Children's Stories

Los Angeles Times - Moonsters

Art by: Patricia Cantor (Patricia Cantor / October 25, 2009)

ONE Halloween night, Charles kissed his parents good night and went to bed. He had really scored at trick-or-treating and he was tired. Outside the moon was full and bright white! He took his best friend, a toy dinosaur named Max, climbed under the thick covers and held Max real tight. Only Max knew about Charles being afraid of the dark.

Charles could not go to sleep. After all, it was Halloween, and it was frightening to think about the blood and monsters he had seen that night. He had heard scary sounds of icy wind pushing through tree trunks and mean, grinding tree leaves that seemed to say: "Tonight we will not go away." With a whoosh and a chill and a clank and a screech, they moaned and groaned without a hitch. Charles asked Max to take a look outside.

Max stared at the moon, and told Charles, "When fear and darkness surround you and shadows seem scary at night, the moon says it will rise to protect you and the moonsters will be your light."

"What does that mean?" asked Charles. Max only shrugged. As Charles pulled down the covers for a small peek at the full moon, something dark caught his eye. On his bedroom wall, Charles could see a shadowy monster with sharp claws and huge teeth.

Quickly, he yanked at his covers, but the covers were yanked right off him! The grizzly monster was coming to get him! The monster made gobbling noises like it was eating Charles' blanket for food!

Charles couldn't even cry out for help he was so scared. Max jumped back onto the bed and Charles held him very tight. He timidly peeked over his blanket. The full moon was lighting up the sky.

Then something even stranger happened. Moonlight fell off the moon and headed right for Charles' room.

"When fear and darkness surround you, and shadows seem scary at night, the moon will rise to protect you, and the moonsters will be your light." Could the moon have said that? With a swish and a whoosh and a wish and a zoom, the moonlight flew right into Charles' room. Then it talked! "My name is Baramba -- I'm a piece of the moon called a moonster and it looks like you need some help in your room."

"Do I!" answered Charles. Another slice of moonster light whooshed into the room, "My name is Oogles. There's nothing to fear. We scare shadows off the wall and make them cower in fear." Charles smiled as he saw the monster on the wall stop moving.

A third moonster flew in from the sky and said, "Hi. My name is Oozie. We'll kiss that monster goodbye." The moonsters flew around the room faster and faster and faster still -- until their light was everywhere. The shadow monster disappeared right into a tiny dark hole.

The moonsters shrunk in size, and flew a few times around the room. In a final salute, they uttered these words of advice: "If a slice of the moon is all you see, or a shooting star darts through the night, know we are hard at work, chasing shadowy monsters away with our light."

The moonsters flew away up toward the moon. When they landed there, Charles gazed at the moon and saw the faces of his new friends: Oozie, Oogles, and Baramba. They were bright, smiling and waving at Charles!

Charles fell into a deep sleep. And so did a lot of Charles' friends in the neighborhood, and even some people Charles didn't know. And all because of the moonsters.

Special thanks to Patricia Cantor for this week's illustration. To see more of her work, visit

Patricia Rust is the author of "The King of Skittledeedoo." To learn more about her, visit

© 2012 Patricia Rust all rights apply
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