Gunning their extra quiet, matching purple jet packs to life, Rachel and Lauren shot up to the second story. Rachel pulled out her tablet and checked the house. Five red dots flashed in a ghostly image of the house.
“We have two kids’ rooms in the back,” she said.
“Parents?” Lauren asked hanging in the air.
“Let’s silence and pause the rooms then check for monsters.”
“The girls are younger, let’s check there first.”
Lauren nodded and the girls darted around to the back of the house.
“Night vision,” they said together as they pulled down their goggles turning the world snot green.
The curtains over one window were camouflaged and heavy while the other window, in stark contrast, was covered in something floaty and ruffled.
“Girls,” Rachel said with a smile.
Moving in closer, their legs dangling in the air, Rachel and Lauren hovered next to the window. They couldn’t see through the curtain, so Lauren fished around in a pocket on her belt. She held up a flat silver key, slim as a lock of hair. Sliding it under the window, she turned it and heard a satisfying snitch.
“One down,” she said as she darted over to the camouflaged window and unlocked it.
Rachel slipped her tablet back in its pocket and held up three fingers.
They shoved the windows open, fired their pause/silence toys, darted—one up and one down—to opposite windows, and fired the toys again. Both rooms were prepped. They regrouped in front of the girls’ windows where the wind played with the frilly curtains.
A glowing fur ball, all teeth and long claws, shot out the window. It smacked right into Rachel as she raised her Super Soaker. The force of the tackle spun her off over a tree, the monster clinging and drooling on her shoulder.
Lauren flew off after them raising her gun to her shoulder. She would have to aim very carefully to avoid hitting her sister. Rachel spun around and around off-balance due to the monster clawing at her. She kept her lips sealed trying not to scream but her big eyes were even bigger.
A trail of yellow goo slammed into the monster hardening instantly. It dropped to the ground and Rachel regained control of her jet pack. Lauren waved her back to the house, yanked her tablet out of her pocket, and marked the monster on her map for the clean-up crew. Done, she darted back after Rachel.
They flew right through the window into the strangely still and silent room of the little girls.
“Bunk beds,” they groaned together.
Something giggled from under the bottom bed.
“Laugh it up,” Lauren said.
They dropped to their knees and fired. Yellow and blue goo froze the monster. The girls dragged it out from under the bed and examined it. Golden eyes peered angrily up at them blinking. A small mouth dribbled drool down a scaled belly. Suddenly, the belly split open in a wide, red mouth lined with lots of teeth. The hands and feet also spouted dangerous mouths.
Rachel snapped a picture of it, slipped on her ear buds, and called Sam.
“Did you get it?”
“Yep. Is this the first one?”
“Second,” Rachel said. “The first one leapt out the window at me.”
“What!?” Sam said. “But it’s a bed monster. They don’t leave the bed.”
“Does this look like a bed monster to you?”
“No, I’ll have it questioned as soon as the clean-up crew get’s it back here.”
Rachel hung up and tucked her gear away.
“What’s going on?” Lauren asked.
They’d been expecting the typical one-mouth, one-eyed bed monsters that enjoyed the dark little space. Sure, other monsters hid under beds, but bed monsters always had one eye and one mouth. This monster had lots of eyes and lots of mouths.
“This looks more like a vehicle monster,” Rachel said.
“Ouch!” Lauren said, jerking back. The monster had wormed one of its hands through the goo and bit her.
“We better have that looked at,” Rachel said.
“We better check the other room first.” Lauren stood up. She held the monster by the hardened goo at arm’s length and carried it out the window. After she dropped it to the ground and marked it, they flanked the window. The girls waited a minute to see if anything came flying out. Nothing.
With a nod, they flew in.
A boy with black curly hair stared at them.
“Oh no,” Rachel said.
Rachel turned to her, surprised. It was frustrating that the boy was awake, but not gasp-worthy.
“Lauren?” she said.
Her sister dropped to the floor littered with GI Joe’s and Army men. She clutched her bitten hand and tears streamed down her face. Her brown hair, bright yellow only a little bit ago, turned green in the strange light of Rachel’s night vision goggles. Lauren rolled on the floor groaning. Suddenly, the room began to move again and the boy jumped out of his bed. He ran over to Lauren convulsing on the floor.
“Get away from her!” Rachel said raising her Super Soaker.
“But she’s hurt,” he said.
A ball of fur and mouths charged out from under his bed.