MONSTERS AREN’T REAL
Hi, I’m Jaden. Something odd about my brain makes me see monsters. When I was six I saw a monster — the one monster you never want to see. She had yellow eyes like slits. A serpent monster! Since I was little, she’s been telling me that someday I will come to the other side.
Monsters aren’t real, honey ... “Get ready for bed; you have school tomorrow,” Mom shouted. “Okay!” I called back. I got in bed and Mom came upstairs. “Good night, honey,” she whispered. “Night,” I answered. As Mom walked out of my room, I saw a yellow eye peeking out at me through my closet door. “No, wait!” I yelled. “What is it, sweetie?” “Um, can you check my closet?” “You aren’t three anymore,” she said, but she opened the closet anyway. It was empty. “See, honey, nothing there. G’night.” She closed my door and went to her room. I closed my eyes, trying not to think about what I saw, until I fell asleep.
When I woke up, it was the middle of the night. I looked around, hearing a noise. “Hello?” I asked in a shy voice. Then I heard something terrifying: “Come ... with ... me ...” I jumped. “Who’s there!” “It’s me ... your friend,” something answered. “Leave me alone!” I yelled. The voice said, “Welcome to the other side.” With those five words, something grabbed my ankles and pulled me under the bed. Mom came just a second after. “Jaden?”
The other side ...
“Hello?” I looked around in the dark. “Hello, Jaden,” I heard a cold voice say. “Why do you want me here?” I asked. “Don’t you remember me?” I thought back to when I was younger, two glowing eyes under my bed. It’s the serpent monster! “What’s your name?” “S-s-settle down ... my name is Ceci,” the words slipping from her mouth. “What do you want from me?” I asked, a little softer now. “It is time for your transformation. You see monsters ... And now, like all of us, you will change to your true self.”
“My true self is me!” I protested. “Oh, really ... ,” and with that, I was knocked unconscious.
Ceci’s secret ...
I woke up and looked around. It looked like a dentist’s office. I seemed to be strapped into a dentist’s chair. I looked up; Ceci was right there, staring at me. “HELP!” I screamed. “Oh for God’s sake, Jaden.” Then she turned into a normal-looking human with short brown hair, green eyes, and jeans with a sweatshirt. “Wow ...” I said. “Let’s stop wasting time,” Ceci answered and walked over toward a lever near my chair.
I exclaimed, “Wait! Don’t do this,” as she looked up at the wall. “Please!” I pleaded again. “You must have been a kid once too? Ceci?” “You’re right, I was a kid once, but then I was turned into this!” “So you’ll help me?” I whimpered. She turned around and handed me an old photo. I looked at it, studying it. It was a girl, with dark hair, blue eyes, wearing a blue dress. I looked at the name on the back: “Celestine Moon.” I looked up in shock. Then she broke the silence. “Let’s get you out of here.”
Ceci helped me out of the chair. “Thanks,” I said as I rubbed the red spots on my arms. Ceci stood on a counter and started fiddling with a vent in the ceiling. “What are you doing?” I asked. “If we go through the door, they will see you.” I didn’t say anything. Finally, she said, “Okay, climb inside.” There was just enough space to crawl through the vents. “Will we get lost?” I asked. “I know what I’m doing,” she said as she closed the vent behind her. We were crawling through the vent when we heard someone below ask, “Do you think they went in here?” Ceci and I looked at each other. We’d forgotten something: security cameras.
We crawled as quickly and quietly as we could, then Ceci signaled for us to crawl out through a vent that emptied into a hallway. On the other end of the hall was a ladder connected to the wall.
“That way!” She grabbed my arm, dashing toward the ladder. I climbed up first, then reached for her, “C’mon, hurry!” “I can’t come with you,” she said. I frowned. “Why not?” “I’m a monster,” she answered. “You can use your powers to stay human, right?” I reminded her. Ceci just shook her head, “When you leave this world, it disappears from under your bed. If I am going to stay and use its power, I need to go with it when it goes. I am sorry I can’t con —.” Her sentence was cut short as I saw her drop to the ground. When I looked, a steel arrow was going through her back. “Ceci!” I screamed. “HALT!” I looked up and saw two werewolves running toward me. I looked at Ceci and knew she was gone. I fought back tears as I climbed up the ladder. The werewolves were right there as I jumped out of the other
side and slammed the door shut! A flash of light came from where the door used to be. When it was over, I sat there processing what happened. “Ceci?”
What now ...
Tears poured from my eyes so I shut them tightly. It was just a dream,
just a dream, I repeated in my head as I fell asleep. I woke up to a thump, thump sound coming from downstairs. I stumbled down the hallway, hurried down the stairs, and ran toward the thumping on the front door. When I opened it, I saw a little girl. She had dark hair, blue eyes, and a blue dress. She smiled. “Hi, I’m Celestine Moon. Trick or treat?”