Magical Monster Of Doom—a “Toys Meet Magic” Bedtime Story

~From the Children's Short Story Book: Cinderella Sarah (for 5-9 year olds) by Karen Cossey. Get your copy for free here, plus another free book for 9-12 year olds.~

It happened one day last winter holidays. The rain had kept us stuck indoors for two long days—it felt like it would never stop.
I remember the morning clearly. I’d been fighting with my little sister Mia—she wouldn’t share her elastic with me so I could bungee-jump her teddies from the top bunk to the floor. Disgusted, I threw all her teddies on the ground and went into the lounge.
There was my Lego. Within half a minute I was sprawled on the carpet, attacking the enemy from my supersonic jet. As I flew past the enemy barracks, my jet was shot down. It crash-landed, twisted, bounced, and turned into a black stallion, racing to a medieval castle to rescue the king from the evil pirates. I would leave the princess to the pirates. Let’s see if she could use her elastic to help with that, huh!
From the distance, I heard a voice seeping through my mind fog, “Five minutes until we go to the library. Tidy up in here, please.”
I transformed the black stallion into Aladdin. The pirates were getting closer. Their Lego grimaces were bearing down on me. Suddenly, up shot my favorite—the magical monster of doom!
“Tidy up now!” came the intruding voice, trying to blast its way into my attention.
But the magical monster of doom was nearer, louder, and I had him cornered with my dagger to his throat. I heard him spit out, “I’ll grant you one wish, whatever you like, if you spare my life.”
That was when it happened. At that exact moment, my mother pulled me to my feet. She was almost frothing at the mouth.
“Why don’t you ever tidy up when I tell you to? Look at this big mess, and you left all Mia’s soft toys on the floor. You know, I wish all this stuff would hang from the ceiling! Then I wouldn’t have to walk over it every day!”
I felt bad that she was so upset. I scanned the room, but there wasn’t much mess. My Lego was spread out on the carpet, by the door lay my spy gear from yesterday’s game, and all over the bench were my papers and pens from my last session of drawing Transformers. I was proud of those pictures. I didn’t get what Mom was going on about. It didn’t matter though, we had to go. The tidying would wait. Before long, we were at the library.
The trouble started when we got home again. Running to the kitchen and family room, I stopped short. Nothing on the floor, nothing on the bench. Fear gripped me. What had happened to my stuff?
“Did you tidy my things?” I asked Mom as she came in the room.
“No,” she said, looking around, then up. She let out a startled cry and pointed.
Everything was clinging to the ceiling. All my Lego, all my spy gear, all my drawings, and all the dirty dishes!
I walked, stunned, into Mia’s bedroom. Every single teddy was clinging to her ceiling, some by one arm, some by their ears and some by their feet.
The house had never been so tidy, but the ceiling looked like a cosmic crash.
Mom was lying on the couch, laughing hysterically. Probably because she hadn’t been able to even sit on the couch for ages. It was usually covered with books and sweaters and toys. Yes, they were all clinging to the ceiling too.
“This is amazing,” I said, shaking my head.
Mom stopped laughing and shouted, “Quick, let’s vacuum before it all falls down again. We might even be able to dust!”
Mia came into the room crying because she couldn’t get her teddies down.
“After we’ve cleaned,” Mom said in a slightly manic voice.
After our cleaning frenzy was over, and Mom had sat on the couch with a cup of tea to enjoy the view, I climbed onto a stool and tried to pull Mia’s teddies off the ceiling. They popped back up as soon as I let them go.
By lunchtime both Mia and I were upset. We couldn’t get any of our toys down. Mom didn’t seem to mind, she said it didn’t matter that we didn’t have any plates for lunch. But by dinnertime she agreed that we might need our things back. If only I could spot the magical monster of doom and force him to grant us another wish. I finally found him, hiding inside the pirate ship, which was attempting to sail across the ceiling.
I tried to scare him into granting me a wish, but nothing happened. Reluctantly, I handed him over to Mom. I told her how to threaten him with death by pulling his head off—he would be sure to grant her a wish. She was about to do it when she said, “One condition, kids. I’ll keep this magical monster of doom, and if you don’t tidy up when I say from now on, he’ll be working for me.”
We had no choice. We had to agree—we even had to promise.
Mom scared the magical monster of doom with her evil sounding threats of certain painful death. She was so terrifying and mean sounding it sent a chill down my spine. I think she may actually be a wicked pirate herself. Then she wished all our stuff would be taken down from the ceiling and put tidily in its proper ‘put away’ place, which was where it all quickly zinged to.
And from that day on, that’s exactly where our stuff ends up whenever we hear our mother say, “Tidy up time, me hearties.”

*****

Story by Karen Cossey
Copyright © Karen Cossey, 2014

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