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Six,

Diary of the Monsters.

Behind the clouds, tomorrow waited patiently, obsessed with the need to descend upon the rest of us who were still alive to care. Our leader who we called sir Gilbert for reference purposes laid out the rules wherein we were able to exist for months without food. We were always fortunate - all six of us monsters- to find a stream with clean water and fine grasses.

The rules had to be obeyed at all times. sir Gilbert made sure of that. He had a very hostile smile which showed his two upper teeth in a weird way. He laughed only for two particular kinds of jokes: the one about how unusual kids were. And the one about purple pancakes. Any other joke was irrelevant to our journey into the new country. The new world is what he calls it.

I, for no particular reason whatsoever, disliked his rules about our kinds of jokes. I laughed over hillsides and muddy water and cloudless skies. He would look at me as though I had made a mistake and shake his head with disdain. He never could say anything about the wrong way I acted but all six of us monsters knew I had disobeyed.

Once when we were at Sio, we stopped for a drink and quick rest. sir Gilbert walked up to me and held my hands. He said something about flowers and picket fence, the kind we would see when we got to the new world and I, overjoyed from worry, clasped his hands tighter and kissed his cheeks.

When he left me, I saw her face, shadowy from disgust. She was looking at the smudge of mud on my face but in her eyes was the animalistic need to drive her hands through my chest. We never got that far, never made it past the boundary of treacherous smiles. sir Gilbert made sure of it.

I really couldn't understand her, see. She wasn't different from the rest of us but she wanted to be. For sir Gilbert. She loved him, I could tell. And it wasn't a bother if she acted on that love except when it centered around me too. A brush of his hands on mine earned me a look, one filled with anger and untamed frustration.

The more I wove my mind into her behavior, the more I began to realize why we called ourselves The Monsters. It wasn't because we had huge teeth like fangs or hairy skin with multiple colors. It was because we had this innate problem that, as hungry days wore on, became hard to bear.

If I could have said something to her to quell her need for revenge, I'd have done so. But perhaps I hadn't wanted to. I don't think I ever loved sir Gilbert the way she had but I admired him because I could tell he loved me more.

Which was why he never could have told me anything about the rules that I broke. I feared him, no doubt. He had a sort of power around him that was unlike any other person and he walked as though he owned the world.

I couldn't describe him even if I wanted to. His heart was the loudest of us all and in the middle of the night, we would hear it pumping, alive. It made such sound as of running water, the type we used to hear in the old world. And I loved that sound more than I loved myself.

I was number six, the last to join the group, the last survivor of a dying world. They told us, as we walked miles and miles of empty ground, that the world had ended. sir Gilbert said he would take us to a better world, free from troubles and hatred and bitterness, and because he was the only one of us who still had a strong hope, he became our leader.

The world had ended, that is what I know. I don't know how. I slept in the night and woke up to a sky so blue it tore my insides. There had been no one in sight. So when I found the Monsters, it was hope at last. The blue sky made sure we started to change, inward, and on the outside. The natural tendency of care was shaky, replaced quietly by hate. Our eyes were made watery by the lights until our stomachs grumbled in hunger.

Our leader remained steadfast. It is he who has brought us here.

She watched me take my bath. I don't think there ever has been a more detailed look at my body since the fall of the old world. I can't say I was embarrassed by the way her cheeks colored with recognition over my naked frame but for the first time, I wanted her to ask me how I felt about sir Gilbert. She did not.

When I stepped out of the water and started to get dressed, she walked up to me. She was smiling. But her eyes were unmistakably dangerous.

"Master says we only have about four months to get to the new world." She said to me. She settled limply on the grass and spat orange colors on it until everything around us had the distinct smell of citrus.

"I can only hope we get there soon," I told her. The dress hung low around my body. It wasn't mine if I was being honest but then again, nothing was ever mine. 

"Where'd you get the dress?" She asked me. She was number three.

When I first came, I used to place her on a pedestal. She had been around long before I ever found them and I had to raise her up. There had been a scar running down her cheeks when I first came. Master said she got it from a fight with number one. He wasn't particularly honest about it though. He had been the one who used a large stick to hit her, the one who gave her the scar that made her number three.

"It's from Sir Gilbert," I told her.

"Where'd he get it from?"

"I don't know."

"Don't you ever ask him where he gets those things from? If we are the only survivors and everything is destroyed, where does he get these things from?"

"I suppose you could ask him that."

"I suppose so."

She left. 

And I thought about what she said for a while until overcome by curiosity, I went to him and I asked him how he got the clothes and chocolate cookies he gave to us. The others heard the question too but the fire was crackling and Three was laughing at a joke about weird children. No one said anything.

"I have those things stocked from before the world ended. For us."

"But you said everything burnt down. Nothing and no one survived."

He looked as though he was going to say something else but then thought better of it and settled for, "I lied. I have a few things I've kept safe for all of us to survive."

Three were still laughing. Someone was talking about children in the future tense. When I turned to look at her, I could see she had stopped laughing over the joke. She was laughing at how mundane our lives had become.

Then I walked away.

Three was the kind of person one couldn't count on as a friend even toward winning the same thing. I wouldn't call her enemy just yet but she made me so. We barely talked about anything other than sir Gilbert, our conversations a sprinkling of insults and tired hate. But we both knew one thing: our master was lying to us.

