Monster

I have a monster inside me.

I saw it first when I was ten, and I’ve never forgotten:

Sneak up to my brother’s cradle, push him off the bed, watch him fall in his sleep, an angel. Drag him to the middle of the room, leave him swaying, like a ghost.

He wakes up, cries, falls to the cold tile floor. Wails, pushes me away.

I smile, tell him it’s alright, hold him to my chest, whisper sweet nothings into his ear.

I imagine squeezing him till his flesh oozes out in an hourglass.

What happened, why is he crying? 

Oh, it’s nothing. I think he’s sleepwalking. I was trying to put him back to sleep but…

He didn’t like me very much after that. I bribed him with chocolate so he’d walk with me and hold my hand and we could be normal again.

. . .

There’s a cruelty inside me, I saw it first when I was ten, and it never left.

It’s in my bones, it’s in my blood, it sings its siren songs into my veins.

It coos of where you’re vulnerable, where you hurt. It shows me how to take love and trust and faith and chisel them into knives. It guides my aim to where you’re weak and it strikes.

Cruelty, I find, knows no reason.

So I taunt where you waver, I scorn where you love.

In those rare moments I play nice, I mock you in my mind and I marvel at how dense you are.

I let you fall when you stumble and I tear you down when you go too high.

When you finally come apart, I scavenge at the remains.

I grieve for you, of course, when the high has left me with cold, cold memories. Watching myself say things I’ve never thought, hurt like I never have before.

But those flickers of regret are never enough to blaze out the past.

. . .

I have a darkness within me, and like the shadows streaming from the light, it has tied itself to my soul. We are entwined together, this monster of mine, we are soulmates, in the purest sense of the word.

Don’t be fooled: some days, I might fake normal.

Scrub myself until I’m clean, scrape off my skin, drain my blood. I smile and charm and bluff, pretending my monster doesn’t exist. I say sweet things I don’t mean and let you play with your knives, shame, degrade.

A repentance, I tell myself, but we both know that isn’t true.

Inside, I hope your knives will go deep enough, cut off this chord that keeps me bound. I hope my monster will seep out of me with the salt that leaks from my eyes.

But my monster lies deep within, in the marrow of my bones. Mocking me, in the sound of my heart. Because it knows, like it has always known.

The monster is a second skin, rubbery and vile and mine.

This monster within me, this hatred, this cruelty, this darkness: it knows, and it has always known.

Cut this chord, and I am as lifeless as a puppet without strings.

Cut this chord, and I lose, I am lost.

The monster trails its tongue across my lip and smiles.

. . .

PS In May 2019, I will be moving to a new web address. I’m shifting to a personal domain and I’m so, so excited for you to see it.

Buying my domain is giving me so much more freedom for new features, design, and I can’t wait for you to get started there.

But on the downside, all those of you who’ve subscribed to my blog here WILL NOT be notified of new posts anymore.

I’d hate for you to miss out just because I’ve shifted addresses, but WordPress doesn’t offer anything to straighten this out.

So to make sure the change is as smooth as possible, I’d be so grateful if you’d enter your email ID below so we can stay in touch.

You can opt-out any time, no hard feelings. I hate spam and I’ll only be reaching out every two weeks or so for blog updates, I promise. Thank you, again, for all your support.

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144 Comments Add yours

  1. Lady Fu Hao says:

    If this doesn’t speak to me then what will? This is a little perky smartpiece

    Like

    1. Haha thank you so much. Glad it resonated! ❤

      Like

    2. Lady Fu Hao says:

      I just feel like that most days you know… I have this cruel and ugly side to me and funny enough, this part of me was roaming around yesterday 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Tamara says:

    I have same monster!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Sharon! Will add you to the list<3

      Like

    1. Thank you, Ailbu. Will add you to the list<3

      Like

  3. Manoj says:

    Such honesty, such clarity!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Manoj.

      Like

  4. Anand Bose says:

    Very Kafkaesque. Anand Bose from Kerala

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anand.

      Like

  5. Very powerful, but the monster only smiles if it thinks it’s dominant – and yet there is both, the sunshine and the shadows 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Felipe. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment 🖤

      Like

  6. It isn’t until you recognize an impulse as a demon that you can do anything about it. Recognizing a trait as a constant drive and not just a random moral failing is the first step. Not every demon is evil and most have their uses. Some on a daily basis and some only rarely but they didn’t get inside you randomly. Somehow you needed them, just not to run amok with your life.

