Yellow Mama Archives II

Tim Tobin

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
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Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
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Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
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Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

The Night the Monster Came


by Tim Tobin


I am afraid of the night. Not so much of the dark. Although night and dark seem to go together. You see, night is when the monsters come out, and I am really afraid of the night stalkers.

My psychiatrist blames my mother, and he is certainly correct but knowing the truth and acting on it are way different. So even after fifty years, I never sleep at night. My job is collecting trash, so I am on my way to work at daybreak and home mid-afternoon.

I doze until night caresses my sleeping neighborhood. It’s then that I take up my vigil by the window. Watching for monsters. Waiting for their shrieks and howls. Prepared with holy water, stakes, silver arrows, and the like.

This ancient apartment building has been home for many years, over thirty, I think. My ground-floor window overlooks a barren yard. No trees block my view, and no shrubs provide hiding places for the things of the night.

As long as I am vigilant, the monsters cannot sneak up on me.

Frequently, my mother keeps me company. She sits on a rocking chair, shimmering in the moonlight. Watching with me for any of the things that terrified a six-year-old. She’s quiet these days. Not like when I was a child.

She told stories of the old country where vampires hunted in the woods, looking for human blood to drink. My grandfather, she said, was turned by a snarling, young woman.

And she told me of the werewolf she saw slash the throat of our neighbor, Ben Jinski.

Night after cold night, my young mind absorbed horrors beyond belief. Sleep brought dreams. Dreams became nightmares. Nightmares exploded into reality. Naps at school caused suspensions and eventual expulsion.

No education, no way to sleep. So I collect trash. And watch. And wait. For I know with a certainty beyond reason that they will come for me.




The night the monster came, Mommy was with me, rocking ever so slowly, moonbeams piercing her body like daggers in the heart of a vampire.

The sound surprised me. Nothing crossed the yard, I was sure of that, but a scratching sound, like fingernails on a blackboard, set my senses afire. My eyes widened, and my tongue dried up in my mouth.

My bladder let loose when two fingertips grasped the open windowsill.

“No! No!” I cried. A slight breeze blew my mother back to hell.

More noises, and an evil hand reached for me through the open window. Shrieking, I sought a weapon and found the vial of holy water. The water had no effect on the hand, now a full forearm, that sought a handhold in my apartment.

“Oh, dear God, save me,” I prayed when another monster pounded on my door. 

The machete seemed to leap into my hands. I aimed it at the demon’s arm and swung.

The machete cleaved through rotting flesh and bone. The hand fell to the floor exposing a tree limb.

A tree limb. Can’t be. And then laughing, giggling, snorting outside the window.

Kids, damn kids! The hand was a glove full of dirt and leaves. The arm was a tree branch. Someone reported my howls, so the police pounded on the door.




Mainly because of the machete, I think, the judge committed me to an asylum, for “treatment,” he said. No monsters could reach me here, the doctor assured me. I assured him he was the crazy one.

My accommodations had no window, just padding on the walls, and bars on the doors. Without a window to see the monster coming, I was helpless, terrified, scared shitless, so to speak. I soon learned the sounds the approaching fiend made, like squeaky wheels on a medicine cart, like a rusted hinge on a door, like a telephone ring, a nurse’s laugh.

I couldn’t run. I couldn’t hide. I had no weapons. The night it came for me, dressed in green scrubs and sneaks, I retreated into the farthest corner of my room, slunk to the floor, and hid my eyes in my arm. And waited. For doom. For my fate. And for my mother.

Instead, I fell asleep and found solace in my nightmares for there, I was certain, nothing was real.



Mr. Tobin holds a degree in mathematics from LaSalle University and is retired from L-3 Communications. “The Night the Monster Came” marks Mr. Tobin’s fourth appearance in Yellow Mama. His work also appears in Grey Wolfe Press, In Parentheses, River Poets Journal, Static Movement, Cruentus Libri Press, The Speculative Edge, Rainstorm Press, Twisted Dreams, The Rusty Nail, Whortleberry Press, and various websites and ezines.

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