"They're coming for you, Chris." The voice was smooth, and close.
"But you're with me," Chris said. He lilted his tone like a question.
"I'm with you."
"I can't look everywhere at once. I'm afraid."
"I'm with you."
Chris sighed. The night light let a soft yellow glow into his room. It was only enough to lend everything a terrible shape. He was glad for Brian. He was always glad for Brian, when he was there. But Brian wasn't always there. Brian came from wherever monsters came from, and Brian came when Chris was scared of monsters.
"Back to back, remember," Brian said.
Chris pressed his slim frame against the hugeness that was Brian. He could see the long hairy arms extending out in the corners of his vision; a wall of monster, to stop the tide of monster.
There was a creak, and a rustle.
"The closet," Chris said.
"The bed," Brian said.
Chris raised his little pen light to the closet door. It was ajar and from the inky darkness within a pair of eyes glinted. There was a hiss as the light hit them, and a hint of scales. They retreated.
Brian was growling, a rumble that sounded like it came from the floor itself. Chris smiled wickedly. That was all Brian ever needed to do. He was the biggest monster. All the other monsters were scared of him. Brian had said so himself.
"Scouts," Brian said, "they always want to know if it's safe. Monsters are cowards."
Chris knew this. Monsters were cowards. Brian had told him. But Brian was not a coward. Brian was Chris' monster.
A howl came from outside, and the padding of many feet. Too many feet. Chris' little pen light felt all too weak. He gulped.
"They're going to use the window," Chris said. His voice wavered.
"I will take the window, then," Brian told him, "you guard our rear. Guard the door."
"On it," he said. He leveled the pen light as bravely as he could.
Tap. Tap tap. Tap. Tap tap. Claws against he window pane.
"Let us in," came a voice like a thousand snakes. "Let us in. Let us in." Tap. Tap tap.
"What do we say, Chris?" Brian asked.
"N-no," Chris said. "No!"
"We are coming in," the slithering said. "We are coming in if you let us or not!"
The window slid open behind Chris. He held his light to the door. Its little circle of white bobbed and shook.
"Don't look around," Brian told him. "They'll only be stronger if you look at them. These are tiny things. They are not like me."
"You're strong," Chris said.
"I am strong."
There was a sound like wetness and heaviness hitting the floor. Then another. And another. Brian growled. There was sliding and Brian's two huge hairy arms moving far too fast. There was tearing and squeals.
An eternity passed. "You can look around," Brian said.
Chris did, slowly. The window was open. Deep gouges were cut into the fame. Tufts of hair were missing from Brian's huge arms. His claws dripped with...something.
"You got them," Chris said.
"I almost didn't."
"But you did. Because you're my monster," Chris said.
"Yes," Brian told him, "I am your monster." And didn't the night light make the fangs look long, make the claws look sharp. "I am your monster."