March 2018 Prompt: Who wouldn't be angry? You ate all my cereal and faked your death for 3 years!
March 2018 Word: Loquacious
I'm a monster. Let's get that out of the way. No surprises. Willow said humans like surprises. I have discovered that most humans are selective about the surprises they appreciate.
Gifts, for example, are good. Surprise visits, though, not so much. Especially from monsters.
I became Willow's monster when she was 3. She and her family moved into the house I was living in.
The first night, after her parents had tucked her into bed and shut out the light, I heard a little rasp, "Is anyone there?"
I startled. I knew she couldn't have seen me. I was still tucked under the bed. Then, the tiny voice again, "Oh, please tell me that someone's there. I'm scared all alone."
It broke my heart. I slid out and sat leaning against the side of her bed. Willow peered at my dark, shifting form. She wasn't afraid of me. She asked for my name.
"Viktor", I whispered.
"Viktor", she parroted. "Can I hold your hand?" I raised my arm up and she placed her hand into mine, her short, pudgy fingers almost disappearing into my palm.
"Thanks Viktor," she mumbled, and was asleep seconds later.
Every night after that I would hold her hand and she would talk to me til she fell asleep. She would tell me about the twisty slide at preschool and how she hated nap time.
She would tell me about how first grade was super hard but that she was glad to be out of "baby school". She would tell me that multiplication was impossible and boys were awfully icky.
She would tell me how nervous she was about her first middle school dance and she didn't know what to wear and she was sure no one would dance with her.
She would tell me that her history teacher was cute and that her parents would never understand her.
When Willow was 14, our conversations changed. Now all Willow wanted to talk about, her hand clamped in mine in her excitement, was Riley.
About how Riley was the cutest boy in her school and how all the girls liked him. About Riley's blonde, floppy hair and sleepy eyes.
About how Riley wore Converse and she needed to get a pair to match. About how Riley asked Jessie out and Willow's heart was forever broken.
About how Jessie and Riley split up and how Willow was so glad. How it felt like color had come back into the world.
About how she would time her departure from science class so she could run into Riley while he was on his way to lunch. How she hoped one day he would ask her to sit with him in the cafeteria.
How the only thing she wanted in all the world, the only thing she needed, was to be Riley's girlfriend.
This went on for 2 1/2 years. Willow pining over a boy who didn't seem to know she existed. Then, as it often does, life changed in the blink of an eye.
One night Willow bounded into her room and flung herself on the bed. "Viktor!" She whispered/screeched.
I slipped out from my place under the bed and held out my hand for her to take, like she had for 13 years. But she didn't. It was like she didn't see it. "Guess what?! Best day ever!"
I lowered my arm and tried to keep my hurt from showing. "What, my girl? Did you win the lottery?"
"Well, kinda! Even better, really. Riley! Asked! Me! Out!!!" She was grinning so hard I worried her face would split in two. I clapped my hands, though they made no sound and smiled back at her.
"Tell me all about it," I said, even as dread flooded through me.
She talked and talked, about how this was it! Now she was happy. Now she had everything she ever wanted. Her life was fulfilled.
When she finally wore herself out, she fell asleep. My hand felt empty and cold without hers. After 13 1/2 years, Willow no longer needed me.
I didn't go back under the bed like usual. I sat with the frame of the bed pressing into my back and a boulder crushing my chest. I knew I should consider myself lucky.
Most monsters don't get to form this kind of bond with their human. Humans move away too often. But I had thought we were different.
I stayed there for a long time, running through my options. After a while, I heaved a deep sigh and stood. I couldn't stay here when Willow didn't need me.
Monsters rarely move but nothing was normal with Willow and me.
Before I left I drew a claw over my palm, letting my blood drip under the bed. She might not want me anymore but no way was I letting some other monster move in on her.
My blood being there would keep them away.
"Good night, love." I breathed, touching her hand one last time. "Good bye."
I wandered the earth, occupying empty houses. I didn't want another human. I knew there wasn't anyone who could compare to Willow. But then, one stormy night, I couldn't take it any longer.
I tracked Willow down and went to her apartment. She wasn't home but I let myself in.
The apartment was small and a little cluttered. It didn't take me long to walk through it. I sat down on the kitchen floor to watch the door and wait. There was a box of Cheerios on the counter.
I could smell them. They reminded my of Willow. She used to sneak little baggies of cereal into bed with her for a midnight snack. I pulled the box down and dug into it.
They were surprisingly tasty. I ate more.
The front door banged open and I stood up. Willow screamed.
"Hi, love." I choked, the emotion at seeing her making my voice sound like gravel. She screamed again and flew at me, her fists striking my shadowy chest.
I let her hit me and after a while she stumbled back and crouched against the refrigerator.
"Is it really you?" She demanded.
"Of course, love. But don't worry. I'm not staying. I needed to check on you. I'll be on my way." She glared at me. "Are you angry?"
"Who wouldn't be angry?" She exploded. "You ate all my cereal and faked your death for 3 years!"
I glanced sheepishly down at the Cheerio box that was still clutched in my hand. "About that, sorry, wait, what? Faked my death? Love, what are you talking about?"
"You disappeared! And there was blood! Everywhere! I thought you died, I thought someone murdered you, but here you are, so obviously you faked your death."
I shook my head at her. "My dear girl, I am sorry for any sorrow I caused. It was not my intent. The blood was to keep other monsters away from you. And I left because you were happy.
You didn't need me any more. You had Riley. Where is he, by the way? I would like to meet him, just once."
She gritted her teeth and growled at me. "Riley. Riley. Riley broke up with me 2 days after you left me. I couldn't pull myself together because I missed your dumb self too much.
And Riley couldn't deal with that. So I was all alone when I needed you more than ever." A tear slipped down her cheek and she dashed it away.
I shifted over to where she sat and wrapped my arm around her.
"You were upset?"
"Of course I was upset! You were my best friend and you disappeared and there was a puddle of blood under my bed and you weren't there! So yeah, I kinda freaked out." Her voice rose to a wail.
"I'm here now, girl. If you want me to be." She nodded, resting her head on my shoulder. "Well then, tell me about the last few years. I have missed your loquaciousness."
She started up. "My loquaciousness? Are you serious? Anyone who uses the word loquaciousness is by definition, loquacious."
I chuckled and pulled her head back to my shoulder. I took her warm hand into my icy one and knew all was right with the world.