The Monster are real
| A Wish Come True
Abigail sat bent over in the rolling chair with her head flat against the desk. To onlookers, she would appear to be asleep, but for her it was all part of the creative process. Her work in front of the flashing neon cube took a toll. Abigail spent her time of respite conjuring up monsters. It was a job, not many people, and certainly not others her age could comprehend. .At the ripe old age of twenty-four, Abigail found herself the lead writer and editing publisher of the Grisly Gore Comic Book. Each month she was responsible for the creation of frightful beings and ogres within the pages of the thirty page novelette of gruesome oddities. She and the owner had found a niche for this type of publication among the millennial crowd, willing to pay a pretty penny for the trash. . .
"Girl, are you even in there?" Betsy said as she carefully lifted Abigail's head from the desk
"Present and accounted for," came the slurred reply.
"Man, you are done in! Why don't you take the afternoon off? Go home and catch some Z's"
"Deadlines dooming, oh fearless leader. I just can't seem to come up with next month's monster."
"It will come to you. Give yourself a break Come at it fresh in the morning."
"Yeah, maybe you're right. This creature is lurking somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind and for some reason I can't bring him to the surface. When I start to put him on paper, he becomes only a fuzzy shadow."
"You're a creative genius, I have faith in you. Just need a little regeneration time. When is the last time that you spent time with people your age? You remember, partying, socializing, and the trivial pursuit of living without being buried knee deep in. monsters."
"Ha-ha you know these monsters are like my children. While the kids I went to school with are shooting one wailing creature out of their loins every nine months, I allow only one month before each bouncing baby birthed.'
"There is something not right in that head of yours, but I love you anyway. Go home."
"I'm going! Can I ask you a question first?"
"Sure, honey, anything."
"Do you ever have nightmares?"
"Sure, doesn't everyone? Some of them can be quite bizarre."
"Mine have been atrocious lately. I think that's why I'm so tired all the time."
"Well, of course, they are. You live, breathe, and eat monsters for a living. Why wouldn't they be? You need to learn how to turn that brain of yours to the off position. Tomorrow, you and I begin planning a vacation. We can afford a one month magazine hiatus. Shit, we can even resurrect our fist edition for the nostalgia nuts."
"But aren't the magazine awards judged on the June editions? You know which one I'm fighting to win."
"Those awards are based on the whole year. You have presented dynamite work as our profit line can attest. You're a shoe in for your coveted dream award. Stop worrying so much. A, vacationing, we will go."
"Okay, I'll try. For now, a snooze on the deck is calling my name. Catch you later."
She pushed her chair away from the desk propping herself to an upright position in one swift move. Packing her keys, laptop, uneaten lunch, and artist pencils for use at home into her over-sized backpack, it took only a matter of minutes before she was headed out the door. She vaguely heard Betsy's comment, "oh to be young again" as she exited the building.
She stuffed her body and her tools into the bright orange Prius and headed home. Just as she pulled into the parking lot of her apartment building dark clouds seemed to gather in the sky. She refused to let a few cumuli stop her from gathering whatever sunrays remained. She dashed indoors and changed quickly to shorts and a halter top. She slathered herself in the highest octane of lotion to protect her pale skin. Abigail donned her sunglasses and floppy hat before stepping onto the wooden deck. The sun was hazy, but visible and warm, just the prescription she felt she needed. The lounger invited and she accepted its coziness.
Fifteen minutes later, she was awakened by the spittle that had drained from her mouth down to her neck. She swiped at the goo with her hand and mouthed a gesture of disgust as she bolted upright in the chair. She was still alone on the enclosed deck but the sun had vanished and the clouds were prominent. A balmy wind had grown brisk. The scene had changed so quickly that Abigail had to look at her watch just to figure out how long she had been sleeping. It took her a moment to overcome the disorientation she felt, but even then she couldn't escape the feeling of being watched. She glanced around in search of the eyes that she sensed were boring into her. Finding no one the uneasy feeling remained as she backed herself warily into the sliding glass door. A turbulent gust of wind blew a good amount of leaves and grass into the foyer with her. She struggled to slam the door against the wind.
