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I, Monster?
I, Monster?

Can a man really change? Is it possible for an individual who is deemed 'broken' by society be able
to alter his destiny and set out on a better road?
Silas Ditch breathed in deeply and closing his eyes in concentration, he nodded in agreement with
the Real Estate Agent.

"...It's quite a good price, Mr. Ditch..." the woman with the bra-strap peeking from beneath her pastel
-yellow blouse said "...we've received many enquiries for the property and if you're interested, I would
move quickly"

The slightly-overweight female glanced back from her perusal of the rubbish-filled back yard,
this particular view from the bedroom window wasn't a vista that would back-up her statement,
yet it was better than facing this strange man eye-to-eye.

He burned, yes that was the word she pulled from her limited descriptive vocabulary, he seemed
aflame with an unknown emotion. Carol Dewhurst was currently seeing a guy that she deemed
'smouldering' yet, that was a word she would never use on the man standing in the corner of this
empty bedroom with the brown duffel-coat folded over his forearm.
No, never.

The eyes behind the black-framed spectacles moved slightly and Carol followed the empty gaze
to the wall that divided the house from next-door, the peeling wallpaper offered little to an optimistic
"The couple that recently moved in next-door are really quiet and very friendly..."Carol blurted
"...I think you're looking at a nice peaceful place"
The stoic figure with the slightly-grey hair added nothing in confidence towards her commission.


Silas poured himself another coffee and whispered another prayer to keep Demon way.
Maybe he had stayed at his last abode -Silas thought doubtfully and carefully added some sugar.
It was Tuesday and the scruffy-little house in the middle of the the scruffy street had become a home,
Silas' home.

The middle-age woman from the real-estate agency known as Carol had rang that very morning to
make sure Silas was happy with his purchase.
He was... because he was alone.

The medium-sized screen of the thin television reiterted the news of the so-called 'Dr. Cold' murders.
Apparently, the recent slaying of a male in his late twenties was the work of this monster that enjoyed
dissecting his prey in some-sort of medical fashion.

Silas guessed that the epithet that the media had given the mysterious killer of eighty-four people was
due to the odd behaviour with the victim's heart.
Always found beside the body and always placed in a bag of ice.

"Are you happy...?" Demon asked politely "...I mean, are you truly happy?" and stepped from the door
way of the dingy-kitchenette, the shifting, roiling shape curled into the room that -as the fair Carol had
commented "can double as a dining room AND a lounge"
Silas' bete noir had returned.

The bright-red mug of coffee trembled slightly in Silas' hand as he turned away from the terrible form
that floated across the thick-grey, still-new-smelling carpet and the temperature in the room dropped
"I'm normal now and that's how I'm going to stay" Silas muttered and wandered towards the small
table near the armchair, a uncompleted crossword awaited.

The television momentarily distracted both beings in the cramped area as it proclaimed a possible
break in the series of murders. A red-cheeked man with a poor choice in ties stood in front of the
slowly-turning sign of the Scotland Yard offices and the red-block title beneath introduced him as
Detective Higgins-Tate.

"...And I am confident that the team and I will bring the perpetrator of these horrible crimes to justice..."
Higgins-Tate said proudly "... nobody is above the law on my watch" he added and chanced a small
grin into the camera.

Demon smiled the smile that only the insane can appreciate and quietly clicked the television off.
Technology was the new god for many humans -he knew and so his existence would prevail without
any nettlesome disturbance from those of a more traditional religion.

"They seek us Silas, they wish to hunt us down" the hellion of the man in the armchair hissed with
a hint of mock-earnestness and even though the answer to Four-Down of the puzzle was 'false' Silas
wouldn't smirk at the so-called coincidence.

The refrigerator-come-freezer clunked in it's eternal cooling cycle and again, the fate-like reminder
wasn't lost on the new resident of 13 Hobb's End. The wheels were turning again.
Demon waited and time tarried there as well.


The deep heartbeat thud began again through the wall and a guttural shout of anger accompanied
the throb of bass as Silas jammed his head under the pillow and murmured his prayer.
Two o'clock in the morning and the neighbours were at it again.

The darkness beneath goose-feathered cushion brought luring terrible visions and anger-quenching
horrors of how to solve the dilemma, but Silas knew it was his anti-supernal drawing the mirages.
"I will not go back" the muffled voice stated from the shadows of the bed and Silas knew that Demon
was smiling in the blackness.

He'd taken to sitting in the wooden chair near the boarded-up fireplace, Demon cared little for comfort
and enjoyed the solace of loneliness, just as his consort appreciated too.
The rider of the back-straight chair responded with nothing, temptation came from the whispers of the
heart and not the ear.

The music thrummed on and the occasional sound of something brittle being dropped or thrown halted
Silas' focus on reaching the arms of Morpheus, but with a determined mouth, he waited beneath the


4.00am and the country lane spoke of optimistic robins scouring the leaf-litter for an early breakfast
and a frosty mist that rivalled the ghostly shape watching Dr. Cold going about his work.
Dawn was just kissing the horizon and the cold air would dig in it's heels in it's reluctance to be moved

The days would be strangers to warmth this far into the year and it had been said by many academics
of the mind that this month was the month when most people died.
October -Demon would agree, was when the soul was at low-tide.

Can a man really change? Silas asked himself as his ice-numbed fingers took the origins of the deep
thudding and placed it in the bag. Can I fix the un-fixable...? his mind queried and pushed his spectacles
back up his red nose. Daylight was nearing and he knew he should be on his way.

Demon soaked in the sorrow that Silas always felt after the dispatching of his fellow-species and even
though it was food for his own atramentous continuation, the spectre took no enjoyment in the osmosis.

For Silas had been there for him when he had needed a friend, when he had needed succour and now,
they were partners on a road to who-knows-where.
A marriage of convenience -some would say.

We reap what we sow and the Devil is always watching... always.
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Once again...   smallawesome

WOW... this was my first time reading a short story of yours, and you had me hooked in the first paragraph. You sir - I mean, Ma'am - whichever you prefer, are not only a crafter of words, you are a very talented sculptor of thoughts and images you create in your readers' mind! That's the same quality I love about Steven King... his ability to find a little opening in his readers' mind, wiggle his way in and take over the place!

Thank you fellow-members, for the compliments.
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