Monster – A Short Story

I had heard the story before. I would say that everyone in my town had. Especially the kids. I didn’t believe it, though I know some people, like my mother, did. He was just a boy. In his late teens, the legend said. He was told to be the sweetest boy, the most kind and caring of kids. He loved his mother. He loved his brother. His grandmother was his best friend. Everyone loved him. His cousins looked up to him. His mother prized him. But one day, the people say his monster took over, and the boy was no more. Not much was said after that. The town cried, mourning over the golden boy that brought light to this town. Four months it was like all the light went out. Gone, like someone had blown out a candle.

See, legend has it that everyone has a monster within them. It’s not the kind of monster that you blame things on. Like, you eat all the cake, and you say ‘Oh, my monster made me do it, haha.” No, it’s not like that at all. They say the monster is deep within you. It’s fed by your anger, your grief, and it uses those things against you. It plays on your deepest and darkest secrets, it uses them against you. It fights you, wanting to break free. And it’s when you let that monster free, that the unimaginable can happen.

Now, like I said I didn’t believe in this legend. I didn’t believe that people had a monster inside of them, because what is that? Some crazy stuff, let me tell you. And I am not crazy. But, as I said, I didn’t believe it.

That morning it all changed for me. I had spent the night before wrecked with grief. I thought about the legend, and the story of the Golden Boy, and I cried these gut-wrenching sobs as they racked through my body. I cried for what was like hours, the emotions consuming me.

When I woke up that morning when I looked in the mirror the person staring back at me, wasn’t me. She was me, and yet she wasn’t a version of me that I recognized. This version was darker in all ways imaginable. My hair was dirtier, my eyes darker, bracketed by dark spots. My skin looked greasy, my cheekbones sharper. The face that grinned back at me was wicked and darker than anything I had ever seen before. She smiled, and I felt something, something sick in the pit of my stomach, warning me that this was not good. This was someone I should have never met.

I rubbed at my eyes, hoping that when I opened them the person on the other side would be gone. But there was no such luck. Some part of me knows that she will never go away. The girl in the mirror, despite looking different, is me.

My eyes fall to my dresser where a picture frame sits. A picture of the Golden Boy fills the frame. I think of the day that he was lost to the rest of us, how it happened. I find myself wondering if mine is the same as his.

I look back to the girl in the mirror. The only difference between the two of us is that she is the monster and I am the girl she belongs to.

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