The Monster Within

by Cal Tweedy


The house was dark.

Dark and darker still, if only for a few slithers of light.

The kind of light that beggar the question of possible origin.

Darkness outside, all around, flooding the house.

Yet these small illuminated areas persist, truly ghosts in the machine.

The deafening silence occasionally broken by creaks, cracks and groans.

The sounds of a house, being a house.

The sounds you only seem to hear at night.

Some like to say after a while a house becomes a member of the family.

Just as a human becomes a person when combined with a soul, by the same token a house respectively becomes a home.

If the former has any grounding of truth, one must surely argue the case that said member of the family is nocturnal.


Muffled footsteps are heard.

Footsteps of stagger, drag and imbalance.

The door handle jolts violently. Locked.

A pause.

Metallic scratches of a key locating the lock shriek through the house.

The handle turns successfully.

The door opens heavily, as the hinges scream. The handle is shouldering quite some unsteady weight.

In steps a lad of early 20's. He has been intoxicated at some point in the night, but the look in his eyes denotes a sobering agent is at work in his mind.

His eyes are raw, his face just about dry. He slams his keys down on the bench.


The light switch is next to the door.

It is not pressed, nor flicked. A sluggish palm smothers it until the lights turn on.

He pours a glass of water, takes a sip or two, then discards the rest.

It would help his head in the morning, but he cares not.

He sniffs.

He turns back and slams the light off. As he walks towards the stairs, the hairs stand up on the back of his neck. His mind is on other matters, and he dismisses it. A reflection is seen in the television screen.


The stairs are a struggle. The cumbersome footsteps stub and slip.

'Why him' he mutters - 'Why not me?'

He pauses on the stairs.

The imagine of the love of his life, in the arms of his friend.

The image ingrained in his mind.

Trying not to think of is certainly advisable, but try telling that to him.

The thought cripples viciously.

The hair again stands up on the back of his neck.

A force unknown makes him decide to turn around.

The indescribable urge to look over your shoulder when in the dark.

He turns, and at the foot of the stairs -


His heart jumps in palpitation.

Just eyes.

Dark green.

Looking AT ME.

His footing slips.

As he catches his balance, he looks back again.

The eyes are gone. He frantically looks around himself.

Nothing. He forces, really FORCES a blink.

Again, nothing.

His heart still racing, his breath begins to catch up.

Were this any other man, panic may have taken over.

However, this man's heart is not working as normal, this heart is broken.

Any feelings numbed, any panic negated.

He straightens out.

This is ridiculous, you're a man.

Pull yourself together, for God's sake.

He resumes - somewhat gingerly - the climb up the stairs.


The bedroom is somewhat tidy.

The signs of him getting ready for the night ahead still lay strewn.

Deodorant. Razor. A few shirts on the floor.

The bed is made, with pain-staking consideration.

In preparation for the off chance that he should get his lady home.

Mice and men.

He retreats into bed.

The television gets switched off within minutes of being turned on.

Couples are on TV. Love songs.

No thanks.

He dreams.

He dreams of the girl. Holding her in his arms.

Growing old together, having children.

The dream abruptly cuts to the image of her with his former friend.

The image burns into his heart, the dream continues.

He see's her, sleeping with him.

As if trying to end the dream, as if trying to stop the heart ache,

his body jolts him back to waking conscience.

He inhales heavily.

Rolls over, sits up in his bed.

His eyes reluctantly open.

His stomach is in knots, sheer nausea at the sight of her and him.

How thinking of such things can physically influence him, he does not know.

And likely does not care to know.

His throat suddenly stings, acidic. Nausea.

His peripherals catch something to his left.


- Dark green as before. Staring at him with intent and malice.

Merely 6ft away from him, noticeably closer than before.

No facial features, no physical stem. Just a pair of dark green eyes. -


In less than a second, a flurry of thoughts bombared his mind.

I DID see them!

What do they want?

Why me?

I need light!

I DID see them!

I need light!

The eyes SHOOT forward. They are now only 2ft from him.

Fight or Flight kicks in. Flight is chosen.

Kicking and slipping, the sheets go flying.

His hands and feet failing to find purchase on the mattress.

He pushes against the bed with all his strength, and falls off the opposite side of the mattress.

He hits the floor, still in a panic.

Quick, no, lightning fast, he looks up and scans the room, panicked.

The eyes are nowhere to be seen.


The lad stands.


The door swings open.

In steps the lad, with purpose.

The light is slammed on.

The lights have an industrial light green hue to them.

Sterile, cold.

The constant dull hum of the fixture fades, to his ears at least.

I'll stay in here all night if I have too.

The lights are bright, and the room is small.

No room to creep up on me, just light.

Safety until the morning.

He reassures himself.

He has brought with him, a pillow, a sheet, and his phone.

Allthough the chance of him getting any sleep is now very unlikely.

Minutes go by, hours.

He jumps with scare as his phone vibrates.

A text.

A text from the girl of his dreams, quite literally.

It is not clear what the text said.

The lad slumps, reads, and re-reads it.

Tears begin, maintain, and end.

An uncurrent of hopelessness dresses his face.

By now it is the early hours.

At some point in the time he has spent lying on the bathroom floor, the lad has convinced himself that the ridiculous visions of floating eyes he experienced in the night were simply hallucinations caused by the alcohol.

He re-reads the text, over and over, sending multiple replies.

No correspondance from the girl.

Sadness turns into resentment.

Resentment turns into anger.

I will not be the victim here.

They will.

I am no victim.


He dresses. Looking over the text periodically.

He moves with purpose, yet his face is blank.

He picks up a flick-knife.

I will not be a victim.


He unlocks the door to leave.

His hand clutches the knife.

His face is stoic.

His eyes are again lifeless, yet only this time,

Dark green.

Dark green eyes, staring.

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