Avik Pradhan

Drama Action

4.5  

Avik Pradhan

Drama Action

The Real Monsters

The Real Monsters

8 mins
337


Little STEVE had just started going to school. About a quarter of his whole day was spent in that small and well-ventilated room of the third standard. His entire educational requirement was met by his teacher Mrs. Mary and about his requirement of fun full enjoyment, well that was met by his group of friends just like any of us. His friend circle wasn’t very big it was what can be called sufficient. Sufficient to fill up the thirty minutes of the recess with interesting talks and sufficient to play soccer at the neighborhood park after they returned from school.


The recess talks were very important. They were just kids, they didn’t know much about the world or even their own town. So the recess was spent by Steve surrounded by his whole bunch of five to six friends on the staircase, each telling about something they got to know the previous night till the school bell spoke and they had to return back to their classrooms. Among these five to six friends Isaac was his best friend. He lived right next to him and they used to come to school in the same car driven alternatively by either one of their moms.


One day while Mrs. Mary was teaching the addition of three-digit numbers Isaac who sat on the desk behind Steve passed on a small piece of paper to him. Carefully after ensuring that Mrs. Mary wasn’t looking he slowly opened the paper below his desk. On it, Isaac had written “I FOUND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO BETTY” Steve turned the paper over and wrote “WE WILL TALK ABOUT IT DURING THE RECESS AND PAY ATTENTION OR YOUR MARKS IN THE UPCOMING TEST ON THREE DIGIT NUMBERS WILL BE A ONE DIGIT NUMBER” then he folded the paper and carefully handed it back to Isaac. Isaac wrote on another paper “NICE JOKE STEVE. BUT WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW” but Steve crumbled the piece of paper and threw it without even reading it.

 

Even though Steve didn’t say something at that moment but he was the thing about it constantly. He remembered Betty’s mom had come to his house the previous week. She was telling how Betty went to sleep in her room upstairs but wasn’t there when she went to wake her up the next morning. She also asked if my parents had seen her somewhere but she got no information and just went home crying with his parent’s condolences. He remembered the next day the cops had also come investigating about her who got the same answer as Betty’s mother.

The long-awaited recess finally came and all the children rushed out of the classrooms, some to the playground and the others taking their place on the stairs for another interesting talk session. While Steve and Isaac were getting down the stairs Isaac launched a light punch on Steve’s arm.

STEVE- Ow! What was that for?!


ISAAC- That was for ignoring my very urgent message.


STEVE- Then tell me now what is it found about Betty that even the cops couldn’t find.


ISAAC- I’ll tell when everyone is here.


They waited till everyone came to the same spot where they always sat down and talked. After everyone was there Isaac stood up and cleared up his throat.


ISAAC- I found out who took Betty from her room the night she went missing.


Suddenly nobody else was talking and the only voice that could be heard was that of Isaac’s. Like Steve’s home, Betty’s mom had visited every single child’s house present there. And they were eager to hear the mystery unfold. After taking some time Isaac finally spat out the answer.


ISAAC- Monsters took her.


Everyone started laughing. After giving a sorrowful look to everyone and pitying their small and empty brains Isaac started again.


ISAAC- I got to know about it from a book.


A BOOK. That was enough to silence everyone. A book is what from which all of them had learned about various things which as far as Mrs. Mary had told them was absolutely true. Little did they know that the book that Isaac was talking about was nothing but a storybook for children. Considering this silence as praise to his intelligence Isaac started again.


ISAAC- I read that monsters would only get out of their home at night when there was enough darkness and none of the grownups could see them. They were scared of grownups. They had big teeth and nails. Red eyes are even darker than blood. And two black horns growing out of their head and every night they would take one single child and feast on him or her.


That day no one else spoke and as the bell rang they silently moved back to their classrooms. The same silence was maintained as they went out of the school to their homes.


Steve who had immense trust in his best friend believed every single word he said. As the darkness began to fall he began to carefully inspect every shadow of every branch or leaf visible through the windows as they danced in the wind. Even though he managed to act somewhat normal till dinner he didn’t have enough courage to sleep alone that night or any other night for about two weeks. Every night he would say to his parents that he misses sleeping with them and would slip in between them. But still, he couldn’t sleep peacefully and would toss around in the bed the whole night.