    I have come to make friends of my demons. Otherwise, strong demons won’t be denied and will either push thru or fighting them will drive you into emotional disability. Weaker demons will be a continual irritant. By befriending them, you have a chance to talk with them, negotiate with them. You can reach an agreement where you can stay in charge but allow them to come out and play in a manner you decide is safe. A place you won’t get arrested, hurt anyone or destroy your career. A sandbox.

    I honestly believe that games, anime, and other media offer a pressure release valve for many destructive impulses. I believe it is one reason why violent crime has dropped so much in the US since the 1990s. We can take out or hate and anger and aggressiveness on virtual enemies.

    Alcoholism and drug addiction are physiological demons of such enormous power they have to be handled more rigorously. Drug addiction maintenance treatment is possible but I know of no such option for alcohol. Alcoholism is probably genetic and the resulting damage too severe to make a sandbox approach viable.

    A true psychopath or sociopath or any other severe pathological disorder is lacking in empathy and so has no reason to filter them. They don’t worry about demons hurting others or even recognize that the urges ARE demons, they only worry about getting caught. They are the demon and have to be physically locked up or they’ll happily destroy those they come in contact with.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love this, Fred. I agree: the first step to anything is acknowledgement. The most dangerous monsters are the ones we don’t know about. The idea of a sandbox is appealing, contrary to the normal belief: that anime and video games are what spur violence. I’ve come to believe that we are all inherently violent though; only some of us express it in socially unacceptable ways.
      I think it was Phil who brought up the idea of humans as inherently predatory, and hence, somewhat predisposed to random acts of cruelty.

      Thoughts?

      Like

    2. Cruel behavior because you want to see someone suffer is usually caused by hate or a pathological lack of empathy. Natural predation involves killing for sustenance. It may seem cruel but it isn’t in the human sense. The wolf isn’t setting out to inflict pain when it goes after a moose. The pups and pack must eat and there is only one way to drop a moose if all you have is teeth.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What will be your new website name?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m planning for it to be more of a personal website this time, more intimate, so my own name. The same style of writing, the same content, but the layout is changing.

      Like

    2. Thanks! I can’t wait to see it!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You write beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Shannon<3

      Like

  9. the stuff of horror films! i had to read again your About page to make sure it is fiction that you write.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha not much of this is fiction though.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. yes, you said that you take inspiration from your own life.. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I think even if you had written it as fiction, Sherya, you would have needed to have lived it for it to ring so true.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. true for all great writing, i think.. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    5. Exactly. Our personal narratives influence far too much for fiction to be just fiction. It’s funny because I added that line in my bio thinking that everything I wrote was fiction, and then I realized that I was just discovering new things about myself with each piece…

      Liked by 1 person

    6. I think you’re spot on about that, Arjay. Good point!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I just wanted to say that your bold and honest reflections are refreshing and I’m always drawn to the dark side of others, because it’s always the side least talked about. Good stuff!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, Mathew. It annoys me to see people acting like they’ve never harboured a bad thought in their heads, never considered cruelty, never acted on a hateful impulse. Frightens me more than annoys, really, because I feel like I’m the only one so I must truly be a bad person. But ignoring a hateful thought won’t make it go away. Shaming it does nothing. You can only acknowledge and move on. And the more I think about it, the more I feel like there are no bad people: there are just people who do more bad things than good things. So as long as you have that balance going, you’re on the good side. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.
      Speaking of dark sides, have you read any of Gillian Flynn’s?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I have more fear of the man who has never admitted a bad deed then the man who can admit those deeds and feel remorse.

      I’ve been there myself, judging and devaluing myself for a momentary impulse. Yet I think that just means I have a conscience. I embrace my dark side. It paints a fuller picture.

      I’ve never heard of Gillian Flynn. Who is this person?

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Author. Gone Girl. You might enjoy it. Or you’ll absolutely despise it. You should try it.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Yeah ive seen the movie. Maybe ill check it out sometime. Thanks for the recommendation.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. I must read “Gone Girl” — I keep hearing about it.