Abigail locked the door and stared outside looking for any signs of life in the apartment complex. She managed only to see her hat dance off the edge of the deck carried by the swirling winds. .Breathing deeply, she tried to let the calm return from the odd experience on the deck. She could still feel the eyes resting on her.
"You were looking for me weren't you?" asked the deep and gravelly voice from behind her.
Abigail jumped back against the glass, instinctively throwing her hands in front of her for defense. Grabbing the vase from the nearby table, she swung it at the intruder. It seemed to disappear into the molten-like flesh of the creature. She paused in terror as the massive blue and green scales of the beast flapped closed and then opened with its inspiration. The seven foot, orange-eyed, muscle-bound hulk in front of her breathed the same air as she. Even in her crazed fear, she recognized this fact as a possible weapon. She sidled sideways around the dining room table in hopes of putting the furniture between them.
"Not real ...just a dream," she panted.
"Abigail, I am as real as you. We have played these games many times. There is no escaping me! I live, as you live," he said as his eyes seemed to grow red in anger. With ease, his arms extended across the table revealing bear-like paws with the talons of an eagle buried behind the scaly flesh. The ogre slashed his imprint of four moon-shaped claw marks against her cheek. The savage attack sent her sprawling back against the wall. Her blood flowed freely from the fresh wound. .
"Why?" she screamed through her tears looking up at the mountain of monster that towered over her.
"You summoned me through the wishes made each month. Nightmares don't exist. I have proven my reality through the pain inflicted," his words growled at the woman sobbing in pain.
Abigail drug her limp and torn body away the monster while he spoke. She whimpered through the pain and the realization that she couldn't escape the beast or the even the truth. This was her reality. She had met this monster many times and in many different forms. They lived because she had created them. They tortured her all because of a wish she had made long ago. Abigail called it her version of selling her soul to the devil. No one would understand her intense need to succeed but the monsters supplied the power to fight for it.
While Abigail was hurt and lost in her own thoughts her mind's creation busied himself with the attack. He picked the woman up like a flea from a dog's back and flung her towards the kitchen. On impact she could hear the sound of her bones cracking. The right side of her ribcage wilted inward making it hard to breathe. Her left arm bowed to the shape of a willow branch. Survival became her only desire.
"Kryptonite... every monster has one," she mumbled to herself. She reached inside the cabinet, grabbing the first spray bottle she could reach. She rolled onto her back, flopping hard against the floor, fighting with guppy breaths for her needed air. She aimed the nozzle, with her eyes closed, up towards the beast, hoping against hope, for salvation.
"NO!" came the violent scream above her as the oven cleaner hit its mark.
She opened her to eyes see the monster crumbling under a cloud of foam. He withered in size and shape while the harsh household cleaner melted his scales. The ogre's breathing became labored as the foam infused his lungs. Abigail listened, without remorse, to the cries of the dying beast. She pictured the witch from Oz, as she looked upon the newly- formed pooled puddle of goo, the remnants of a once menacing monster.
After the threat had been eliminated, Abigail passed out from the pain on the kitchen floor. She woke hours later to survey the damage on her body. The mirror confirmed her reality. She tended to her wounds as best she could. Gingerly, she lay down on the couch to review the events of the day. She wondered how she would explain her current condition to Betsy. She could feel the beginning of a smile start spread on her face.
"The human psyche is a powerful tool," she whispered to no one but herself.
"But, yeah me! I survived and I have my next monster for the magazine," the idea rolled painfully but happily through her mind. .
:I can see it all now. I will win the Monster Magazine Trophy I have always wished for. Angus, himself, will award me the coveted prize. Betsy will be so proud!" she said as she passed out from her head wounds once again.
Word Count 1694