Start off your new year right some creepy, with the latest installment of Short Story Sundays! My friend told me that he instantly thought of Lady Gaga's "Monster" when he read it, and I quite like that assessment. I was interested in gender role revenge as a theme as well as playing around with language and prose (it's very experimental for me, as whole). And if reading this particularly short piece on this here blog isn't your cup of tea, you can check it out on Nameless Magazine's site (my beloved literary magazine back in college) right here. Anyway, enjoy! xx
There are all sorts of monsters that live here.
HE loved this city, for it came alive only at night. It was like a living, breathing thing, electrified by the millions of lights and the living, breathing bodies that occupied it. He had been living there for years, building his fortune on naïve hopes and young dreams, using them to line his well-dressed pockets with cash. That was his job by day. By night he was a hunter, prowling the gaudy, neon-lit streets, lined with disposable girls parading around in their short, naughty things and smeared eyeliner, attempting to act tough with their laminated pieces of plastic that lied about their true age.
These girls were easy to like; no one would miss them, with all their cheap glitter and even cheaper desperation. They had all sorts of dreams that they would never be able to attain, dreams that they glimpsed from enormous, tacky billboard ads and their television sets. They wanted to be singers, actresses, models. They just wanted to be somebody, anybody, for someone to give them the attention that no one did. And he was all too happy to provide, for in the end, in the very ugly end, they would just become part of his growing collection under the carefully placed floorboards in his house.
He flashed a smile towards a little blonde who was standing near the entrance of a club, the music so loud that he could practically hear it in his veins. She was a very lovely, tiny thing, so slender, so fragile. Stars were in her eyes; he wanted to pluck them out and taste the dreams that she saw. Another little runaway, he would take her home tonight and no one would miss her.
What should he do with her, he wondered as he smiled widely at her, showing his teeth. He would touch her, oh yes, he would love to touch her in all her soft, slippery places. Place his hands around her neck and squeeze tenderly, oh so tenderly, until her lovely eyes would stare, fixedly, back at him forever. So many decisions, but the night was still young.
Pretty words came out of his mouth and like a trusting kitten she followed him inside the dark, yawning entrance of the club, past the decorated boys and girls lost in the throes of their own manic writhing, obsessed with touching themselves, touching each other, to the silvery, bass heavy notes. The strobe light flashed, with its incandescent, obscene shifting brightness that almost hurt his eyes. His strong fingers wrapped around the thin wrist of his little prize of the night, pulling her towards a dark corner, his heart beating at a swift ecstatic rate.
SHE, similarly, was excited. She shook the pale strands of sunshine out of her eyes, smiling brightly at the large, beautiful man that everyone admired from afar. This is what she enjoyed about the city—the people! Not the poisonous energy that simmered radioactive from below, with its many lights that stretched farther than the human eye can possibly see. Blink and you’d miss them; it was like the eyes of a god. It was all very awe-inspiring, but she was a simple girl, she liked the people that she had met here. And this man proved to be most interesting of them all. She watched as his breathing grew heavy, his eyes glazing over as he kept looking at her. His large, strong hands closed over her slight fingers as he led her outside. How he had cooed at her like a dove, so nice, so sweet: calling her hair gold, telling her that the scant slip she wore tonight was pretty, that he had a real treat for her back at his place. How fortuitous then, she was just in the mood for a treat! She let him lead her, a pretty delicate thing like her, for a bit.
Until she grew bored.
How funny it was to see a grown man cower, she mused as she smiled brightly at him. It was very different sort of smile from the one she had flashed to get his attention before.
“I’ll show you a real good time,” she purred, parroting words that he had whispered to her before, and oh, how cute was his bravado, so clearly opaque and thinly veiled to mask the fear that no longer tiptoed but stomped with giant’s pace in the thump-thump beating of his heart. She was merely an illusion, a well-made mask, as evident by his shocked yells when she had easily picked him up and thrown him down the dark alleyway.
There were all sorts of monsters in this city—he being one of them, taking young girls with no family and friends and hiding their mutilated remains in his house, oh yes, she knew that, didn’t he know? However, she was the most terrible monster of them all. He shook and rattled as she advanced, still smiling brightly, but with teeth that were now terribly long and sharp. Teeth that was too sharp and enormous for any ordinary person. Why should she spare his life when she was so very, very hungry?
She cradled him sweetly, almost like a lover, despite his constant and bothersome squirming. He had punched, kicked, even tried to bite—now what gentleman does that?—to escape, but it was all in vain. Her soft, thin arms concealed a steel-like strength that only a monster like herself would have, a monster with a very large appetite. He had choked and sobbed and she gazed down at him, her eyes iced with dispassion.
The sharp realization that things go bump in the night, the stories that parents told naughty boys and girls to keep them from misbehaving, to fear the dark things in their closets and under their beds—it was a painful revelation and the man cried as he stared at her, his eyes growing huge, the pupils dilated black like small moons. She was the embodiment of childhood nightmares, costumed in a pretty blonde girl. As tears fell from his face, she twisted his arm upright with inhuman strength and arched her brows in a unmerciful expression as she heard the sickening crack of breaking bone.
“No one would miss you,” she said softly, lovingly, repeating words that he had said to her earlier, “a little lost thing like yourself,” before her sharp smile kissed along his collarbone.
When she was done, she stood up and wiped her mouth. The monster glanced down at the rather unsavory remains of him at her stiletto’d feet. In the grander scheme of things, she was justified, wasn’t she? She had performed an act most profane, that was true, but to think of the things he might have done to her if she was but an ordinary girl. She glanced up at the sky. The pollution from the city contributed to the gray clouds that the slender moon fled behind, grays and blacks mixed with the faintest tinge of a mercurial vermillion. The night was still young; it would always hold an intangible allure that would never cease to fascinate her.
She smiled, showing her teeth, and sauntered away. Her heels barely made any noise. It was almost as if she were walking on the edge of night itself.