      Liked by 1 person

    6. You should… I have a feeling it’s your kind of a book. A little twisted, depraved, but always entertaining.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. sandomina says:

    That’s the dark very dark side of you I suppose.
    insightful.co.in

    Liked by 1 person

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  13. NoNameGal says:

    Sent chills through my body, thank you for sharing this.
    I would love to follow you on your blogging journey.
    soniacrios@yahoo.com

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I’m so glad it resonated. I’ve added you to the list!<3

      Liked by 2 people

  14. stephenmacky says:

    Kinda late to the party, but I don’t plan to miss out.
    stephenmacky@gmail.com
    I’ve love to keep reading your amazing written works.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha not at all. Thank you so much for trusting me with your time and space. I’ve added you to the list!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Nathan says:

    Powerful! Relatable.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Nathan.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. kioratash says:

    kioratash@gmail.com
    Please tell me when you move. Lovely, if painful, work. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Kioratash. Will add you to the list<3

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Now I’m jealous ’cause ur writings are a lot better than mine and I’m ashamed, lol 😜😜

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Edward Kim says:

    Chillingly honest. Thank you for sharing your heart so Shreya 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m so glad this resonated, Edward . Thank you for taking the time to read and share your thoughts<3

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I used to be frightened of the monster in me. But she’s trainable. After much taming, she has become more obedient.
    PS: I’m excited about your new domain!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I hope I can say that one day as well.
      I am as well! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment<3

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I believe you will!

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Please read my first post

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This is incredible! The last line especially. I’d love to keep reading your work when you shift domains, my email is sabrinalhki@gmail.com

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for this. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’ve added you to the list, Sabrina.<3

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Malcom X says:

    Hello, Shreya how long was it for you to begin seeing traffic come to your blog site. If you any advice or tips it would awesome for some one on one understanding thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Malcom, this might get a bit long so I thought I’d shoot you an email instead. Let me know if it helps.

      Like

  23. Wow. Very gripping. I think we all have a little monster in us that wants to come out. We get to choose the devil on the left shoulder or the angel on the right. Love your honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary. I’m so glad it resonated.<3

      Like

    1. Thank you, Rajani.

      Like

  24. Don says:

    Over the years I have come to understand that this cannot be cured, only managed. So honest and refreshing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking the same. Managed is good to hear though. Thank you, Don. I’m glad it resonated<3

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Joseph says:

    Enticingly so dark. I love it. Time to let free and embrace the monster buried with in 👏 👏 👏 😇😇

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha thank you, Joseph. Glad you enjoyed it<3

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Joseph says:

      You are welcome. But, but the pleasure is mine 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Perky Mama says:

    Please check out my blogs.. Thanks! Mwuah!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. i love the nudity. i think we all might have a monster inside. some have tighter leashes, some helpless to its whim. our everyday wrestle. spiritually, the conquest of this monster is the gold of Christianity I believe.
    anywho, beautiful prose ; i pray you let Christ tag in on that fight with the monster.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this.<3

      Like

  28. Valenz says:

    I cannot stop wondering about the emotions you went through while writing this. So much courage to put this out in the open and the acceptance of oneself as they are is staggering for me to come to terms with. I love your writing and I’d love it more if you’ll add my email asagirlthinketh@gmail.com 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Valenz. You’re on the list. This means so much to me<3

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Charlie says:

    Kinda saw myself in these words. Wonderful work

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad it resonated, Charlie. Thank you for this<3

      Like

  30. Jeremy Kamwaro says:

    I won’t say much but surely my email I will add, jeremiahkamwaro2019@gmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jeremy. I’ve added you to this list<3

      Like

    2. Jeremy Kamwaro says:

      You are welcome

      Liked by 1 person

  31. …Aren’t we all a little bit bad, cruel and sometimes evil? I think it’s just our human nature. In everlasting struggle for our own survival, our ego tells us that we have to get rid of the others, our rivals in this cruel world of materialism, so sometimes we behave like somebody that has nothing to do with the name of our specie, Homo Sapiens (Wise Man). This is dark but realistic story…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mmm I can agree with that. For all our obsession over civilization, the beasts in us never truly leaves, does it?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Never. It’s a kind of self-defence. We have to be evil sometimes, it’s a part of ourselves, our true human being. Good and evil coexists, they can’t be split in two, like you can’t split light from darkness…

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I love that, Ianus. Small comforts, right?

