Rhapsody in Darkness
It’s the twenty-first century. Monsters aren’t real, are they?
We’ve gathered around the fires and told the stories for as long as we’ve been human. We’ve sat in the light and told tales of what waited in the darkness. They used to scare us enough that we didn’t stray away, didn’t go looking for trouble.
For some reason we stopped listening.
Something happened to you, something that changed the way the world worked for you. Everything’s different now. You can’t glance down an alley without imagining the glint of eyes looking back at you—or did you imagine it? Most nights you sit up, sharpening your hunting knife, reading your Bible, dripping silver into hollow-point rounds. Other nights, you step out into the cold, lock your door, and head to the meet the others like you. Time to hunt. All you’ve got is your flesh and blood, the tools at hand, and the thin hope that when the last shell casing hits the floor you and yours will be the only monsters left standing. You go home, you lick your wounds. Maybe you weep uncontrollably while you shake in the shower, scalding water running down your skin. Either way you’re out again next week.
You get up from the fire. You turn away from it, your shadow stretching out ahead of you till it blurs into the shadows of the night. You take a deep breath.