Falling asleep last night (this morning in that uncertain hour when even clubbers are starting to yawn) after the wide-eyed stare of insomnia, I had a moment of panic. Sleeping alone, trying to fill a bed that felt too big by sprawling sideways in a tangle of pushed away duvet and mangled pillows, my feet dangled over the edge. It was hot, sticky, humid night, and it was the only way I could stay cool. (Why is it that you are so much hotter with your feet covered?) Sleep was starting to enfold me, when I heard wicked cacklings between the cardboard boxes and shadows under the bed.

There were monsters under the bed. I paused, not knowing if it was wiser to sneak my feet back to safety in smooth and secret movements, or yell, and curl up quick. I could hear them drooling. I had a series of Calvin and Hobbes strips flash before my eyes.

I listened, holding my breath, trying not to think of the fear of the ten year old I was, rushing up the stairs with her eyes closed, to get the attic stairs lights on before the monsters, witches and ghouls bit her hand.

I rolled up into a ball, and told the monsters I did not believe in them. Nope. Not me. And I thanked my lucky stars there were no cupboards in the room to hide the closet monsters (who are, of course, far more pernicious than any under the bed beasts).

Zot, the black and white cat, curled tight like a squirrel on a hardback book at my side was unconcerned. I poked her, told her there were monsters, and she yawned cat-crunchy breath at me, and retucked herself into sleep.

I hate it when snarl works nights.