How to Get Rid of Monsters: Never Fail Monster Spray

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There was a ghost living under the bed of our four-year-old son. It was so ugly he had no words to describe it. It slipped into corners watching, waiting and when it saw him the ghost laughed. No one could see it but him, this made the ghost laugh more. It was a monster.
Our son could not sleep. The moment he closed his eyes the monster slipped around the room he shared with his brother and mocked him. It made the covers lift. It moved toys. His brother yelled at him to go to sleep, he called him a baby, but that did not hurt as bad as the monster’s red eyes watching from the edge of the light fixture on the ceiling. Every night we peered under the bed, into the closet, behind the doors, looking for signs of the ghost.
“No monster”, we said.
“It’s gone,” I said closing the closet door.
“Go to sleep, “his father said. “There are no monsters. Monsters are in our heads.”
Our happy son grew thin and pale. Dark circles bloomed under his eyes. He refused to go in his room alone and had to be carried. His feet could not touch the floor, the vibration of his steps called the monster. The boy begged for me to sleep with him at night, the ghost stayed away when I was around.
“Please Mommy,” he whispered. “Please.”
I checked under the bed, I opened all the drawers. I shook out the blankets and lifted the pillow. Our son sat on the bed hugging his knees watching.
“No monster,” I said.
I crawled into his bed and wrapped him in my arms until he fell asleep. He jerked awake each time I slipped from the bed. Don’t go, he cried. He’ll come SleepingBoyback.
“How much longer?” his father asked tapping his watch from the doorway.
“Monsters don’t follow time schedules,” I said.
His father went to bed alone and read a book on the Russian mafia.
The house grew quiet and settled. The wind combed the trees outside the window as I laid in the dark against the warmth of my son and thought about monsters, real and imagined. I thought about a friend who believed cancer was stalking with every headache. I thought about our money worries. A neighbor was sure his wife was unfaithful. There are monsters everywhere, even as our hearts beat hard against logic. They claim our waking moments and defy the reasonable explanations of those who love us. We tell our children there are no ghosts as we throw drugs, alcohol, and food into the nameless dark that threatens to swallow us whole and spit out the bones. We lie awake at night imagining death, loss, divorce, and the dark side of being human, helpless before its unacknowledged size and shape. There are no ghosts we tell our children, even as our own fears tell the truth.
I eased from the bed and pulled the covers around my boy.
One afternoon I stood at the sink washing peanut butter from lunch dishes when I heard a scream. Our son ran into the kitchen and leaped into my arms.
“He’s. In. There.” He whispered. “The blanket lifted up on the couch by itself!scared-child-2
Tears filled his eyes. His horror was palpable, and for a moment I wavered. Could there really be a ghost that only he could see?
I carried him into the living room and said the words we all long for when faced with the unsolvable.
“I know what to do,” I said.
We drove to the grocery store where I bought blue food coloring, an empty spray bottle, and almond extract. He carried the paper bag into the car and held it on his lap.
“It is very difficult to get rid of monsters,” I told him driving home. “But there are a few tricks that never fail.  We can get rid of him but it will take work on your part.”
He nodded wordlessly as we pulled into the driveway. I walked to the sink and held out my hand for the paper bag. I filled the spray bottle with water and unscrewed the cap from the food coloring.
Hand heart“What color is this?” I asked.
“Blue, “he said.
“Right. Blue is the color of the sky when it is sunny. Monsters hate sun. They like the dark.”
He nodded and poured the bluest of bright skies into the water. I uncapped the almond extract.
“Smell this.”
He sniffed the bottle and handed it back.
“It smells good doesn’t it? Ghosts hate the smell of anything that smells good. They like the smell of stinky things. To monsters and ghosts this is the stinkiest of stinks. They run from a sniff of anything sweet and go back to wherever they came from. This is called Monstercide. Insecticide kills insects. Monstercide kills monsters and ghosts.” I shook the bottle and held it out.
“Spray this wherever a monster has been,” I said.
I followed my son. He sprayed the blanket in the living room for several minutes then walked down the hallway and sprayed each family photograph framed and hung on the wall.
“Those eyes follow me,” he said.
He walked in his room and sprayed his bed, the window, the closet, and inside each shoe. He opened drawers, sprayed the clothes, his toys, a box of Legos. He aimed the spray over the floor where he walked, and into the air.
“Hand that to me,” I said. “I better get the ceiling and the light where he could hide.”
I stood on the bed and sprayed the light for along time.
“Enough?” I asked.
“More,” he said.
I sprayed more. The room smelled like marzipan and Christmas and good things in the kitchen. I threw myself on the bed.
“Let’s think like a monster, I said. Where else could you get in?”
He pulled me to my feet and sprayed the threshold of the room. We moved through the house and sprayed every threshold and door until the bottle was empty.
“Can we make more?” he asked.
Our son went to bed that night with the filled bottle gripped between his fingers.
“I am going to sleep with Daddy tonight. The monster is gone, “I said.
“If it comes back I have this,” he said waving the bottle–the talisman against the dark, my ticket back to the marriage bed.
“Right. We have the power now,” I told him.
The monster disappeared. When it tried to sidle back generous doses of Monstercide sent it back to the dark place where ghosts and monsters live.
Over time our son shared his weapon with the sleepless and the anxious, with the people fighting monsters no one else could see. He shook the solution of water, the bluest of skies, the sweetest of scents into one answer against the dark.

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Comments

  1. Nick Hall Snr says:

    Thank you Dearest Nancy! What a brilliant solution to a common problem. If only we had this many years ago when we were struggling with my step son who was being fought over by a horrendous father who was constantly disturbing his life with us. We even had a kidnapping attempt outside a shop in Bristol which was so bad for all involved. The effects of this episode which lasted 3-4 years has affected his normal relationships with his mother and sister. Looking forward to seeing you perhaps this July when I hope to be with Nick. Love and Best wishes. Pa Nick xx

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