The Alarming Bed – a short story


The Alarming Bed

By Harrington A. Lackey

Bryan Fall never could wake up on time to get ready for work. Every morning the alarm next to his bed rang loudly at 6:00 AM, but Bryan always turned his alarm off and slept much later than he should. His boss – Mr. Dan Dollar at the Bluntrust Bank warned Bryan that if he came in late one more time, he wouldn’t hesitate to fire him. Dollar suspected Bryan needed a reliable alarm clock – one that would wake him up and stay awake. So he told Bryan about a business that had just opened up called “Alarm Beds”, which sold beds that were built to wake up a person up at the right time and make him stay awake.

Bryan took his boss’ advice and drove to “Alarm Beds”. As soon as he opened the door to the store, he was greeted by a chipper young lady with a squeaky voice, “Welcome to Alarm Beds. My name is Barbara. May I help you find the perfect bed that will wake you up?”

Bryan asked her if she could show him some of their models. “We have a few model beds that are guaranteed to wake our clients up. Each is designed with a particular wake-up feature. For example, our best seller is the bed with sharp spikes that rise out of the mattress after the alarm goes off. It is our most expensive.”

Bryan’s mind went numb. “Spikes?”

“Do you want to see a demonstration?” Barbara asked.

Bryan agreed. So Barbara set the bed alarm clock to go off in 2 minutes. When the clock rang, long spikes rose up quickly through the entire mattress. Bryan’s eyes nearly popped out of their sockets and thought that bed was too violent.
“What other beds do you have?”

Barbara walked to the back of the store and showed him a bed with a mattress that folded quickly like a sandwich from the head to the feet. Bryan shivered when he saw what that mattress could do to a body. Barbara showed him another bed with a mattress whose springs flipped it over to a vertical position throwing the sleeper onto the floor.

Bryan thought these beds could, without question, wake him up on time, but he didn’t want them to kill him. Besides they were too expensive. “Do you have any that are less expensive? I really can’t afford much.”

“Well, we do have a single that’s on sale for much less, but I don’t know much about it. A young man brought it here a couple of days ago. He said he didn’t care about getting paid for it, which was strange. Also, he seemed to be in a hurry. Anyway, we took it and put it back here,” Barbara said.

Bryan asked if he could test it. Barbara told him he could, and opened the door for him to try it. Bryan walked around the bed examining it. Then, he lay down on it, testing it for comfort. He got up and said, “I’ll take it! How much do you want for it?”
“Let me talk to my manager.” She walked off and brought the manager back with her. She shook hands with Bryan and then asked, “What about $50?”

Bryan looked stunned and then said, “What a deal. I’ll take it!”

He left the room, walked to the counter and reached into his pocket handing them a fifty-dollar bill. He asked for a receipt, but the manager only wrote out a bill of sale that read, “Alarm Bed: $50 No returns.” Then she signed her name at the bottom.
Bryan called a few friends who would be by within the next 30 minutes to put the bed on their old Ford pickup truck. As soon as they arrived, they went back to the room where the bed stood. When they got all of it on the truck, they rode to Bryan’s apartment and set it in his bedroom.

No sooner had Bryan thanked them, the door to his room closed shut. He didn’t understand this. So, he turned the handle and the door opened. Then, it suddenly slammed shut in his face, which knocked him out for several minutes. When he recovered he heard a low evil voice laughing. Bryan thought it might be his friends playing a joke on him. “OK. Guys… Open the door.”

Then the door opened slowly by itself, but Bryan didn’t think much of it. He went to work until it was time for him to go to bed. That night he came home, brushed his teeth and got ready for bed. As soon as he shut his eyes, the bed started shaking violently so much that he fell off the bed. Then, he heard a disembodied woman’s voice screeching, “We’re going after you!”

Bryan suddenly sat up shaken. “Who said that?”

“We did! We’re your friends. We are Legion!” A male voice shouted sarcastically with a growl.

“Who are you?” Bryan said in a quiet voice. Then he heard a multitude of evil hissing. All night Bryan was tortured verbally. By early morning, Bryan ran from his apartment as fast as he could, got in his car and sped away to a friend’s house.

His horrible night reminded him of the frightening 1973 movie, “The Exorcist” in which priests were called in to exorcise evil spirits from hell that were inside a girl. At his friend’s house, Bryan looked up a Catholic Church that he attended when he was a boy and called for a priest to come and remove the demons. However, when he talked to a priest named O’Leary about his problem, he asked him if he could come and exorcise his demon-infested bed. O’Leary sneered and denied there were such things as demons and told Bryan to talk to a psychiatrist about the problem.
Bryan became furious and slammed his phone against the wall, smashing it to pieces. He decided what to do to resolve the situation. He cautiously returned to his apartment and took the covers off the bed. Although the spirits taunted him, calling him names, he stepped outside and called his friends again to help him take the bed out of his apartment.

When they came he told them he wanted to take the bed to the Catholic Church. After they came and took the bed, they drove to the church, parking it in front of the church. They unloaded the bed to carry it in. Most of the church’s clergy did double takes when they saw the bed being carried into the church. Although Bryan heard whispered evil laughter coming from the bed, he asked a nun where O’Leary’s office was located.

She said, “His office is just down the hall. Why does he need a bed?” Bryan answered sarcastically, “It’s a donation. I thought he might find a charitable use for it.”

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