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Life is a short and a crazy adventure, so why not make the best of it, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Anupriya K says:

    This made my heart ache. Trust me when I say this, Shreya. This made my heart ache like ice sinking in the ocean and killing some fish unintentionally. Trust me, it did.
    I cannot believe that you have the courage to put this in front of the world. I feel so proud that I know someone who can put their heart out in front of the world and not feel like dying. Maybe it is natural to you now, but I guess it was scary in the beginning. Or maybe not. Maybe you have been this way since the beginning. Maybe not.

    Monsters can be good sometimes. If it’s a part of you since the beginning of time, let it be. If it helps you know yourself better, let it be. If it heals your bleeding heart with paper instead of medical cotton, let it be.
    Let it be.

    Trust me when I say, I know your monster. I hope you will trust me when I say that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s the first time in memory a comment on a post took my breath away. And what a post to inspire such a comment!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you for this, Anupriya. This was lovely. I think Paul’s right on this: it’s not often a comment can take your breath away the way yours did. Your prose is stunning.<3

      Liked by 2 people

  33. sharpartz says:

    This is really awesome 👍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. sharpartz says:

      You are welcome… 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  34. The way you have played with words in order to signify your coexistence with the monster within is simply marvellous. Amazing writing Shreya!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Chandan! This means a lot<3

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Hi Shreya, how is it that each of your piece spoke to me at the times I need it most. Thank you, for understanding, for making me feel less alone in this turmoil. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for this, Joanne. Exactly what I was hoping to do<3

      Liked by 1 person

  36. leelah saachi says:

    What if our monsters are every need we had that were never acknowledged – so we ended up with hating both IT and ourselves – and others – what if inside those monsters ar bits or you, stretching your arms out, wishing that for ONCE only you will spot the fearful eyes on it and see the cry for love – what would happen if you asked it ” what do you need?” and if if wants violence – ask it “thank you and underneath that?”
    With your honesty and willingness to be transparent, I wonder what wonder would turn up –

    —at least, that is what my monsters have shown themselves to be ♥

    Liked by 4 people

    1. “what would happen if you asked it ” what do you need?” and if if wants violence – ask it “thank you and underneath that?”

      I love this. I probably read this comment a dozen times, let it sink in, read it again, and again, before it finally made sense to me, in that raw, brutal way of the truth. And when it happened, the impact chaned nothing and changed everything at the same time. Thank you for this, Leelah.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Leelah, do you have a blog? If so, I’d like to follow it.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I was thinking the same thing. Leelah, you should update the blog url you’ve typed in for your gravatar: it’s a broken link.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Tom Burton says:

    Beautifully written, very dark and vivid language! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  38. which one is the true us, the benevolent compassionate one or the ugly monstrous one or both? loved your writing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Questions, questions, and no answers.
      Thank you, Chandrayee. I’m so glad it resonated<3

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Wow! For me, this was the most vivid drama you have written. Its naked and the expressions they tore. Fantastic, absorbing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad it resonated<3

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Thought provoking words, Shreya. I suspect most of us are faking normal, or what we think is normal, and who can know what that is? I’ll be musing on this for quite a while. Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Exactly. If all of us are simply pretending to be normal, then that’s not normal after all, is it?
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.<3

      Liked by 2 people

  41. There are those things we’d done, that we regretted, because we’d, hurt someone else, because we were hurt as we were younger, and we just have to, learn to, move past it, and see it as a lesson of life that’s, given to us to learn…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love that. Thank you for taking the time to read and share this here<3

      Like

  42. pranabaxom says:

    The demon within us
    Pulls us down to an abyss
    From where only darkness ensues
    O thou, worshipper of light
    Fear the demon inside
    Left alone, beware
    Even the mightiest
    Falls to its guiles
    Purge the demon inside
    Rise.
    ©Pranab Sarma, 2019

    Beautifully written Shreya. My only response could be the poem above.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for this, Pranab. This was beautiful<3

      Liked by 1 person

    2. pranabaxom says:

      You are welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. This has a dark theme yet soothing. Keep writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kalyan.<3

      Liked by 1 person

  44. Sid says:

    WooooW , this is totally my type of writing . I loved it 😍😍😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sid. Glad you liked it<3

      Liked by 1 person

  45. lynyo says:

    Obscure! Nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Mind's Eye says:

    Lots of baggage. Hope it’s been purged now 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmm it was definitely a relief…

      Liked by 1 person

  47. Puts me a bit in mind of Baudelaire’s To the Reader:

    ” … If rape or arson, poison or the knife
    Has wove no pleasing patterns in the stuff
    Of this drab canvas we accept as life—
    It is because we are not bold enough!”

