The night had clouded over and the clouds were filled with sky-fire and Chrissy was struggling to sleep. Her mother had told her she better get to sleep early because the removal men were coming in the morning and wouldn’t want to be kept waiting. Chrissy wanted to tell her that there was a very good reason she didn’t want to go to bed, but grown-ups never listen when it comes to bedtime. So Chrissy said nothing and was sent to bed and that was that.
She loved her room in the day, she’d spend hours at her mango wood desk; drawing, writing and (when she was in the right mood) practising handstands. It was while in this inverted position that she noticed the something for the first time. She wasn’t sure what the something was, but it was definitely there.
By the corner of her bed, something red was peeking out from underneath. It was only there for a second, but Chrissy could have sworn it blinked. She got down to have a look, but the something had scuttled off somewhere. She’d wanted to tell her mother about it, but grown-ups never listen when it comes to somethings under beds either.
When she was in bed, if she listened once the house was hushed, Chrissy could hear the whispered wheeze of the something breathing. It sounded to have something stuck in its throat, as its breaths were all grating and fuzzy. She’d heard stories about things under beds and decided it was best to leave it alone.
But that night, when Chrissy had been sent to bed early, it wasn’t the same. She glanced over the edge of the bed, a new determination filling her. She wanted to see the something one last time, just to remind herself it was real, but she couldn’t find it. So in the end, she rested her head on the pillow and started talking.
“We’re leaving tomorrow, I won’t see you or this room ever again,” she said, “I hope the next little girl to sleep in this bed won’t give you any trouble.”
Chrissy waited for a while, then spoke again.
“How did you hide from me that one time? I was sure I saw you, I can’t think where you could have gone,” Chrissy wondered aloud.
“Oh that was fairly easy, Chrissy,” said the something, “Fairly easy.”
Chrissy’s hair tried to jump out of her head as she sat straight up in her bed. She turned to her left then her right then her left again just to make sure. Then she looked straight ahead.
Three eyes were looking back at her, balanced on the end of a globby tentacle. Somehow the eyes were smiling, and the tentacle was too, in all its globbiness and despite the crimson slime that gathered in the suckers. Chrissy stared as another tentacle flopped up over the end of her bed, along with three more eyes which matched her gaze.
“I just hopped up onto your bed, onto it while you were looking down,” the something explained.
“How do you know my name?” Chrissy asked.
“You talk in your sleep, talk you do” the something replied, “do you mind if I stretch my legs?”
“Oh, er, not at all,” Chrissy answered.
Two more tentacles wrapped themselves around Chrissy’s oak bed posts and strained to pull the strangest something Chrissy had ever seen out from underneath her very own bed. It stood up and waved at her. She waved back.
The whole creature seemed confused about what exactly it wanted to be. Aside from four muculent tentacles, the something had two normal-ish arms, two feathered wings and two stubby legs kept warm by a pair of white stockings. A turtleneck jumper just about fit around what Chrissy decided was its neck as that was where all the tentacles came from as well as a vacuum cleaner head that lit up when it spoke.
“Have you never before seen a Kewuzzlebunk? Never before?”
Chrissy shook her head, she most certainly hadn’t. The Kewuzzlebunk stretched out its absurdly elegant wings and made a noise like six bees having an argument. It wuzzled over and sat next to Chrissy, then patted her hand.
“Never mind, I am a good Kewuzzlebunk, a good one, yes.”
“Are there bad ones?” Chrissy asked.
“Yes, but you have a good one so they won’t be bothering you, won’t be, won’t be,” the Kewuzzlebunk said, “But you moving, now that is a worry.”
“Us Kewuzzlebunks don’t like the outside much, not much, no.”
“Then why do you have wings?”
“Wings? I have wings?” It panicked for a moment, its tentacles scrambling and getting caught in knots, then settled down once it found its wings. “So I have,” it said.