven year old, Theodore Wicker, sat up in his bed and screamed like there was no tomorrow.
"Mommy!…..Mommy!…..Mommy!" he cried out, as he clenched his Johnny Bravo Cartoon blanket around his small body.
The closet anomalies continued…Thump…Scratch…Thump…Scratch.
It's in the closet! It's the monster Eric Ingman had been talking about! And now it want's to eat me! his frightened little mind told him so. His heart-beat raced and he wanted his mommy more than anything else in the world right now! He knew he was no match for the hideous thing that lurked and waited just behind his closet door. He could picture its huge slime-covered green lips and the enormous pinkish-gray tongue that rolled hungrily over them. Just then, the bedroom door opened and his mother walked in.
"What's wrong Theodore?" she questioned him, as she watched him dive out of bed, on the side furthest from the closet.
He ran over to her and seized her with open-arms, wrapping them tightly around her waist. She pushed him away almost immediately and looked down at him.
"Now what is the problem, mister?" she asked him sternly.
Hysterically he told her, "It's in the closet! The monster is in there!"
He tried to regain his hold on her but she stopped him with stout hands.
"Oh my, just listen to yourself Theodore," she said.
Shaking her head from side to side she began lecturing him on the importance of being strong. But he was much too terrified to listen to her words. An unprotected and less than nurturing feeling he was getting from his mother caused him to beg her to turn the bedroom light on.
"Please mommy…please turn the light on!" he appealed earnestly.
"I will do no such thing!" she snapped back with words.
Tears welled up in his eyes as his mother walked him back to the bedside.
"Now I will have no more of this childish nonsense. Do you understand me?" she questioned.
He motioned with his head, a yes. She watched as he slid into the bed and pulled the cover over himself. Without further word she walked out of the room and closed the door behind her. Laying there he fixed his eyes upon the Johnny Bravo night-light that provided no comfort from what he had heard. For the remainder of the night he did not sleep.
He watched as the sunlight crept into his bedroom chasing away the residing shadows. The digital Johnny Bravo alarm clock- set one half hour before school starts went off playing one of its many pre-recorded Johnny Bravo voice messages,
"Uh, hey man it's time to get up."
It repeated the message two more times before he turned it off. He got dressed, gathered up his backpack, then walked downstairs to the kitchen. Normally his mother would have set out the clothes he was to wear for the day, but she hadn't. Entering the kitchen he saw his mother standing at the backdoor and looking out the window. She was looking toward the sky. He noticed that there was no breakfast on the table. Feeling a little confused he asked her, "Mom, don't I get any breakfast?"
She turned around at the sound of his voice and stared at him with a blank expression.
"Feel free to eat what you would like," she said, as she made waving motions with her arms.
"Your getting old enough to do that yourself you know, Theodore," she concluded, then walked over to the sink counter.
Theodore looked at her with a surprised expression on his face. Maybe she was mad at him for being afraid, he thought to himself. He walked over to the long counter next to the stove and paused to look back at her. She was moving dishes around, paying no attention to what he was doing. So he pulled a chair from the table to the counter, then stepped onto it. He opened a cookie jar and grabbed a handful of chocolate-chip cookies from within. Stuffing all but one into his backpack's side pocket, he then jumped down. He pushed the chair back to the table and began eating the one cookie.
Outside in the front of the house a large yellow school bus stopped and blew its horn. Theodore walked over to where his mother was standing and said , "Bus is here….." But before he could finish saying good-bye she raised her hand as if to strike him. He flinched as she struck not him, but the counter top. Removing her hand from the counter revealed what had been her target. Overturned onto its back was a now stunned cock-roach. His mother picked up, the rather large insect, with two of her fingers and placed it inside her mouth. Then she started chewing and swallowing it.
"Mom! That's gross! You ate that bug!" Theodore said, in total disbelief.
Mustard-yellow goo slid down her lower lip as she ate. He became sick to his stomach at the sight of it and dropped the half-eaten cookie he was holding. With one finger she scooped the icky substance off her mouth and licked it clean.
Then she said to him, "Many people eat insects, Theodore. Now go to school."
He ran out to the school bus knowing one thing was for sure, and that was that he wasn't even about to ask her for a kiss good-bye today.
The second grade teacher had the class end their writing practice assignment right on schedule. Ms. Lawson addressed the classroom with exciting news.
"Student's, today we have a special guest speaker.", she informed them.
