The Real Monsters
rating: +16+x

When I was a little boy, I was afraid of monsters.

They always lurked in the dark places where the light didn’t reach. It didn’t matter how many times my father shone a flashlight into the dark corners of my closet; I knew, the moment that the light was gone, that the monsters would come back. They would lurk in the darkness and whisper to me. I would cower under my blanket and hope they would go away. Sometimes, they would, when the morning came, but I knew that the moment the darkness came back, the monsters would return too.

And they always did.

When I grew up, I learned why: the real monsters don’t hide in dark corners and closets. The real monsters are the ones that live behind your eyes, in the darkness of your mind, and it takes more than a flashlight to send them away, more than a blanket to hide from them. They're always there, whispering to you, saying terrible things that children don't understand.

After enough listening, you'd do anything to make them stop.

You’ll find what you’re looking for in the basement of the abandoned Murphy house. She’s still alive - at least, the parts that I still had were alive the last time I visited her - but the others are long dead. I’ve kept their teeth in ziploc bags in the old file cabinet. Maybe you can identify them from dental records.

Anyway, she hasn’t eaten in days, and she’s lost a lot of blood, but she might still live if you hurry. If she wants to live, that is. The others didn't want to, in the end.

All I ask is that you leave the light on when you go. This prison cell is very dark, and I’m afraid that the monsters will come out when you leave.

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