I am the twig that snaps. I am the eyes watching their every move. I am the breath down their back. I am the chills racing up and down the spine. I am fear itself.
Once upon a time I was not a monster, but a humane little girl. I did not feast on berries and bloody, raw meat of any poor animal that crossed my path, but macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets. I used to play with dolls, wear twirly, pretty dresses, comb and put silk bows in my hair, wear shoes, and have a family who loved me. Now, now I can’t do any of those things. I do not wear clothes, but, instead, I cover myself in mud. My fierce red hair is long and matted beyond repair. My last pair of shoes got too small for me years ago, now I have soles thick as leather. I am alone and that’s all I will say.
I have one shred of humanity left inside of me. It’s only because of my little dolly, Ruby. She is the last piece of my previous life that I have left. I hold her tight at night and tell her about my day. I try to brush her hair, but it’s as bad as my hair now. Her once beautiful body is coated with dirt and dust. Her dress used to be a carnation pink, but is now a grungy gray and hangs in tatters over her plush belly. Her face was once a pale peach color with her lips painted carefully a rosy color. She had the eyes that open and shut when tilted, but they just hang slack, one half open and the other wide. She is all I have left…
I live in a cave in the middle of the woods. I claimed it for myself years ago and fight those who try to take it from me. This is my home! Those who try to take my home from me do not live long, usually.
Then one night, a few hours after the sun went down and the nature sounds began, I was telling Becca about the wonderful hunt I had that day; I had killed a buck, a few rabbits and squirrels, and a couple trout. I was in mid-sentence when I heard rustling outside of my home. I put my finger to my lips to shush Becca, and then I set her down and crawled on all fours to the edge of the cage to listen. This time I heard voices about a half mile away down by the river. My whole body tensed with anticipation! Fresh meat! My mouth started salivating uncontrollably. I started jumping around and kicking my feet in excitement. It had been a while since I had some real food. I ran over to my table of hunting sticks and chose the pointiest of them all and told Becca that I would return. And so I set out on a joyous hunt.
I ran with all my might to the river where I last heard them. And there they were! They were right where I thought they would be! I quickly scaled the tree above and watched them. It was a couple about twenty years old. The man was tall, lean, short, styled brown hair in shorts and a tank top. He wouldn’t taste that good, but I couldn’t be that picky. The woman on the other hand would taste fantastic! She was short, thin but meaty, curvy at the hips, and short and spiky blonde hair. I licked my lips to keep my saliva from dripping out.
They were setting up camp for the night. He was building a fire and she was setting up a tent. Independent she is, I drooled. They roasted fish over the fire and made baked beans and ate it all quickly. I watched for hours, waiting for my chance to attack. I watched while they cleaned up and got ready for bed. I shifted slightly to relax my cramped muscles and her neck snapped up, searching for me. I froze. A wide grin broke across my face, hoping she would spot me so I could get this deliciousness over with. She didn’t.
She knows I am here though. She is clinging to him, trying to reason with him to pack up and leave. He is arguing back, telling her it is all her imagination. “You should have listened to her,” I say.
Finally they head into the tent; she was very reluctant. Good, I think. I wait a few more minutes, praying to the wood god that I successfully make this kill. When I saw the sign, I inched down the tree. I am not afraid to make noises, in fact, I encourage it. The more fear I instill in them, the better they taste. I ducked behind the tree because I could see their lamp was still on. They were arguing, hopefully about me again. Fear AND anger. Yummy. My mouth continued to salivate uncontrollably and I let my instincts take over. I raised my stake and walked over to their tent. I started to unzip the flap slowly. They still were yelling. Perfect. I unzipped it little bit by little bit. I held my breath so as not to give myself away, although that was a silly thought. I have already given myself up. I am ready to make the pounce.
I put down the stick and took a deep breath. I ran into the tent and yanked them both out by. Screams erupted from man and woman, and I breathed it all in. Yes! I laid them side by side. I revealed myself in the light of the moon. I allowed myself to laugh and laugh at my good fortune. Two-in-one deal! They tried to fight to get away, but they couldn’t go anywhere that I didn’t already know of. I stalked off to find some rope to tie them up with. They had to have some somewhere or another. I kept peeking over my shoulder, making sure they didn’t escape. They are too afraid to move and I won’t give them the chance to think about a way out. Ropes! Once in hand, I leapt back over to them. I grabbed the man first and pulled him by the ankles over to the nearest tree. I tied the tightest knot I could. Then it was her turn and I did it the same way, only gentler. I couldn’t bruise my main course.
I untied the man and yanked him to his feet and dragged him to the fire pit where I tied his hands behind his back. I pushed him into the still smoldering embers. He yelped in pain and my grin became wider. I picked up my stick and said, “Make love to me.”
He wrinkled his face in disgust and yelled, “No! Never!”
I started laughing again. I knelt down next to his ear and said, “Do it before I stick this so far up your asshole that it comes out your head.” I glanced up to his girl and smirked.
She’s screaming for him to do it and for him to listen to me. Smart girl, I proudly thought. He looked at her pleadingly, but she, thankfully, nudged him forward. Some hesitation later, he agreed.
After the deed was done, I stabbed him viciously in the shoulder, then the thigh, and lastly the heart. He died slowly, his body twitching and convulsing, his blood oozing out around the stakes. I watched delightfully.
His girl screamed his name repeatedly, trying to break free of the rope but couldn’t. I yanked the stick out of his heart and wondered over to her, raising the weapon, smiling wide. I put the tip of the bloody stake under her chin and said, “What’s wrong?”
She shook her head, refusing to answer.
“Nothing,” she uttered.
“I’m going to kill you now. Know why?”
She shook fiercely and said she didn’t.
“Because I am Fear!”
Then I stabbed her three times through the heart to make sure she is gone, blood squirting everywhere. Some even landed in my mouth and I licked it down eagerly.
I untied them and hauled them to my cave.
“I’m home and brought treats,” I called to Becca. They would last me a few days.
Now years later, I wonder through the woods hunting still with a companion: my daughter, who is a born hunter. I have her and she has me. We are a real family, never to be alone again. We are monsters. We are Fear and Shadow, one in the same.
Written by: glassdoll411