I cannot count the hours I spent locked in the orphanage closet when I was a child living at the Children's Home Society Orphanage in Jacksonville, Florida.

The closet was dark, cold and fighting. There were many terrible monsters lurking in every corner. For some strange reason they never ate me. They just made crackling sounds, making me jump and shiver with fear almost all night long.

Though I am now sixty-two years old, I have learned that monsters only lived in the mind when I was a child. Though not real, because they are invisible, they are still very frightening and are very alive in the mind and imagination of any child.

My telephone rang at about 8:30pm on Christmas Eve and it was my son asking me what he should do with my four-year-old granddaughter, Madison. He explained that when she was in bed she heard a monster in her closet and was began screaming. He told me he opened the closet door to show her that there was nothing in the closet. Nevertheless, she did not believe him.

I dressed as quickly as I could, drove to their apartment and walked into Madi's bedroom.

"Papa heard you got a big monster problem over here." I told her.

"He's big and he's scary Papa. Real scary and I real scared too."

"Well, what do you think we should do?" I asked her.

"I don't know what to do Papa. He's like invisible, sorta like."

"Well, if he's invisible then we can't shoot him."

"Yea, cause it'll go right through him."

"Honey, you go tell you daddy to give us a pencil and a great big piece of paper."

I sat watching as she jumped off the bed and scurried out the door to find her father. Several minutes later she walked into the room holding almost a full ream of copy paper.

Lying across her bed, we took out a paper and began to list and figure out the best way to get rid of the monster. After five or ten minutes we had decided that bullets, knives, rope, Drano and Dora the Explorer could not solve our problem. Even the police, fire department, ghost busters, Papa and her daddy had been marked off the list.

"Papa, we gota figure this out and real quick sorta like," she advised me.

I took her by the hand and off to the kitchen we went. We looked through every drawer trying to find something that would get rid of the monster. Into the bathroom we traveled looking through ever drawer and cabinet. There was nothing to be found that would solve our problem.

"Madi, you go look in that closet right there and see if there is anything that might help us," I told her.

Winking at her dad, I watched as she slowly, and very carefully, opened the small closet door.

"Papa, come over here."

Walking to her location, I watched and listened in amazement as she pointed to the vacuum cleaner and began to explain how the invisible monster could be sucked into the vacuum cleaner bag. She and I rolled the vacuum into her bedroom and I plugged it into the outlet. Placing my finger to my lips, I motioned for her to remain perfectly quiet. I took a large plastic garbage bag, tore it in half and with masking tape I taped the bag to each side of the closet door, leaving only a small crack at the bottom for the vacuum hose to be slid into the closet.

"Hit the switch kid and let's suck the GUTS out of this here booger," I yelled.

As the vacuum came on, I quickly jammed the hose into the small plastic crack.

The two of us sat for almost five minutes without saying a word.

"I don't think he's going in the bag papa."

Carefully, I pushed the hose a little farther into the closet. All at once we heard something banging against the hose and fall into the bag.

"WE GOT HIM," she yelled.

I ran over, jerked the plug out of the wall and out the bedroom door we flew. Through the kitchen and into the living room we ran as fast as we could.

"Hurry, get the front door," I yelled out at her daddy.

The three of us headed out the door and ran out into the front yard.

Madison's eyes were as big as saucers as I began to remove the large vacuum bag.

"Are you going to let him go, papa?" she asked, in a scary tone.

"NO WAY! We are going to make sure he never, ever comes back."

I removed the bag, wadded into a tight ball and took out my lighter. Holding it away from myself, I lit the bag on fire and held it as long as I could before dropping it to the ground. The three of us stood there silently watching as the monster disappeared forever and ever.

As I walked her back into her bedroom, I asked her if she wanted to check the closet before she went back to bed. She smiled and nodded her head No.?

"Papa, thank you for getting rid of the monster" she said, in a loving tone.

"Youre the one who figured out how to get rid of the monster," I said, as I smiled.

"Does that make me smart?"

"It sure does and no monster will ever mess with you again. They are afraid of you now kiddo."

She smiled, tucked herself into a tight ball and closed her eyes.

I walked over, kissed her on the cheek and headed back out into the front yard to retrieve what was left of the monster. A marble, a small heart shaped candy and a large paper clip.