The Monster Under the Bed is a coming of age fantasy by Chrys Cymri.
There’s something wrong with him, as Michael’s mother has told him many times. What she doesn’t know is that he can use magic, and sometimes it escapes his control. All he wanted was for her to be happy, for his father to notice him. And they, and he, are suffering because he couldn’t manage his power.
Now a Soulsearcher called Jonathon has entered their lives, an adult who can still use magic. Because of Jonathon, Michael has flown on dragons, challenged unicorns, and met gryphons. But can Jonathon be trusted to teach him how to control his power? And can the Soulsearcher do so before Michael loses his battle with the monster under his bed?
Rachel turned his head and gave him a wink. “Well done, my boy. We can go back now to the cave. Or…”
The dragon hummed a moment. “Hold on tight.”
Michael checked the leg straps, and slipped his hands under the front grip. Rachel released flame, a steam of reds and greens and golds splitting the air. Then he dived. The wind ripped past Michael’s face. He felt himself rise from the saddle, the straps gripping his legs and hands. His t-shirt pulled out of his jeans, his jacket rode up his chest.
Rachel straightened his flight. Michael threw himself forward, leaning close against the saddle, his hands pressing into his chest. His eyes were tearing with the force of the wind, the ground below little more than a green and white blur. He suddenly felt the dragon’s love of flight, the huge body supported by the even larger sky. Freedom. A dragon was free in the sky.
Rachel pulled up gently, hovering in place, wings beating softly, while Michael straightened jacket and loosened leg straps. “Enjoy that, Mike?”
“Yes. Very much.” Michael took a deep breath, and added, “Thank you.”
“Ready to go back now?”
Back. Back home. Michael looked down at his wind-chapped hands. “No.”
The dragon turned his head to look at him. “Don’t you want to tell Jonathon about your flight?”
Michael wondered how he could explain, settled for a second, “No.”
“Hrumph.” Rachel shrugged, dropping slightly as the motion disturbed the beat of his wings. “Is there somewhere else I can take you?”
“No,” Michael said sadly. “There isn’t.”
The dragon snorted. “I can’t stay out here forever, boy.”
“I know.” Michael touched one of the scales gingerly, careful not to cut himself on the edges of the ruby. “Why–when I saw you in my dream, I thought you didn’t like me. Why?”
Rachel continued to hover. Suddenly serious, he said, “Because I know your power. Jonathon thinks you would never attack him. But you and I know differently. Don’t we?”
Michael swallowed. His father, screaming. His mother, her mouth open, eyes glazed, as he panicked and power swirled around her too. “Then you know.”
“I don’t know exactly what you’ve done,” the dragon corrected. “I know darkness. I can sense it. Jonathon ignores darkness, because he has no fear of it.”
“That is for him to tell you. Even as it is for you to tell him what you have done.” In a gentler tone, Rachel added, “Jonathon has looked into many a dark place for others. That’s his job. Yours would not frighten him.”
The Monster Under the Bed is available now!
A Bite of... Chrys Cymri
Q1: You can have four guests at a dinner party. Name the four people living, dead, or fictional you would most like to entertain.
The four I would love to entertain are the Doctor, the Master, Sherlock Holmes, and Moriarty. But which versions?
My choices would be the Twelfth Doctor (as portrayed by Peter Capaldi), Missy (Michelle Gomez), Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty as from the TV series ‘Elementary’ (Jonny Lee Miller and Natalie Dormer). We could have a wonderful discussion about heroes and villains, and whether, as Oscar Wilde once said, ‘You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies.’ I’d also enjoy listening to a female version of the Master discuss with a female version of Moriarty whether being a wicked woman is different to being a wicked man. Not that either would see herself as being wicked, of course, nor that the Doctor or Sherlock are actually good!
Q2: Have you ever written somebody you love into a book?
A number of the characters in ‘The Monster Under the Bed’ are based on beings I have loved. Jonathon is a tribute to the teachers of various schools I attended as a child, as they offered me the praise and encouragement which was sadly lacking at home. The stuffed animals which come to life and try to protect Michael are based on ones which guarded me as I grew up, including the zebra whose stripes run horizontally instead of vertically. My teddy bear still lives with me, much repaired and still very much loved.
Q3: How much of you in is your hero?
Michael is not quite like a brother, but he’s as close to me as a cousin. I too grew up burdened with messages which made me doubt my self worth. Some of what happens to him, for example the fight at school, is based on personal experience. Like him, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet other people who gave me the insight and courage to integrate my childhood experiences and taught me to value myself. I would like to hope that reading the book might help others find some of that insight and courage for themselves.
Priest by day, writer at odd times of the day and night, Chrys Cymri lives with a small green parrot called Tilly because the upkeep for a dragon is beyond her current budget. Plus she’s responsible for making good any flame damage to church property. She loves ‘Doctor Who’, landscape photography, single malt whisky, and her job, in no particular order. When she’s not looking after a small parish church in the Midlands (England) she like to go on far flung adventures to places like Peru, New Zealand, the Arctic, and North Korea.
You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Goodreads and her own Author Website.