Sofa Monster by M. Allman
Illustrated by Rosemarie Gillen
At first Sammy didn't know what it was, or what it wanted from him. He wasn’t the bravest seven-year-old and still slept with a nightlight and teddy bear. But, Sammy had to be brave today, because not even his own parents would believe what he saw. He sat on the floor playing with his match box cars, pushing them around, and making engine sounds with his fluttering lips. That's when it climbed out of the couch, a hodge-podge of things that were lost in the sofa cushions, deep in the cracks; pencils, crayons, coins, gum, M&M’s, crumbs, all sorts of other odds and ends that get eaten by the sofa.
Sammy watched as it slid off the sofa cushion. He froze as it walked toward him. The strange creature stared at him with its one blue, one green M&M eyes, reached out to touch him with its half tooth pick, half Q-tip arms. Screaming, Sammy bolted out of the living room and headed for the kitchen. He slid under the table to hide from it. Resting between the wooden chair legs, he caught his breath as he watched for the Sofa Monster.
Its eraser feet could be heard squeaking across the linoleum as it ran through the kitchen searching for the boy. “Boy, where are you?” Sofa Monster called through its shoestring lips.
Sammy was quiet and kept his eyes on it, afraid of what the collage might do to him. The Sofa Monster lowered his shiny, quarter head and sat down on the floor. He started sobbing.
Sammy quickly examined it and decided to run while it wasn’t looking. He headed toward the laundry room to find his mother. “Mom there is a Sofa Monster chasing me.” He tugged at her shirt to get her attention.
“That’s nice. Did you put away your toys?”
Okay mom’s busy, he thought, so he raced to the garage to find his father. Sammy made it as far as the kitchen when he noticed it peering around the doorway at him. He skidded to a stop, turned, and he headed the other direction.
Sammy hid under his bed for what seemed like hours, until he heard a voice calling him.
“Sammy! Where are you? It’s time for supper,” his dad called for him as he went from room to room.
Sammy crawled out from under his bed and into his father’s arms. “Daddy, have you seen the Sofa Monster out there?” He pointed toward the kitchen.
His father laughed at him and messed his hair. “Don’t you know there isn’t any such thing as monsters?”
“But Dad, it was chasing me and crying.” Sammy's large, blue eyes were wide with fear.
“If he was crying then he couldn’t be a bad monster,” Dad told him as he carried him into the bathroom to wash up for dinner.
While eating dinner, Sammy thought about what his father said. He was right. A mean monster wouldn’t cry, he thought as he tried to hide the peas on his plate.
“Hey, boy,” the Sofa Monster whispered. “Put them in here, and I’ll take them away.”
Sammy’s mouth hung open at the sight of it under the table holding a napkin, but he didn’t hesitate to give the Sofa Monster his peas. After all, there was chocolate pie for dessert.
After dinner Sammy went to his room and found the Sofa Monster hiding under his bed. “You’re not a bad monster, are you?”
The Sofa Monster shook its quarter head. "Not me."
“Thanks for helping me hide my peas. Mom always says I can’t have dessert until I eat them.” Sammy took his flashlight and crawled under the bed to chat with his new friend. “Why were you chasing me?” He shined the light on the Sofa Monster as he waited for an answer.
“I wanted to know if you have any more of this.” It handed Sammy a folded wrapper.
Sammy opened it up and saw that it was a chewing gum wrapper. “Is this what you eat?”
“Yeah, it’s great. I was sent to find more for us.”
“Us? What are you talking about?” Sammy reached out a finger to poke it.
The Sofa Monster jumped back. “Be careful, boy,” it said. “I have family and friends living in the cracks, and I promised to find more.”
Sammy reached into his secret treasure box searching for some gum. “Here, you can have this. It’s not my favorite anyhow.”
“No. It has to be sticky like before.”
“Like the piece I spit out and hid from my mom? You found that under the couch cushion?” Sammy stuck a piece of gum in his mouth and chewed it until it was wet and sticky. He spit it back into the wrapper and handed it to the Sofa Monster. “I’ll give you more tomorrow if you meet me at dinner time and get rid of my vegetables. Is it a deal?” He stuck out his hand to shake on it.
“It’s a deal, boy.” The Sofa Monster stuck out its Q-tip hand and they shook on it.
From that night on, Sammy never had to eat peas again, but he did chew a lot of gum.
Author Bio: M. Allman is a freelance writer with a BA in professional writing. I write adult fiction as well as children’s fiction. I recently released my first in a series of picture books for children, The Peanut Buttor Tweatment.
Illustrator Bio: Rosemarie Gillen has been a professional illustrator of Picture Books since 2005. She is a self taught artist who is happiest when painting. She has won several awards and her work has been published both traditionally and online. She specializes in enhancing children's books with her unique style of illustrations. www.rosemariegillen.com