Saturday, October 1, 2016

Nightmare Fuel 2016, Day the Zeroth: "Not That Kind of Monster"

Write horrible things with me.

With these words, Andrea Trask began the annual "Nightmare Fuel" project, in which every day of October,  whomever chooses to do so writes a story inspired by the same image prompt. It's a tradition which now enters is fourth consecutive year. It's a tradition which began as a way for Andrea to deal with ill dreams which plagued her as the calendar turns towards All Hallows Eve and a tradition which I've continued sporadically.

This year I'm writing before the prompt was prompted, so I'll open with a brief poem inspired by one from last year that I didn't get to. We'll see how we round out the year.

So come, listen, join in.

Write horrible things with me.

These will all be potentially unsettling, but this one comes with a trigger-warning for street harassment.

"Not That Kind of Monster"

Date night. Not long planned, just a guy from Tindr.
Though moon is full, no hair grows on my face,
no howl escapes from my throat.
My legs are as smooth as a razor can get them, no pack awaits me.
I'm not that kind of monster.

He's cute, in a geeky kind of way.
Dinner,  a small table for two, he leans forward as I talk,
catching every word, or catching a peek down my blouse? No matter.
 My voice, though fair, doesn't hypnotize him,
                                                      doesn't steal his thoughts,
                                                                    doesn't curse him to follow me to his doom.
I'm not that kind of monster.

The movie ends sometime past midnight.
On the darkened streets, my teeth don't stretch into fangs.
I don't sensuously lick my lips before sinking my teeth into his neck
before drinking my fill
and leaving his drained husk behind.
I'm not that kind of monster.

When the men at the corner call out,
when they yell, "Hey sexy"
                    and "nice ass"
                      and "wanna share her, bro?"
I don't grow claws, don't break their bones
don't devour their flesh.
I'm not that kind of monster.

I do see him, my date, puff up with something like pride
even as their comments become more lewd
even as one starts to approach.
He speaks once to them,
                                   "she's mine".
I know that even if I take him home,
even after we fuck,
there will be no second date. No happily ever after.
I'll not kill him, tear his skin from his body, and wear it as a suit.
I'm disappointed in him, but
I'm not that kind of monster.

In the dark of the next morning I'll take the knife.
I'm practiced at this now. Two slices, and they're gone.
I string them up with the others as blood runs down the side of my head.
Knowing that it's useless.
Knowing that they'll only grow back again.
Knowing that I'll still hear the next time anyway.
But noticing that each time they seem to grow back slower.
That's the kind of monster I am.
One who is slowly
one ear at a time
being killed.


I lied in the intro; this poem IS inspired by the attached image, but also by a real life event. Last month, the aforementioned Andrea Trask was subject to a nasty and frightening bit of street harassment. While she was not injured in body, the circumstance and actions [a late night, an empty street, drunk sports fans in a car] were deeply unsettling and left her rattled for quite some time after.

Thus the opener, and this year's theme: Harm. The ways in which we harm each other, the ways in which we harm ourselves, the ways in which we allow harms to come to pass.

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