The children sat at their desks with eager anticipation. Eric Ingman raised his right-hand.
"Yes Eric, what is it", Ms. Lawson asked.
"Who isk the guest peaker?" question Eric, with his slight speech impediment.
Eric Ingman talked a little bit funny but he was still Theodore's best friend. Both of them had spent the night at each other's house on many occasions, during the summer. Eric Ingman had one of the most complete Poke`Mon card collections that he had ever seen. The teacher smiled and said, "Our guest today is a local published author who has written a children's book and he would like to share it with you."
She motioned with her hand toward the doorway, for the guest to come inside. Through the door emerged a handsome man wearing a black T-shirt, black colored jeans, and leather dress-shoes. On the front of his shirt were red letters that spelled: Dreadful Dreams web site. He had very long brown hair, that was held back in a pony-tail, and dark-brown eyes. In his left hand he carried a black-leather briefcase. Ms. Lawson shook the man's hand and scooted a chair over to him. Both adults looked out over the classroom, then Ms. Lawson introduced the visitor to them.
"Class this is our guest, Horns." The children giggled after she told them the guest's name.
The teacher looked over at the man and smiled.
"Yes class, Horns is his pen-name. The one he puts on his stories. It's not his real name, but you'll have to ask him to tell you that, if he will," she said.
Then she asked him to have a seat and gave him the floor.
He sat down in the chair and placed the briefcase on his lap. The locks made a snapping sound and he opened it. Looking at all the small faces he said, "If your teacher doesn't mind it, you can all move up closer and sit on the floor."
Ms. Lawson told the students that it was perfectly fine to come sit closer to their guest. And they did so. Theodore sat directly in front of the speaker and next to Eric. The man lifted a book from out of the case and held it up so everyone could see the front cover.
"This is a book I wrote entitled: Greg faces his fears," he said, as he moved the book from one side of the audience to the other side.
He continued, "It's a story about a young boy who is very afraid of …well… almost everything."
The front cover had on it a color illustration of a blond headed boy that was running from his own shadow.
"This is Greg" the speaker said, and he pointed to the boy in the picture.
He read the story aloud and after finishing each page held the book up, allowing everyone to observe the many colored pictures, within. Theodore listened and watched attentively. In no time at all he found himself identifying with the main character named Greg. The tale told all about Greg's wild imagination concerning the things that he feared. Dogs, clowns, spiders, swimming, and the dark, were just some of the things that scared him the most. It explained what Greg envisioned would happen to him should he have to face any of them. In the end with the help of his friends, teachers, and family, Greg began to overcome the preconceived ideas he had about the things that frightened him. He faced his fears and discovered that things are not always as bad as we think they will be. Sometimes what people don't know or fully-understand, makes them fear it for all the wrong reasons, and they miss out on something good and fun. That was the core-message of the story and Theodore clearly understood and liked it.
The guest talked about What Superstitions Are, and gave the students an assignment. He instructed them to take some plain paper and whatever tools they chose to draw with and make pictures of the one thing each of them feared the most. He passed out cool animal bookmarkers to everyone and gave the teacher a few copies of the book he had read to the class.
After the speaker left, Ms. Lawson went around the room and looked at some of the pictures they had drawn. She had each student stand at his or her desk, hold up the picture they had made, and tell their classmates what they had drawn. After doing so anyone could raise their hand and tell the presenter why they should or what they could do, to overcome their fear.
Penny Falkner was afraid of spiders and Timmy Gordin told her that his older brother had a pet tarantula, and that it was great. Alice Billingson said that she was afraid of clowns just like the boy in the story and Susie Fish told her that a very nice clown had made her two animal-balloons the last time she had went to the circus with her parents. When it was Eric Ingman's turn he showed the class a picture of a green four-eyed monster with long sharp teeth, that he had drawn. A bunch of his classmates told him that the creature was just a make-believe thing. Theodore could tell by looking at his friends eyes that he wasn't completely convinced. It was Kenny Haufman's(who sat two seats in front of Theodore)turn to share his fear with the class, when the bell rang.
"Okay now everyone sit down...sit down please." Ms Lawson, instructed.
"Who's turn is it to be the closet keeper?" she asked, as she walked over to her desk to scout for the closet keeper list.
