There was that noise from under his bed again. A dull sound as if far off a foghorn was being sounded. It wasn’t just a noise though because the bed actually vibrated and rocked side-to-side and a horrible order like roasted animal mixed with rotten garbage seeped out from the sides of the bed. However, the worst part for Owen was that nobody believed him, and nobody ever seemed to be in his room when it happened.
Today Owen decided to solve this mystery himself. On his belly he slithered under the side of the bed aiming a tiny flashlight ahead of him. The blackness under his bed was vast. It was a deep thick blackness that the tiny light didn’t penetrate and because of that Owen didn’t see the large hole. He plunged head long into it and he was too startled to make a sound. He fell much like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. He hit the ground with a muffled thump, and he lay still too shocked to move.
When his senses returned he looked around. He could see a black hole far up in the sky, clearly it was the hole he had tumbled through. The ground under him was soft and marshy, a mix of mud and grass. It appeared to be a low depression in the ground, and it was some strange shape that resembled a very large bare foot. Before Owen could move a shadow loomed up in front of him. It had to be 9 feet tall and close to 600 pounds. The smell was overwhelming, but it matched the smell that undercoated his bed.
Owen blinked several times trying to focus. The huge beast had a dull yellow skin and it was dressed in various kinds of fur hides. Terror ran through Owen as his eyes registered the large muscles and the large wrinkly face. It was a face that had a wide flat pierced nose that was centered between 2 large fangs protruding from a bottom row of slimy yellow teeth. This creature with small pointed ears, no neck, and an angry scowl had to be an ogre.
An ogre under his bed? That couldn’t be right. The large beast suddenly grunted and lifted its nose up into the air scenting. Just as suddenly it dropped its hallowed eyes to him, the brown of them liquefying into sparks of red.
With a speed not fitting his size the ogre it grabbed Owen from the ground. Owen worried briefly that he was going to be squished like a bug in the hulking hand that held him. Instead the hand opened holding him at eye level. The beast sniffed, grunted, and stared. Owen stared back.
A rumble emerged in a deep throaty sound, “Owen?” The ogre asked. Shocked Owen could only nod. The ogre grunted again and flopped backwards to sit on the ground. The bang sent Owen flying off the Ogre’s palm into the air, but he landed with a bounce back on its hand again.
“Owen me friend,” the terrifying creature announce. Owen stared. “Owen me friend,” it repeated louder.
Grabbing a chance to not be eaten because surely ogres eat children, Owen nodded yes. “Yes, I’m your friend,” he forced out past his trembling lips. Much to his surprise the ogre made a horrible sound like several loud fast blasts on a foghorn: a laugh. The terrifying ogre didn’t look so terrifying anymore. Instead he looked like a lonely creature looking for a friend.
They passed the next couple hours talking about Grog’s family, lost to him for years, as well as a loneliness that drove him to search for a friend. Ogres don’t make friends easily with other ogres so Grog sought human company. However, most humans were scared to death at the sight of him which is how he came to hide under Owen’s bed.
He came to know Owen by listening to him in his room while Owen played, read, and talked to friends and family. Grog’s loneliness started to fade as a result. Grog began to wish Owen would visit him so he started yelling under his bed to try and draw out Owen’s curiosity to investigate. Finally, it had worked. Owen accepted all of this in a typical Owen whatever fashion and made friends with the ogre.
The sound of Owens’ mother’s voice was barely discernible as she called him for dinner. Owen looked at Grog, “I have to go Grog, but I’ll be back for some adventure.” The ogre grimaced, his version of a smile, and stood up. The big hand raised Owen up like an elevator into the black spot in the sky. Owen blinked back a brief moment of fear before he realized that he was back under his bed. His mother’s voice sounded impatient as she called for him again. How long had she been calling? He scurried out from under his bed and ran down for dinner.
“What were you doing?” His mother asked.
“Just making a new friend.”
By Shari Marshall – 2017