We weren't called Monsters for no particular reason. sir Gilbert must have spent hours on the name, the meaning slowly coming to him in the days where his own skin started to burn from the blue. We were Monsters because our existence outweighed the entirety of the world.

I caught Three staring again. I smiled at the only person who was fortunate enough to hate me because of a disguised love for sir Gilbert. She did not smile back, I wasn't expecting her to. But she said this, "I hate you for everything."

I think that also includes sir Gilbert and the clothes I got. But I told her nothing.

In the coming months, we will find something called The New World. Perhaps then there would be no need for a journal, no need to know why Three hated me still. Until then, this is the place.

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38 comments

Wow! I really got hooked onto the characters, especially Sir Gilbert...also, do you mind dropping in to check out my stories? I would really appreciate some feedback :)

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11:40 Jul 04, 2020

Thank you so much. And I'll check out yours.

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No problem...thanks!

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J. Ernst
19:08 Jul 06, 2020

Very interesting story. It ended leaving wanting to know more about the characters. If you have time could you please read my 1st submission this site , It's called THE GIFT? Thank you. J.Ernst

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Kathleen March
19:20 Jun 29, 2020

A story that obviously will have a continuation. You are very adept at creating fantasy world - something I've never been able to do. What I do suggest is Sir always with a capital. The monsters sound like six siblings, all young.

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09:54 Jun 30, 2020

I know I should have written Sir with capital but then I wanted to change the way I viewed him. I intentionally let the sir slid in. Thank you for everything.

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Batool Hussain
17:03 Jun 29, 2020

Another wonderful story, Abigail! Mind checking out my new story? Thanks.

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09:54 Jun 30, 2020

Thanks. And of course

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Batool Hussain
11:14 Jun 30, 2020

You're welcome!

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Dylan Heath
21:52 Jul 10, 2020

There is an underlying and constant dread in this story that I really dig. There isn't a specific terrible event, more a complete difficulty of living in this situation. Nice. Thanks for sharing.

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Janaye Hepburn
00:28 Jul 08, 2020

I love this story so much and would definitely love to learn more. Good Job!

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Tina Laing
18:39 Jul 06, 2020

A great story,

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Yageen Faiz
14:47 Jul 06, 2020

hello! can you read one of my stories if you have time? thank you!

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Jonathan Blaauw
17:15 Jul 05, 2020

A monster love triangle. Brilliant! Or though, are they actually monsters, or is that just what sir Gilbert wants them to believe? I really enjoyed the open-endedness (is that a word?) here and I agree with the comments below, it definitely needs a sequel. Just my personal view on the whole issue of descriptions, because that's a critique I get as well, I think short fiction allows for their omission at times. That's not an excuse for the writer to leave them out due to laziness, of course, but if they're not absolutely plot-critical or d...

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Charles Stucker
07:31 Jul 05, 2020

This feels like the middle of the story. I like your monster characters, but I want to know the end.

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09:15 Jul 05, 2020

I guess so. Thanks

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Anika !
02:42 Jul 05, 2020

hi i luv ur story. your writing skills are amazing and the plot is really good do you mind checking out mine pls thx.

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09:16 Jul 05, 2020

Of course. Thanks

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Khadija S.
11:54 Jul 04, 2020

This is really lovely! The emotions, the journey, the mystery, the lies!

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09:15 Jul 05, 2020

Thank you.

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21:11 Jul 03, 2020

Such an interesting story! Right off the bat with the "Six, The Monsters." I was intrigued to find out what it meant. Very neat idea with so much mystery surrounding the Old World and the New World. However, I would have liked a tad more physical description, but other than that fantastic!

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12:29 Jul 04, 2020

Thank you. I should work a bit more on the descriptions. Fair point. Thank you so much and I will do just that.

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Arya Preston
18:21 Jul 03, 2020

I love the obscure aura you've created with the monsters and I'm curious whether 'sir' was intentionally written in lowercase or not. Wonderful story, Abigail!

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12:30 Jul 04, 2020

Thank you, Arya. And yes, sir was intentionally written as such. Still don't know why I did it. At least not in english 😊

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Ruey fern Tan
04:31 Jul 03, 2020

How interesting! I like how the mystery is built up slowly around Sir Gilbert and the monsters.

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12:31 Jul 04, 2020

Thank you

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Prashansa Dhiman
09:45 Jul 02, 2020

It's a really creative idea. This could have been more fantastical if you added physical descriptions. But it's great. Keep writing! Please do share your feedback on my story.

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12:31 Jul 04, 2020

Of course, thank you

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Dewni De silva
01:09 Jul 02, 2020

Amazing piece !!

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12:31 Jul 04, 2020

Thank you.

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Z. H.
21:36 Jul 01, 2020

Amazing story! Wonderful characters! Great job and I think this story deserves a sequel! I'd appreciate it if you could check out my stories! Thanks.

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12:32 Jul 04, 2020

Of course. Thank you

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Z. H.
21:36 Jul 01, 2020

Amazing story! Wonderful characters! Great job and I think this story deserves a sequel! I'd appreciate it if you could check out my stories! Thanks.

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Z. H.
21:36 Jul 01, 2020

Amazing story! Wonderful characters! Great job and I think this story deserves a sequel! I'd appreciate it if you could check out my stories! Thanks.

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