    But much more strongly in mind of my own observation (after Joseph Campbell) that the powers within us which we deny become our demons.

    I don’t think you yourself are in denial, though, far from it.

    May I ask what it felt like to compose this one? Was it in anyway different than your other works?

    I love your courage in posting this. May some prosecutor bless you with charges of corrupting the youth someday. It will make you what you deserve: Internationally famous and influential.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “the powers within us which we deny become our demons”
      I love this, Paul.
      Honestly, I know people would say it feels like a purge of sorts, but that’s not the word I would use. It feels satisfying, to get it on paper, toy around with the words, but then again, that’s always there. Maybe if I had been in denial and this was the first time it came out, it would have been more impactful. To me, it felt natural. Freeing, maybe. Not that different from the rest.
      Haha, I’ll keep hoping<3

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “Satisfying”. That’s very interesting. When that word is truest to how I myself feel, then i have been myself, I have spoken authentically.

      The thought just occurred to me while reading your response, are we not a predator? And what kind of predator would we be if we did not have it within us to be cruel, even malicious?

      I was raised in a rural area. I hunted small game from about the age of eight until I lost interest some years later in hunting. There was a thrill, a pleasure in killing.

      It was not something I had to learn or cultivate. It came as naturally as my sex drive came when I entered puberty.

      The more I think about your piece, the more I love it.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Exactly. There’s something uniquely gratifying about holding nothing back, especialy when it’s a subject you may have been ashamed of. I’ve started to go by a new mantra now though: shy writers die.

      You make a good point. I suppose no matter how ‘civilized’ we get, there’s always the animal part within us that knows it’s on top of the food chain, and revels in that power. I’m finding that civilization is mostly lying to yourself and telling people they look great when you don’t mean it.

      On a side note, don’t you just love examining these childhood memories… they surface out of nowhere, with no warning at all, and they inevitably shock me. In a good way.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. “Shy Writers Die”

      Terry Pratchett says almost exactly the same thing, although he takes about 40 or 50 words to say it. Something about when you finally feel like you’re walking down the street naked, then you might be doing it right.

      The childhood memories that most shock me are of my fantasies about what I wanted to do with the girls in my third grade class when I was eight years old. No one had told me yet girls had vaginas, but I instinctively yearned to somehow penetrate them down there. The fact I spend hours and hours desperately dreaming and fantasizing about it long before puberty still shocks me — I mean, the intensity, the vastness of the yearnings do. You can’t tell me we don’t have inborn drives, instincts.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. You can hardly be the only one: I have similar memories of my own childhood, and it’s shocking to see how much I could dream up far before we started making sexual jokes in school. I think childhood is us before we were taught how to project ourselves,before we knew what was acceptable and what wasn’t, so it’s the purest form, the untamed, raw version of ourselves. And there’s so much you can glean from just a wisp of a memory…

      Liked by 1 person

  48. Rita de Heer says:

    There’s a wonderful character study in these word.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rita. Glad you enjoyed it<3

      Like

  49. Anonymous says:

    It’s great! Love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Pia Majumdar says:

    The more the dark, the better it gets 😍♥️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha thank you, Pia. Glad you enjoyed it.<3

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Pia Majumdar says:

      Welcome Shreya 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  51. marcyrogers says:

    Never stop writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Angel M. Zeal says:

    Dark and beautiful. Thank you for the good read again.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Anonymous says:

      this is amazing writing keep it up:)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you for this. So glad you enjoyed it.<3

      Like

  53. Ihagh G. T. says:

    interesting because it’s a tamed monster… better than an untamed one

    Liked by 1 person

  54. NoblemanWarrior says:

    Fallen natures. Good stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

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