Since the age of twelve Mervin Thorpe of Beccles has suspected, often to the derision of friends and relatives, that a monster lurked beneath his bed. Despite now being thirty-seven and moving house several times since childhood, the fear has always remained with him. Yesterday those years of fears turned out to be well-founded when he finally found the monster beneath his bed.
"It's kind of humanoid," explains Mr Thorpe, "with sort of dusky-coloured skin. It usually wears a veil, often half-covered by a hoodie, and lives in a caravan like a gypsy. It has dreadlocks and likes to carry a koran, though I can't say I've ever seen it pray."
While no one doubts its existence, some have suggested that the creature is too small to be a real monster. "I admit I was taken aback by the size of it," said Mr Thorpe. "I was expecting something bigger than an inch tall. But that explains why it took so long to find despite having its own caravan, which, by the way, was filthy. But I knew for sure it was the monster I had always feared when I found in its caravan a collection of tiny photographs of naked children."
Mr Thorpe now keeps the monster and its caravan in a cage beside his bed. Channel 4 is planning to make a documentary about the two of them tentatively titled "There really are monsters under the bed – should we be crapping ourselves?"