Chapter One: The Night Before the Day After
Chloe Prime poked her head out above her blankets and eyed her wardrobe suspiciously. Had it just made a noise? She watched and waited for a few minutes. Nothing. Perhaps it had all just been in her imagination. A flight of fancy? She nestled back under her covers.
Chloe quickly pulled her covers down again and glared at her wardrobe. Honestly, this was just getting ridiculous. She had to get a goodnight sleep for her first day at her new school tomorrow. This just would not do.
Chloe vaulted out of bed and stood in front of her wardrobe in a fighting stance. Her hair reared out from her head in crazy curls, ready for action. Her legs were encased in a metallic exoskeleton, which made her look every bit like a miniature cyborg, with medusa hair, at the ready. If there was a monster in that wardrobe she was going to have at it.
‘I came here for a bedtime story and to kick butt,’ ten year old Chloe challenged her empty cupboard, ‘and I already finished my story.’
Kent Prime came running into his daughter’s room closely followed by her mother. Chloe turned to see her father staring at her in shock.
‘Monsters, Dad,’ Chloe quickly informed her father. ‘In the cupboard. I’ve got them pinned.’
Kent Prime attempted to move further into Chloe’s room.
‘Get back!’ Chloe yelled. ‘It’s too dangerous! Save Mum.’
Chloe’s father laughed and closed the gap between them, scooping up his daughter.
‘There are no monsters here Little Miss Lady.’
‘Are you nervous about school tomorrow?’ Chloe’s mother asked.
‘What?’ Chloe snorted in surprise. ‘I’m excited about school. I just happen to have a rather serious monster problem to deal with.’
‘I’ll deal with any monsters,’ Chloe’s father said. ‘You just go to bed. Besides you know that they’re more scared of you than you are of them.’
‘But Dad, what if there are ghosts, or fairies… or I heard that sometimes little time travelling pirates come breaking down your…’ Chloe began.
‘No buts, no brownies, no bandits! You need your rest if you’re going to be on the school shuttle on time tomorrow morning,’ Kent Prime tutted his daughter. ‘Besides you know all our wardrobes are double coated with Kevlarized Graphene. Nothing is getting through.’
‘But what about bears? You know… sort of hiding in the cupboard rather than coming through it?’ Chloe was grasping at straws by this stage. She knew she would never win this argument, and she was getting quite tired anyway. Her mother kissed her goodnight.
‘Don’t you worry about any bears, Sweetie,’ Mum said, as she walked out of the room. ‘I’m sure you can just talk your way out of trouble without fighting.’
Chloe shrugged doubtfully but cuddled up to her teddy Sinbad and began dozing off with images of swashbuckling bears, whispering to fairy ghosts, in her head.
TAP TAP TAP
At this point Chloe leapt out of her bed and flung her cupboard open.
‘You! What are you doing in there? You know you’re not supposed to come inside.’
Squeak squeak squeak?
‘Oh alright. I’ll see if I can sneak into the kitchen and find you something but then you really must go outside.’
‘Yes, I know mice don’t really love cheese.’
‘No you can’t come. Mum will freak if she sees a mouse in the kitchen.’