- i - What Do Monsters Look Like?
The trick to monsters is that they rarely have scaly skin, pointy yellow teeth, or long sharp nails.
Typically, their power does not include breathing fire from their bellies, flying through the night, or shooting beams from their eyes.
Never will you find them drinking your tears, sucking your blood, or eating your flesh off the bone.
But, all too often, monsters look just like me, and just like you.
- ii - Do Parents Think Of Monsters Over Coffee?
They sat at the island in the centre of the kitchen, sharing their morning coffee.
"She hasn't been herself for weeks."
Her husband was right. Their daughter had been acting peculiar for months, especially so in the weeks leading to Easter.
"She doesn't even get out of bed for church! And you know how much she loves our after-church breakfast tradition at Denny's!"
She clasped her hand over his, squeezing gently. She could see worry in his eyes.
He was never one to let things be.
"I'll talk to her tonight when I tuck her in for bed."
- iii - Monsters Under Her Bed?
He and his wife always took turns tucking her in. She would read her fairytales of strong princesses and evil witches. He would read her fairytales of wicked dragons and fierce knights.
Over the last year, however, she had outgrown bedtime fairy tales.
"Sweetie, your mother and I are worried."
"I'm sorry, Daddy. It's just I'm...scared. I don't feel...safe. Except when I'm here with Fluffy!"
She hadn't slept without her black cat in years, not since she moved from a crib to a bed, and Fluffy was just a kitten.
"Scared of what, honey?"
In this day and age what wasn't there to be scared of? Wars, school shootings, church shootings, natural disasters. Her father let go of his thoughts, and refocused on his little girl.
He looked down at her. Her sparkling young eyes. Such innocence. He leaned in to kiss her on the forehead.
"Remember how we had the talk about Santa and the Easter Bunny? It's the same thing for monsters. You have nothing to worry about. They don't exist."
"If they did exist...you would protect me?"
"Of course I would protect you! Your my little angel."
- iv - Monsters In Her Head?
It was his turn again to tuck her in for bed. Just as she had two nights before, she talked of monsters.
"Listen, honey, I promise you. There are no monsters."
He began to search the room. An effort to comfort her.
"Not in your closet. Not outside your window. Not under your bed!"
"Not those kinds of monsters, Daddy."
He cocked his head, kneeling on the floor beside her.
She brought her face closer to his, and whispered.
"The ones at church."
- v - What Do Monsters Look Like, Again?
The six o'clock news played in the background as the three of them enjoyed their family supper.
"...four men accused of the cult sacrifices of virgin girls between June 1946 and January 2017 in the basement of Saint Damien's Chapel in an effort to summon the antichrist and usher in the apocalypse have been found guilty of their crimes and sentenced to life without parole. More on this story after the break..."
To hear the story told another time, no longer phased them.
- vi - Monsters Are Tricky, Remember?
It had gone through the courts for years. A story from the pages of a Stephen King novel.
Old men. Cabals. Prophecies. Rituals.
It was the testimony of one little girl that brought the monsters to light, revealing the dark secrets a humble township never knew it kept.