Fiction Inspirational Horror

      A dark shadow consumes my mind. Black vapor hands sink into the folds of my brain as it creeps forward. Like a puppeteer, the shadow tugs at strings and levers, and pushes buttons until I’m doing exactly what it wishes.

           “Hey, Jacob! How are you?” My friend Catherine asks.

           I want to scream, “Help me! A monster is slowly eating me from the inside!” I can’t, though. The shadow monster controls my mouth. It’s good at hiding itself and protecting itself. It says through my lips, “I’m great! How are you?”

           My friends and family think I’m fine, because they can’t see what this darkness is doing inside. I need a professional monster hunter, so I schedule an appointment with the lovely, Dr. Samson. She has helped me in the past, and I am confident she can help me again. She understands the monsters and what they are trying to do.

           Unfortunately, she cannot vanquish the monster because it’s inside my head. I need to find a way to fight it from within. Dr. Samson offers to teach me some techniques to shrink the monster and lure it away. As much as I feel ready to go to war, she warns me that battle will exhaust me and allow it to take full power. I need to be clever in how I go about this.

           I’m willing to be patient, but then another monster pops up in my gut. This one is a fiery little guy that storms around my insides bouncing off my fleshy walls. He likes to take a little dagger and carelessly thrash around my insides. He pokes and prods gleefully with an angry, malicious laughter. I wanted to destroy one monster, and now I have two.

           What I need to do is create some heroes to fight off these villains. To start, I walk deep into the woods. There is something about being in nature that creates this glowing, warm sphere of peace inside my gut. Seeing the sphere tantalizes the fiery beast, and then hypnotizes him. Although I’m fully aware he is still sitting there deep inside me, the freedom to breath without stabbing pains and his chaotic jumping about feels great. As my eyes fill with the enchanting sights of the forest, the dark monster in my head slows. With each fluffy white-tailed deer, small bunny, and peaceful babbling brook, the darkness retracts a little. The hope inspired by seeing a world brimming over with beauty, sickens it. It’s still there, of course, but it shrinks away allowing me to regain some of my power back. There are levers it cannot reach, strings it cannot tug, and buttons it leaves untouched.

           I breathe in all the tranquility I can hold inside me, which pushes the monsters into small balls. The sun is lowering, and I know I must go back to the city. As my car pulls away from the forest, the monsters snicker. They grow larger as they laugh maniacally. My plan didn’t hurt them, but it helped me rest. I am recharged now.

           Fighting monsters takes time. There is no easy fix. They are awful parasitic pests. I am patient. I am strong. I continue meeting with Dr. Samson to scheme and plot against them. The monsters don’t like her. They hide when she is around, and they punish me for continuing to see her. I can handle their punishments, because what they don’t realize is they are getting weaker with each visit. They are fighting, and the fight is exhausting them.

           Walking in the woods is becoming a regular thing. The sphere of peace grows more powerful each time. I invite friends to join me. The presence of other people bothers the monsters. Being around these friends warms my heart and allows it to toss bright darts at the fire monster. My heart sends warm letters of love to my brain and as it vibrates with joy, the dark monster releases it’s clutches. The brain is not a comfortable spot for the vapor monster when it’s so active.

Of course, sometimes my strategy fails. Sometimes these friends say or do something that ices over my heart and darkens my soul. Things that extinguish my glowing sphere of hope. The monsters thrive with this empty unmoving space. This feeds them and helps them grow. The battle resets. We start over again. Again, and again. Will this ever end?

I crawl to Dr. Samson’s office again. Defeated, exhausted, and losing this round. The monsters are arrogant and boisterous this visit. They taunt Dr. Samson and call her a failure. Our strategy didn’t work. They are stronger. As we talk, a new monster appears. This one has a projector and a box of old, painful memories on film. With a smirk, this memory monster replays all those moments I’d do anything to avoid reliving.

“The monsters aren’t going away!” I scream. I’m resentful and angry. Why is she giving me more monsters and trying to tell me more monsters will eventually lead to less monsters? How does that make sense? If anything, the monsters have joined ranks. They attack me with a vicious mob mentality.

“I know things don’t feel great now, Jacob. You’re on the right path. You are getting to where you need to be.”

I don’t believe her. I don’t trust her. Later that night, I try to wash them out with fermented monster poison. Take that, jerks! At first, all I feel is a tingly calm. I’m unaware of the monsters. I swallow more poison, allowing a wave of it to wash through and take out the monsters one by one. I’m so grateful to the silence and the calm. I swallow more and more. I need to know they are truly gone.

They aren’t. Apparently, the poison doesn’t kill them. They love it. My brief moment of relaxing came from them resting satisfied. Now, they are powered up. The reel of memories speeds faster, the fire monster dances around in his own little rave, and the dark monster sinks its claws deeper into my brain. Everything in my life turns a bleak hue. I throw things, break them, scream, and destroy everything in my path. The violence fuels the monsters with wild excitement, and for a moment we are all one. We are happy together. We share the same passion for destruction. Then a new monster appears. This monster rips at my heart and bashes it like a pinata.

A friend talks to me until he has thoroughly bored the monsters and they take a rest. Then I sleep as well. Distraught, I return to Dr. Samson begging for a monster antidote. We talk some more until light floods through me. I’ve come to a powerful realization. The monsters quiver and hide away from it. The memory monster packs his bags. He doesn’t like living here in such a bright space. When he vanishes, I feel relief spread through me. The heart ripper misses the memory monster and leaves in search of him. I’m back to two. They make it clear they don’t plan any time soon. They don’t need the others, and they are quite happy tormenting me. Still, two less is a victory.

Doing my best to be patient, I eat healthy, exercise, meditate, and continue talking to Dr. Samson. I try new hobbies, talk to friends, sleep as much as I can, and continue my hikes. Time goes by slowly. One day I notice the monsters are sleepy and weary. Their size has shrunk, and their hold isn’t as strong. They’re bored with me and sit around lazy most days. The fire monster pokes around from time to time, but the energetic jumping and running has stopped. He can no longer be bothered. The dark monster sits in the corner of my mind. Sometimes it pulls forward to grab a lever and take control. Most days it sleeps. Everything is dull.

I’m not sure these monsters will ever leave. I don’t know if it’s possible to destroy them. Maybe the best I can do is find a way to cage them. Maybe I can find a way to control them. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I feel them crawling forward or waking up and I command them to fall back. They begrudgingly listen. For now. Dr. Samson says this is normal. They’ll get fired up and feisty from time to time. They’ll feed and conquer and destroy. My goal is to keep them contained and small for as long as I can. I need to keep myself in control as much as I can. If they act up, I’ll deal with them again. I have tools now.

She tells me all sorts of people have these little monsters. Some look different than mine, and some are similar. I see people differently now that I imagine all their little monsters within them. Maybe we all have these ugly, evil parasites. Sometimes I can even tell when a person is in a particularly tough battle with theirs and I reach out a helping hand. Connection is a tool that creates a glowing sphere of hope and those little monsters hate that. 

May 04, 2021 17:59

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Eric D.
23:37 May 11, 2021

Beautifully personable and relatable story


Annalisa D.
13:14 May 14, 2021

Thank you!


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