His dad considered this to be normal and felt proud of the bond he had with his son. But his mother knew that something was wrong. The boy who played with his friends all day even though his mom was at home and only missed her during the night. Something didn’t seem right to her.

One day she sat him down on her lap and politely asked her what was wrong with him. Even though he hesitated to tell her what was actually wrong he finally blurted it out since he remembered that the monsters were afraid of grownups and if her mom knew about the monsters too she would protect him.


Sensing that her son was very serious and frightened of these “monsters” she somehow concealed her laughter. Later she went into the kitchen where she knew Steve couldn’t hear her and laughed her heart out till she had tears in her eyes. But after sometime when she thought about this from a child’s perspective she knew that she had to do something.


One night as Steve was sleeping beside his mom she woke him up softly and took her to the living room.


STEVE- What is it, mom? Why did you wake me up? It’s three in the morning!


MARTHA (HIS MOM) - Get dressed up quickly. We are going for a walk.


STEVE- Now?!


MARTHA- Yes. Now.


Steve had to get dressed without having a choice. He somehow put on a sweatshirt banging his head on the doorway plenty of times to get rid of his drowsiness. Then he followed his mom outside who was already dressed. His mom took him to a lake where they used to come when he was even younger.


STEVE- Is this where you wanted to bring me? Are we done now? Can we go home?


MARTHA- Look around. What do you see?


Realizing that he wasn’t going to return home soon he played along. In the water of the lake, he saw the reflection of the moon. He had seen the moon plenty of times but watching it in the calm water made him flow away into another world.


Then Martha brought him to an open field. Unlike the lake, he found nothing that can be considered as a mesmerizing view. Then she told him to walk on the grass slowly. He did as she said. Slowly as he put his first step on the grass some small lights started flying up. When he looked at them closely he realized that they were fireflies as he had read about them in a book. As he stepped further he found more and more small light flying upwards and soon the whole field was filled with them. He soon started running in the glowing field which was dark a few minutes ago.


Seeing that her son was enjoying Martha slowly went to him, kneeled down to him and said “SEE HOW BEAUTIFUL THE NIGHT IS? THERE ARE NOTHING LIKE MONSTERS JUST THIS PRETTY MOONLIGHT AND THESE LIGHTS TO ACCOMPANY YOU IN THE DARKNESS”

In the spirit of his little adventure in the night, Steve had completely forgotten about the monsters but as the fear crept back into his mind he held his mom’s hand and started looking around in the darkness completely ignoring the glowing bugs which he was enjoying a few minutes ago. Then he seemed to realize something and mumbled something.


STEVE- They are not here because you are with me. They are afraid of grownups.


MARTHA- But you told me that they have big teeth, nails and horns right?


STEVE- Yes.


MARTHA- Do I have any of them?


STEVE- NO. (He smiled a bit imagining his mother with big teeth, nails, and horns)


MARTHA- Then why should they be afraid of me? They are not here because they do not exist in the first place.


Steve seemed to be thinking about it very deeply. Even though he wasn’t able to sleep alone from the very next night but he eventually gathered some courage and one day he said to his mother.


STEVE- Are you sure monsters are not real?


MARTHA- Yes. Absolutely.


STEVE- Then I’m going to sleep alone from tonight.


Seeing that her lesson has been effective she felt a little proud of herself. But as she was sipping her coffee the next morning while reading the newspaper she realized that it was her turn of a sleepless night. On the front page of the newspaper, she read that the policemen had found Betty but not alive. She was kidnapped and when her parents said that they couldn’t pay the huge ransom money the kidnappers murdered her and left her in the nearby woods.


Martha realized that she had lied to her son for monsters were really just not in the form as Steve or any of the kids thought they did. They did not have any big teeth, nails or any horns. They looked like any of them and they weren’t afraid of the light or any grownups. They walked among them the whole time without being recognized.


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