The closet keeper was a title given to one student each week and he or she was given the duty of locking and unlocking the walk-in-closet. The closet keeper was also responsible for making sure that everyone else got all of their personal belongings, before going home. If someone couldn't find something that belonged to them he or she would help them search for it and if it still could not be found the closet keeper would inform Ms. Lawson. Sometimes Ms. Lawson would ask the closet keeper to check and see if everyone was taking home with them something that she had handed out. For instance, maybe an important reminder to parents, about some future schoolroom activity.
As she rooted in her desk drawers for the paper, Theodore felt panic-stricken. He had forgotten! He had forgotten all about what week this was! The first time his name had come up in the rotation for the closet keeper of the week, he had faked sickness, and his mother had kept him home from school. The depth of his emotional distress had actually caused him to run a fever and take prescribed medicine, that caused him to miss the entire week and a day. He turned his picture over on the desk and prayed silently that somehow, someway, his name would not be called.
"Theodore Wicker." Ms. Lawson called out.
He began to tremble and slowly rise from his seat.
"Theodore, it's your turn to be the closet keeper," she told him, and smiled.
He looked to the back of the classroom and gazed at the closet door. It was a large wooden door that he had passed through many times before. But he had never ever been the first one to open it!
"Come here Theodore and I will give you the key.", she said to him.
His feet felt as if they were super-glued to the spot. He couldn't do this, he thought to himself. His mind scrambled and his imagination began to get the best of him.
In his mind's eye he saw--
--Himself going to the walk-in-closet, taking the key Ms. Lawson had given him, and unlocking the closet door. As he turned the key loud thumping sounds began from behind the door. He was sweating and he looked out to his classroom. Everyone was staring at him with expressions of terror on their faces. Eric Ingman was holding up the picture of the monster he had drawn and waving his hand for him not to open the closet door. The clicking of the lock echoed into the hallway and the sound of his heartbeat was as loud as the banging in the closet. The closet door opened and he screamed! Inside of the closet he caught a glimpse of evil monster eyes and sharp teeth, just before his teacher's voice snapped him back into reality.
"Theodore?...Theodore?...Are you okay?" she asked, as some of the children started laughing. She quickly spotted the source of their laughter and told the students to stop making fun of him. Theodore realized that his private area and legs were warm and wet. He had peed on himself! He noticed that even Eric Ingman was laughing. Starting to cry he collapsed into his desk and put his head down into his folded arms. Ms. Lawson told everyone to get their things and she opened the closet for them. After they had all left the room she walked over to Theodore and put her hand on his shoulder.
"It's okay Theodore, come on I'll take you to the restrooms and you can clean up a bit, okay?" she asked. He lifted his head up and looked at her with watery eyes. Her smile made him feel a lot better.
While Theodore was in the restroom she gathered his belongings from the walk-in-closet and took them to him, meeting him in the hallway. He felt okay now and he said thanks to her when she handed him his stuff. Ms Lawson told him that everyone has had an accident, even her, and that is was perfectly okay. Theodore ran outside and got on the bus, heading for home. As she was collecting her things from the classroom and straightening it up she found the paper that Theodore had left on his desktop. She turned it over and was surprised by what she saw.
"Oh my goodness!" she exclaimed, and placed one hand over her mouth.
In brown crayon Theodore had drawn the one thing that he feared the most and it was his closet door!
That poor child, she thought. If I had only known ahead of time. I would have never..., thinking about what had happened to him, she shook her head feeling sorry for him.
She walked out of the room, turned off the lights, and shut the door. Before leaving she stopped inside the office and asked the eighty year-old looking secretary to give her the Wicker's phone number. She got it and dialed the number. The phone rang six times and she was about to hang up when someone picked up the other end of the line.
A woman's voice said, "Yes?"
Ms. Lawson responded with, "Aww.. yes...hello. This is Ms. Lawson, Theodore's teacher. I would like to speak with his mother, if possible?"
She waited for the other person to reply, but instead there was a long period of silence. She waited and a quizzical expression crossed her face. After what seemed to be an eternity of silence, the voice on the other end spoke.
"Yes," it said.
Unsure of what to say she spoke anyway, "So you're Miss. Wicker?"
After another unusually long pause the voice said, "Yes."
"Well, I wanted to let you know that Theodore had....well.... sort of a small mishap a little while ago before class let out.", she told the listener. There was no reaction from Miss. Wicker so she continued. "We had a guest today that read a story about: facing one's fears. I had the class do a fun exercise that involved them drawing on paper what thing they feared the most. It seems that Theodore is deathly afraid of closets and I asked him to unlock the closet door." She finished, but felt as if it had come out the wrong way. She continued to explain, "Oh, but that was before I knew what he was afraid of. I assure you I would have never asked him to open the closet if I had known that beforehand," she said, to make things clear.
