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Stepping out into the extreme cold, his layers of clothing doing little to shield his body against the gnawing, frigid air; his Monster once again sternly forcing his participation in an endeavor, which neither instilled appreciation in the boy, nor actually, even taught him anything due to the noteworthy ambition not being his education, betterment or well-being, but from a place of deep hatred and resentment, as punishment, for reasons unknown to the boy, reasons only known to the Monster. The boy had long suspected that his Monster hated him, but the boy couldn’t bring himself to think like that, although the Monster did little to try and hide it, he would ridicule, set up and abuse, emotionally and physically, relentlessly hoping to crush his spirit, gain absolute control, using the tactics of an adolescent he oppressed. His Monster lived in his world, a permanent dark figure, unwavering, immovable, usurping his home, destroying his peace; if there were a home without dread, he was a stranger to it; forever stepping meekly through life, always afraid of reprisal, punishment for imagined slights or illusionary errors, for his Monster was always watching. Claiming his blood as his own. A boy would grow in the shadow of the Monster, whose effect was as yet unknown, the boy would grow, a seemingly bright spirit. Damage unseen. Navigating the world with cheerful numbness, immune to the pain of others beneath the callousness the Monster wrought, eyes blurrily fixated forward, the cavern yawning beneath, unseen, delusion the religion of the boy now, damning as pure victim, his own brand of destruction followed the boy, no longer under the yoke of the Monster yet continued as perceived tyrant and after many recriminations and a history of tears, the hurt not just received now but caused, increasingly his.

Awakening in the morning, just another day, going about his daily business, preparing to enter the world; a hulking twisted figure in the mirror catches the corner of his eye, a chill runs down his spine not knowing the terror about to befall, memories come flooding back, ‘here?! ‘now?!’ ‘how can this be?!’ looking down seeing the creatures hand was in fact his own, he slowing turns to meet this threat, facing fully the mirror a reflection now seen, confirming his darkest fears, the source of his horror now known, screaming aloud ‘dear god! the monster is me!’

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Writer, artist.

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