Day 11 - Real Monsters

(Guest story by Abigail Cora)

The Monster oozed out of its lair, stretching luxuriously. The Monster had waited a whole year for this night—Halloween—and now the Monster got to patrol the neighborhood looking for lives to ruin.

The Monster lumbered out to the road, a Wisteria Lane, looking for costumed children. But, it was early yet, and the street was empty and quiet, save the frantic barking of a yellow Lab named Henry. The Monster approached Henry and barked back, and to this day if you visit 48 Wisteria Lane, you’ll find a house with a yellow Lab hiding under it, absolutely refusing to come out.

The Monster crept up to a house, peering in the window. Inside the Monster saw two little children, a boy and a girl, pleading with their parents.

Billy: But why can’t we go trick-or-treating? All the other kids are!

Jill: Yeah, Mom! Please?

Mom: I’m afraid not. It is unsafe to go by yourselves, and your father and I have our weekly bridge game tonight.

Dad: Besides, candy is so bad for your teeth. I got you an educational video on why candy is bad and why you should be filling your body with whole foods. You can watch that instead of trick-or-treating.

The Monster retreated from the yard, a bit disturbed. True, the Monster was just going to devour the children once they got outside, but still…not getting to go trick-or-treating!

The next house the Monster went to had broken beer bottles in the front yard, so the Monster had to go around back. There the Monster saw a 10 year old girl with three younger siblings. A very pregnant mother was putting on her coat, while a no-good boyfriend waited.

Drunk Mother: No, you can’t go trick-or-treating. You have to watch the others. I need some peace from you awful children, and the work-release program only gives Rat-Tail a 48 hour furlough. Now behave, or you’ll be sorry when I get home!

[4 pathetic kids looking miserable]

The Monster went away from that house even more disturbed. The Monster didn’t like the way Rat-Tail had been looking at the girl one bit.

The next house had a Green Party campaign sign in the front yard. The Monster shuddered and didn’t even bother to go up to that window.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth houses were more of the same. In one house they were giving away raisins for Halloween candy. In another the kids were dressed in grocery bags; the words “SOLDYER” or “PRINSESS” written on the front in blue magic marker. One house was actually decorated and throwing a lively Halloween party, but in the back the youngest kids were being occupied by a DVD of Full House: Season 5.  The Monster wanted to throw up.

Finally, the Monster got to the seventh house. It was white with blue trim, nicely lit. the lawn was tended and the flowers pruned. Everything seemed normal, and the Monster had high hopes of finding some nice children to gobble up. Silently—well, as silently as a 1200 lb. Monster could—the Monster inched up to the window.

There the Monster saw acts so unspeakable, it would make your ears bleed to hear and sear your eyes to read. The family inside was…they were…well, they were playing Trick-or-Treat, but there wasn’t any candy
The Monster crawled away, dejected, tail between its legs. This was the Monster’s one night to shine, to wreak havoc and create fear all over the town. But the Monster knew when it had been outclassed. The Monster had much to learn about ruining lives before it could truly call itself a Monster at all.

(originally published 2004)

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