She listened and waited for Miss. Wicker to speak.
There was no reply and she started to become a little ticked off by the rudeness she felt coming from Theodore's mother.
"I would like to send a copy of this book home with Theodore tomorrow, if that is okay with you?" she asked. "I thought that maybe you could go over it with him and help him with it. Oh, and if Theodore is worried about being the closet keeper, tell him not to worry, that I won't make him." She finished saying what she had intended to say.
After another long pause, Miss. Wicker said, "Yes. That is fine. Theodore should not be afraid, I have told him this."
Ms. Lawson was appalled at Theodore's mother's insensitivity but didn't feel the desire to take the conversation any further.
In closing she said, "Okay then, thanks for your time."
Both parties hung up the phone. Ms. Lawson tried to remember what Theodore's mother looked like, from seeing her at open-house earlier in the school year, but couldn't. She walked to her car thinking about her husband and kids.
The school-bus stopped in front of Theodore's house. He looked out a dirty window expecting to see his mother waiting for him but he saw no sign of her. The bus driver honked the horn a second time as Theodore made his way to the front of the bus.
"Have a good day," the bus driver said to him.
Theodore walked to his front door and opened it. Confirming that the kid was inside the home, the bus driver then drove away.
"Mom?" he called out, as he walked through the house.
He tossed his backpack on the hallway chair and noticed long cotton-like strands on the rug next to it. He knelt down to touch them with his hand. The patch of strands was grayish-white in color and sticky to his touch. So sticky in fact that when he pulled his hand away some of the stuff stuck to his finger tips. He rubbed the unusual substance off his fingers and went into the kitchen.
His mother was standing over the sink in a odd position. Her body was bent forward and her arms where bent with both her hands placed flat on the counter top. It almost looked as if she was doing push-ups on the sink, but she wasn't moving. Her head was down and from where he stood it would have seemed to anyone else, that she was skrying for some kind of mystical knowledge, in the kitchen sink water. He moved over to where he could see her face. Theodore did not expect to see what he saw, as he came closer to her. Her mouth was opened and her lower jaw was submerged in water, that he couldn't see whether or not was clean or filthy, because of his height. He could, however, see that her eye lids were shut.
In a state of perplexity he spoke to her saying, "Mom, what are you doing?"
A large bubble grew from the water in her mouth then silently popped into nothing. Her eyes opened and she stood straight. For a flashing second, as she turned her face toward him, he thought he saw something black inside her mouth.
"You are home now I see, Theodore.", she said to him.
"Were you drinking from the sink?" he questioned her, and then looked from her to the sink and then back at her.
"Your teacher called and said that you are not strong. We have talked about this, have we not, Theodore?" she asked, and obviously avoided his question.
Ms. Lawson knows that I'm afraid- was all that he could think about now. He looked at his mom and for the first time didn't like her. Theodore ran out of the kitchen and up the stairs to his bedroom. He was almost certain that his mother wouldn't follow him, but he couldn't explain why.
He stayed in his bedroom most of the evening and played video games to pass the time. His mom didn't check on him to see if he had done any home-work or to ask if him he was hungry. Sometime after it had gotten dark outside he opened his door to go and get something to eat. Just outside the door and on the floor he discovered that his mother had left him a bag of food. He looked at it and puzzled over what it was. It was a bag of boneless chicken breasts. A frozen bag of boneless chicken breasts, to be exact! What is this?- he wondered. My mom knows I can't cook! I'm just a kid. Confused and nervous he contemplated what he thought his mom was trying to do. Why does she want me to be so grown-up like her?- he thought to himself. She doesn't love me anymore- he finally decided. It was night-time now and he had a plan. A plan that would show his mother that he was a strong boy. He would not call for her when the closet monster came for him tonight. Instead he would be strong like she wanted him to be and if the monster got him then she would be very sorry. A little movie played in his head and the scene was his mother crying because the monster had taken him away.
He awoke because of a thudding noise, and suddenly realized that his bedroom was completely dark. Remembering that he had fallen asleep with the lights on, he assumed his mom had turned them off, sometime while he slept. He then reached for the night-light and turned it on. What had woke him up?- He thought about it. Maybe it had been his mom checking in on him? Maybe it had been when she turned out the lights? Or maybe it had been something else? Something he didn't want to think about anymore. Ironically, just as he began to dismiss the thought from his mind, a noise was emitted from behind the closet door.
