“Now sweetie, do you know what to do when there’s an emergency?” Mom asked. She always asked me this before I went to bed.
“To call you or Dad,” I said.
“Good, and even if it’s something really bad, you call one of us, okay?”
“Alright, now Daddy and I are going to be going out for a little while. We’ll be back soon.” This is how most nights went. Goodnight, sweetie.” She kissed me on the forehead, tucked me in, and left. I turned over to my side and watched their car pull out and away to wherever they always went. After that I always tried to go to sleep right away but the monster under my bed made noises. I wanted to call my parents, but the phone was all the way in the kitchen, so I just hid under the covers and hugged my stuffed teddy bear. Tonight the noises were louder than usual tonight, which made me squeeze my bear even more. After such a long time, the noises stopped and the room was dead silent. I was usually never up when they stopped, I always fell asleep to them. I was glad I stayed under the covers, because I began to hear footsteps. I started to shake from their loudness, and then a tapping on my shoulder came.
“It’s okay, Maddie. It’s me, Hoover,” a familiar voice said. I tried my best to remember where that voice was from and then it clicked. It was my old imaginary friend.
I quickly lifted the covers off and asked, “Hoover is that really you?”
“Yes.” He looked much different than what I remembered. Before he looked as soft as a cloud with doll like eyes, and a cute button nose. Now his fur was matted, his eyes looked like he hadn’t slept in days, and his whole appearance seemed darker.
“You look… different.”
“I have been trying to come back to you for a long time. Once I started to fade away, it took what seemed like forever to gain back all of my hope and save you.”
“Save me from what?”
“The monsters.” I knew it!
“Oh, hoover!” I exclaimed while hugging him tightly. “I knew there were monsters under my bed. My parents never believed me, but now I know it’s true.” Hoover gentle pushed me away.
“Maddie, those aren’t the real monsters.”
“Then what were the noises I’ve been hearing since you left?”
“That was me. I was sucked into a world of lost memories that was slowly tearing me away from you. Every night I had been trying to get back and find you. I finally did, and… I’ve missed you so much.”
“I’ve missed you too.” We hugged again, but that ended quickly.
“We need to hurry and get out of here.”
“Wait what do you mean? The monsters are coming?”
“Yes, they’ll be back soon. You need to get dressed so we can leave before they get back.” I jumped off my bed, dressed in my everyday clothes, and grabbed my teddy bear. “I have a surprise for you,” he said taking out a stuffed animal of himself the way he looked before.
I smiled from ear to ear and hugged him again. “Thank you so much, Hoover.” We were about to leave my room when I stopped and remembered what my Mom said to me when something bad happened. “Wait, I have to call my parents.”
“No, Maddie!” Hoover yelled.
“Why not?” He seemed upset and hurt that I said that and I couldn’t understand why.
“Maddie, the monsters are not who you’re thinking of. The real monsters are your parents.” My parents? That couldn’t be possible. I could only look at him in disbelief. “The only way you’re going to believe me is if you go into your parent’s room and look in their closet.” I didn’t want to believe him, but we went to the room. Hoover opened the closet and turned the light on. “That box,” he said pointing to a big cardboard box. I opened the lid and found what looked like hundreds of papers, all saying ‘Missing Persons’ with a picture of me. I was so confused and I didn’t know how to feel. “Maddie, are you alright?”
“I-I don’t understand what this means, but I know it isn’t good. I thought my parents were nice people, but this doesn’t make sense. I don’t know what to think.” I began to cry from all of the confusion. Hoove sat next to me and we hugged. His hugs were the best, they always made me feel safe and that I didn’t have to worry about anything or anyone.
“Shhh, it’s okay. I promise nothing bad will happen. I promise that only good will come to you after this.”
“Will you be there with me?” I asked
“Of course! I would never leave you.” We hugged for a little while longer until I stopped crying. “Come on, Maddie. I’ll take you to a safe place and then we can talk about what all of this really means.
We left the house, taking one of the missing persons papers and walked down the street to the police station. We finally came to the steps of the station and for some odd reason I didn’t have that scared feeling I had only a little while ago. I felt like I was going to a safe place, just like what Hoover said. “I can’t be seen by them, Maddie. But don’t worry, I’ll be right there beside you and only you will be able to see and hear me,” Hoover said grabbing my hand. And at that moment, we stepped inside the building brightly lighted building. I looked to my right and still saw Hoover there, then I looked right in front of me and there was a police officer.
“Hello, what’s your name?” he asked.
“It’s okay, tell him,” Hoover said.
“Maddie. What’s yours?”
“My name is Officer Wallace. Now what can I do for you?” he asked politely. I took the missing persons paper out of my pocket, unfolded it, and showed it to him. He looked at the paper for a brief moment, then back at me. “Oh my God, Madelyn?” He bent down to my height and looked all over my face like he was searching for something. “We’ve been looking for you for four years!”
“Is everything alright?” another police officer asked.
“She’s here,” officer Wallace said. Right then I started to wonder why this man looked familiar to me. He looked like he was from a dream of mine.
“Do-do I know you?” I asked. His smile turned even wider when I asked that.
“From a long time ago you do. Stay right here, I’ll be back.” I watched him walk and then I looked up at Hoover.
“Everything is going to be alright now, Maddie,” Hoover said.