Grave rocked back on forth on his toes as he waited for his assignment to pop into the air in front of him. He had hust finished his official training as a MUB (Monster Under the Bed), and he was ready for his first assignment. More than ready. He had been shadowing a seasoned professional for fifty years as of last night and tonight would be his first solo mission.
In the great hall, where all the monsters gathered before the beginning of their shift, the air was tight in anticipation. The gold banesters and green moss chairs seemed to be extra colorful, and the statium was pack full of other full fledged monsters. Grave blew his grass colored hair out of his face. One of the other monsters down his row noticed Grave’s nervousness and gave his a small nod.
Then it began.
Starting from one end of the bowl shaped room and slowing circling around, a wave of scrolls appeared. The sound came in waves, a small poof and then the crinkling sound of old paper filled the room.
When the scroll appeared in front of Grave, he snatched it out of the air before it could even think about flaling to the ground. Slowly he pulled the scroll apart and smiled at the child he had been given. A six year old boy named Ryan, who lived in on the edge of San Fransisco, and had lost his first tooth that morning.
Grave almost groaned aloud, but kept the smile on his face. The monster beside him disappeared, reminding him of the important next step. Grave pulled out a leather necklace and fumbled with the ring attached on the end. Without letting the strained expression on his face fall, he pressed his special seal onto the paper, therefore acception the mission.
In an instant Grave was pulled into a magic portal and drug through into the mortal world. He had become used to portal travel in the last few decades, but he stopped to make sure that everything he needed had come through with him.
He checked the top of his head; making sure that his anters and green hair had remained exactly as they had been. Next he opened the bag at his hip to make sure the special powders and dream collector was there. Lastly he checked his arms and legs. His fingers were all in place with iron pointed nails at the end of each, and his feet were covered by soft leather shoes.
Ryan groaned and shifted in his bed and let out a soft breath that could only belong to a child.
Grave pulled out the dream collector and slowy crept toward the bed. When telling the story of the Monsters Under the Bed, what many parents got wrong was the purpose of the creatures. Monsters were assigned to collect the dreams and bring them back to their world, which entirely relied on them for the source of power (only the good dreams, though, the nightmares that they had collected were sold to Hollywood to be made as cheep horror films). The monsters weren’t there to scare or eat the children, although Grave had seen his old mentor frighten an adult or two.
All grave had to do was open the spherical dream collector over Ryan’s head and collect the dream before…
“What are you doing here?” A light voice hissed from behind him.
Grave would forever claim he hadn’t cringed at the voice, but cringe he did. He slowly looked over his shoulder and saw what he dreaded most: a toothfairy.
A fairy, not much shorter than him, stood with her ams cross and a sparkling wand dangling in her hand. She had tight, red curles and a silver dress that were shaped like flower pedals. Her most impressive feature were the two giant hummingbird wings fluttering on her back.
“That’s my tooth, monster.” She pointed the wand at Grave and fixed her face into a glare. The light of the wand made the freckles across her nose glow in the dark.
“I don’t care about the tooth, I’m just here for the dream.” Grave clutched the sphere tighter. Monsters and toothfairies lived in neighboring realms and when they first started crossing over to the human world rules had to be made. The first rule that had been put into place was that only one magical being could interfere with a child on any given night. Not a problem for the monsters when the child grew into their teens and adulthood, but a big problem for Grave right now.
Grave stepped toward the bed and the fairy lunged. They fell to the floor, the sphere rolling out of Grave’s grasp.
“You monsters get all the other nights, go find someone else,” the fairy grunted at Grave shoved her away from him. The fairy reached for the nearest object and a racecar sailed into the air and hit Grave on the side of the face.
“I can’t go back empty handed.” Grave crawled forward, his head now pounding. He would a laughing stock. Returning without a dream on your first night would make him the joke of the year. He would never be able to live it down. No, he couldn’t be outmatched by a tiny, little fairy.
Grave’s hand closed around the sphere and he tossed it into the air. A silver light shot toward the sphere. It shot low and splashed in the wall behind the bed. Grave stood, ready to defend the sphere with his life. He barley had his footing when the fairy tried fly and reach over his head. Grave turned and moved to prtect the sphere, which had already started to spin and collect whatever dream little Ryan was having.
As Grave moved his foot came down to rest on the racecar that had previously connected with his face. When Grave put weight onto the car it slipped out from underneath him. Grave stumbled forward and fell. His mouth made a terrible crack against the bedpost as he fell. The fairy gasped and collapsed on her knees next to him.
“Are you alright?” Worry danced in her wide eyes. “I didn’t mean for that to happen.”
Grave sat up and was about to answer when he felt something new rolling around in his mouth. Grave spit the object into his hand and held it toward the fairy to use her glow to see what it was.
The fairy put and hand to her mouth and picked up the monster’s broken tooth. Grave was too stunned to move. “It’s beautiful,” she whispered, then blushed. “I’ve never seen a monster tooth before.”
Grave opened his mouth and ran a finger along the top row of his teeth. He found the hole only to find the tooth had already started to grow back.The sphere above Ryan clicked off and fell and rolled onto the floor.
Thet fairy reached and handed the sphere back to Grave. “I guess you win this round…”
Grave blinked as he waited for her to finish, until he realized she was waiting for him. A squeek came out first. “Grave,” his voice came out louder the second time.
The fairy smirked. “Nice to meet you Grave. I’m Cassidy. You can have that back, but I’m keeping your tooth. I’d much rather have it anyway.” She stood and raised her wand. “Until we meet again.” Dust shimmered down to her feet, and then she was gone.
Grave sat for a long while trying to wrap his head around what happened. Finally he smiled down at the sphere in his hand and retuned back to his land. All the while thinking about when he might see Cassidy the fairy again.