Terror seized him and he thought- It's trying to get out! The monster wants to eat me! I can't get my mom because it will leave before she gets here! I must be strong!
Theodore hid within the shelter of his blanket and sheets. Maybe, just maybe, it couldn't find him in them if it got out of the closet. With any luck it would just go away. All he could do was close his eye's and wait.
He made himself a bowl of cereal the next morning while his mother watched television. She was watching all the boring news channels on Cable TV. Theodore hugged her goodbye but she weakly hugged him back with one arm. There was no mention of how proud she was of him having not called for her during the night-time hours. He rode the bus to school.
When he arrived at school, he was apprehensive about being there, because he didn't want to be teased about what had taken place the day before. Also, he definitely did not want to be the closet keeper. Eric Ingman had explained to him a long time ago about how the monster uses the closets as some kind of portal, from it's world to ours. Eric, at the time, seemed to be a dependable source of information on the monster.
As he walked into his classroom Ms. Lawson leaned toward him and asked him if he had talked with his mother. With a somewhat embarrassed reaction he told her, Yes. She smiled and then let him put away his things, in the walk-in-closet.
The time went by fast and the school day actually turned out to be good. He found the picture he had drawn on the inside of his desk and he knew his teacher must have put it there. At the end of the day he was elated when Ms. Lawson took over as the role of closet keeper. He realized how much he really liked Ms. Lawson. Before he left the room, his teacher handed him a book and told him that she thought that it might help him. Looking at the cover he noticed that it was the same book the guest-speaker had read to his class, the day before-- Greg faces his fears. In his mind he hoped to be as brave as Greg in the story had been.
That evening at home his mom seemed to act as distant towards him as ever. In his bedroom, alone, he read the book. Some of the words gave him trouble but the illustrations helped to convey clearly the stories meaning. The fictional boy named Greg gave Theodore some confidence and by the third reading had him looking at his closet door and thinking.
Maybe it's time for me to be brave. Greg found out that the things that scared him were not so bad. Maybe there's another reason for what's making the sounds in my closet.
He surveyed his room. His eye's traveled from the light-switch, to his night-light, then over to the closet door. In his mind he began to formulate a very serious ideal. Staring intensely at the closet door, he finally, against all his inner voices of reason , chose to do the thing that he feared the most.
Theodore Wicker decided to open the closet door......In the dark!
Before he could venture boldly forth on his quest for bravery, he had to make a few preparations. Rummaging through drawers, cluttered toys, and the junk scattered beneath his bed, he found the objects he needed. A spider-man flashlight would be used to blind the monster if indeed it was in there. And a metal roller-skate would be thrown as a distraction so he could run away, should the creature attack him. One final and important item needed, was his library identification card. The card would be taken just incase he happened to disappear into the other-world portal. If anyone was to ever find him dead or alive, they would be able to identify him that way. He stuffed the card into his pants back pocket. Theodore set the book Ms. Lawson had given to him on his bed and looked at the pictures of Greg, overcoming his fears. He was ready.
The night-light was already off and he walked over to the wall switch by the closed bedroom door. Then in an act of notable courage, seven year old Theodore Wicker switched off his bedroom light. He broke through the abysmal darkness with his hand held flashlight. Spider-man's plastic web-slinging hand was outstretched in the direction of the light-beam. In Theodore's opposite hand he gripped the roller-skate and held it up like a club. Moving at a deliberate pace he came within reach of the closet door, and stopped cold.
I can't! I just can't! I don't want to become monster food!- he began to doubt himself. Then images flashed in his mind. Images of his mom not hugging him and scorning him for being a coward. More images of his classmates laughing at him and Eric, his best friend, not playing with him because of the embarrassment. The last image gave him a boost of encouragement, because he didn't want to lose his friend. So he thought about Greg and how Greg had survived when he was finally confronted with the things that he feared. He must do this! He had to do this! He didn't want to be afraid anymore.
He placed the flashlight into his arm pit and pinned it there. This allowed his hand to have the freedom that was needed to turn the door knob. The door knob was cold to his touch, but holding it firmly he began to turn it to the right. The inside mechanism clicked and he slowly pulled open the door.
