Note: This was written for the Review Game forum's March Writing Challenge Contest. Tell me what you think, check out the other entries, and vote for your favorites the 8th-14th. The prompt this month was: I won't tell you there's nothing 'neath your bed / I won't sell you that it's all in your head / This world of ours is not as it seems / The monsters are real but they're not in your dreams / Learn what you can from the beasts you defeat, / you'll need it for some of the people you'll meet-"Goodnight Demonslayer", Voltaire

The Wolf

Daddy picked Morgan up from school on Friday because Mommy said it was okay.

"It's his weekend, honey, but I'll be at his house Sunday afternoon to pick you up and we'll go out for ice cream, " Mommy said that morning as she put on sparkly earrings. "How does that sound?

Morgan liked that plan but she also liked Daddy so she hopped into his car and told him all the things she learned that day about ducks and the alphabet. He let her pick the songs and he even sang along. At his house, they played in his big yard until it was almost dark and then they watched a movie together until she fell asleep.


On Saturday, Morgan helped Daddy dig a new garden. Mommy and Morgan lived in an apartment so they had a flower pot instead of a garden, but Daddy showed her how to use the hoe and dig with a shovel. Daddy was better at it than she was but he smiled when she mimicked his actions. They planted all sorts of seeds that Morgan had never heard of except in salads, but they only finished half the garden before Daddy said it was time for dinner and bedtime.

Morgan slept a long time on Sunday because she was so tired from helping in the garden. Daddy understood, though, and let her sleep late. It was afternoon by the time Morgan woke up and grumbled that she had missed so much of the day.

"How about I call Mommy and have her pick you up later? Would you like that, sweetie?"

"But Mommy promised me ice cream," Morgan remembered. Ice cream was her favorite.

"I'll let her know we're going to get ice cream instead." Morgan watched cartoons while Daddy went outside to make his phone call. "Good news! I'll be taking you to school tomorrow!"


Daddy said he found big pawprints in the backyard on Monday and he thought it was probably a wolf.

"I don't want you going out back there alone anymore. Okay, sweetie? Wolves have big, sharp teeth and they can run faster than little girls. I just want you to stay safe, okay?"

"Yes, Daddy," Morgan agreed, and hugged Daddy tight when he dropped her off at school.

That afternoon, Morgan was excited to see him there to pick her up again. "Mommy's taking a trip for work so you'll be staying with me. Isn't that great?"

"We can finish the garden!" Morgan said, but Daddy shook his head and said he'd already finished it.


On Tuesday, Morgan woke up in the dim glow of her nightlight. Outside, in the backyard, she heard something shuffling around. Bushes rustled and it snuffled in the dirt beneath her open window. Morgan watched its big dark head lift and big yellow eyes turned to stare right at her in her bed. Its mouth opened and big sharp teeth gleamed in the nightlight glow.

She screamed and dove under the covers and refused to come out until Daddy closed the window and was sure the wolf was gone.


Morgan stayed at Daddy's house again and Wednesday she woke up from a nightmare where big sharp teeth snapped at her as the wolf chased her all around the backyard. She looked out the window and saw a big dark figure in the garden; the wolf snuffled and shuffled and dug up Daddy's garden. Morgan didn't want the wolf to ruin her and Daddy's garden so she ran down the hall, put on her flip-flops, went outside and picked up the shovel that Daddy had left by the patio door. She wasn't used to such a heavy thing but Morgan waved the shovel at the wolf until it backed away from the garden.

"Go away, wolf!" she yelled at it. "You don't scare me!"

The wolf growled and barked and Morgan put down the shovel because it wasn't a wolf at all but a dog. She called the dog over and it licked her hand. It shook dirt from the garden all over her and she laughed until it tried to dig some more.

"No, bad dog!" she scolded and dragged it away by its collar. On Saturday, Daddy had shown her how to put dirt in a hole with a shovel so she decided to fix what the naughty dog had done. It was a deep hole and something sparkled a little at the bottom. Morgan was just going to see what it was when Daddy ran outside.

"What are you doing out here, Morgan? It's 2 in the morning, it's dangerous out here. I told you not to go in the backyard alone, now get inside!"

Morgan hung her head but reached for the sparkly thing anyway. Daddy slapped her on the face. "Go inside, Morgan!"

She screamed and ran and thought she heard the wolf growling behind her so she locked the door as fast as she could. Daddy ran after her but he screamed too as big sharp teeth grabbed onto him and pulled him away into the bushes.


On Thursday, Morgan hid under the covers until a policeman knocked on the door and asked her some questions about Mommy and Daddy and the dog and then he took her to Grandma's house. Grandma looked sad but she hugged Morgan tight and told her everything would be okay.

"When will Mommy be home?" Morgan asked.

Grandma cried.