It started with the slithering...
I could hear it in the walls,
Like a quiet whisper, just barely audible.
Nobody else could hear it,
But I could...
In the silent stillness of the night.
I tried to tell them.
I pointed to where I heard it,
I stopped them to listen,
But they couldn't,
Or maybe they didn't want to hear it.
Perhaps they were just afraid to acknowledge it.
It didn't stop there.
Of course it wouldn't,
That's never how it happens.
Next came the feeling;
That prickly feeling on the back of your neck,
The subconsious unease that tells you....
Something, or someone, is watching you.
I could never quite spot anything.
There were no red eyes glaring from a darkened vent,
No strange eye suddenly spotted in a peephole,
No, it was just the feeling,
That something was there,
Watching me with malicious intent.
Again, I was laughed off,
It was explained away, as it always is.
"Just nerves," they said, "nothing to be afraid of."
But I was afraid,
And rightfully so.
Things started happening fast after that:
Food went missing,
Toys got lost,
Clothes found holes where no holes had been.
All mysterious but no reason to panic,
People grabbing snacks without asking,
Kids not putting things away after playing,
Moths getting into the closet;
All so innocent, so mundane.
Until the scars...
You can't easily explain a claw mark on day's break.
No pain or injury the night before,
Just thick red lines across bare skin, suddenly appearing.
How did it happen?
Was there something in our vents?
Those sounds suddenly seemed much less imaginary,
I suddenly became credible again,
But it was too late.
By then, I was on the pills,
Those dulling little drops of nothing,
Making the world go gray.
But hey, I no longer heard the sounds,
I no longer felt watched,
I was quiet, calm and complacent.
So when my daughter went missing,
I was sad, for sure,
But not dreadfully so.
When my son lay bleeding on the kitchen linoleum,
I tried to bandage him up,
But I hadn't the energy to move quickly enough.
Now a parent no longer,
I should've been heartbroken,
But I wasn't.
My oh-so-caring husband shouted,
He screamed his fury,
He weeped his despair,
All while I looked on dispassionately.
And then he looked at me...
He saw my bland eyes,
He evaluated my dry cheeks,
He thoughtlessly ignored how he had demanded those pills be taken,
And he called me a heartless monster.
He said it with such venom,
With such disdain,
Like it had been bubbling beneath his crust all along,
Suddenly freed to be spoken.
I would've shouted back how I told him I heard things,
And how he just ignored me.
I would've weeped and sobbed over unease I felt,
And how he said it was just nerves.
I would've pointed out the strange occurrences,
And how he felt it was finally time to medicate.
But I didn't speak,
I just stared.
It would've been in horror,
Had I been able to feel it.
Instead, I felt nothing,
As the beast finally emerged behind him,
Clamped his head in massive jaws,
And dragged him into the darkness.
I wonder now,
As I wait for it to return:
Is it the monster for doing what hungry beasts do?
Am I the monster for feeling nothing as it happened?
Or was he the monster for not listening?
Oh well, it's back now.
It may still be hungry,
I can't really tell...
And I don't really care anymore.