He did it, he opened the closet door! He couldn't believe it. If they could only see him now! -he thought with pride.
Excitedly, he took the flashlight out from under his arm and aimed it into the dark closet. The light exposed some of his hung up winter-clothes and an over-head shelf. The wooden-shelf was too high up for him to see what objects lay upon it. Scanning the closet he thought to himself- There's no crummy monster in here. Eric Ingman was going to hear about this alright! But just then, the light hit something that made him freeze entirely.
What is that?- he thought as he shinned the light directly on it. He moved the flashlight a little closer. It looked like feet. Feet with red-colored ladies shoes on them. His mother wore shoes just like that! The revelation was quite disturbing. Fear crawled over his skin like a dozen platoons of marching Army-Ants.
Smothered by uncontrollable fear, he began to shake as the light revealed more of what was in his closet. Laying on the floor of the closet was a bloated body. Most of the person's body was wrapped up in a thick cocoon-shaped covering, of thick grayish-white cotton-like strands. The exposed body parts and odd-stringy substance, that formed the main shell, looked to be attached to the interior walls of the closet in the corner, by more of the same grayish-white stuff. The areas of the person not completely covered: such as the arms, legs from the knees down, head and neck, were all swollen. The skin looked inflated and distorted. The color of the flesh was a sort of maroon with dark green patches. Theodore saw that the person's mouth was agape and that their head was tilted backward. A thick dark bile began to slowly spill out of the mouth and cascade down the silky strands, that bound the person.
Unexpectedly the feet began to kick. Thump, Thump, Thump .... then they stopped.
The horrific convulsion was too much for him to handle, and he freaked out. He dropped the flashlight and the roller-skate as he turned to run. The metal roller-skate struck the floor with a clunk and the plastic flashlight cracked and dimmed upon impact. Theodore sprinted for the door, that would open into the hallway. Before he could get to it, it swung open.
His mother stood in the doorway. She reached to flip on the light-switch and at the same moment he wrapped his arms around her. The light came on. A cold ominous look shown on her face, then she lifted him up with her hands and literally threw him across the room. His propelled small body bounced onto and off the bed and then crashed into the video game desk. Video cartridges were strewn across the floor, along with the book his teacher had given him. Theodore was rendered senseless by the blow. Miss. Wicker calmly crossed the room and stopped to stand in-between Theodore and the opened closet.
"You were correct Theodore," Miss Wicker said. "It was in your closet. Your mother has been there since I put her there." She spoke this information to him, as he began to become cognizant of what had just happened to him. "The test is complete now, Theodore. I am just one, of the first of my kind, sent here to observe and learn about you humans. The Overlords with their infinite wisdom have a master plan that will ensure your worlds demise." There was no real emotion behind the words she spoke to the child. "Your kind is nourishment for our superior race. You are food, Theodore."
Theodore was in a state of shock. He couldn't move and he couldn't feel the open cut on his left forearm.
"Look at me Theodore," the thing that looked like his mother, demanded him to do.
"Look at Me," it insisted.
After drawing his vacant-minded attention, the stranger he had since believed to be his mother, dug its fingers, with both hands, into the top of its head. It began pulling apart the skin. Beneath the flesh colored disguise was a grayish-white cotton-like substance that stretched and snapped apart. Pulling down the two halves of what had been an exactly detailed replica of Theodore's mother's face, it showed it's true appearance to the boy. It was monstrously abnormal, with thick black-colored coarse hairs, and small black beady-eyes. The features were a mismatch of human/spider parts. On both sides of it's neck was pulsating silk glands. Hairy spinneret appendages extended from both sacks and wrapped around the neck. Two black-colored long fangs were partially exposed from within its lip-less mouth.
This was the monster! And it just so happened that things were not what Theodore Wicker had envisioned them to be. The monster was real and it had been wanting to eat him, but it wasn't in his closet. Eric Ingman, his best friend, had been right all along. The monster hovered over Theodore. It's shadow cast across the now open book, Ms. Lawson had given to him. The book lay open to a page that displayed an illustration of Greg, the main character. Greg was holding a small spider in his hand and smiling at it. A few of Greg's friends, standing around him, were observing the spider he held. Theodore like the boy in the story, had faced his fears.
The next day at school Theodore Wicker's seat was empty. His best friend, Eric Ingman was still shaken by the strange noises he heard, coming from his closet the night before.
In deep space a colossal fleet of invading warships continued on a course of destination Earth.