Monsters Happen

by Patti Hall

Dee startled awake from the dream, sat up in bed and looked around the room. The dream came back--hazy, yet clearer by the second. Dee had been warning the girl in her dream that he was a monster; that she shouldn't talk to him, should stay far away from him.

                Like most of her dreams, she had no idea who the girl was or who the monster was. She still felt the very real anxiety and fear tingle all her senses. Can you smell or taste fear? Dee was sure she could; it was metallic, like blood. The feeling was tingling, but almost electric. As for sight; her eyelids drooped, begging to be allowed to close, to escape what they might see. Her ears were simply hyper vigilant; waiting for the wrong sound.

                There is was.  She heard the voices out on the shared deck. One was a monster's voice.

                Not sure how she could have translated her dream world to real life, Dee raced out of the patio doors and came screeching to a halt when she saw them. The monster stood looming over the young girl, yet she didn't look afraid. The girl's calm seemed to work magic on Dee's fear as she slowly walked to the far end of the deck where the pair stood. Just before Dee reached them the monster looked up, shot Dee a wave, and turned and strolled away.

                Dee reached out and touched the girl's shoulder, “Are you okay?”

                “Sure, I'm fine. Why?”

                Looking over the girl's head toward the monster, Dee's mouth fell open, she sputtered, “He, uh, how..?”

                The girl turned and looked behind her in the direction that the monster had walked, “Oh, I don't know how he does that, but he's just my step dad, so I know he's not going to hurt me.”

                Dee could not believe her eyes. The dark, scary monster had turned into an average-looking man in his mid 30's.