Hey, ever think about monsters? You know- creatures that scare you and seek to hurt whoever they come across? The things that go bump in the night, and leave you sitting awake, desperately listening for anything abnormal resonating through your home, keeping your eyes peeled for any shapes and shadows moving around.
How about when you're walking home alone at night- waiting for a scream of pain and terror to pierce the air? You turn around frantically, trying to place the source of that ghastly noise. All of your senses are buzzing, your body tense as you anticipate someone or something jumping out to attack you and drag your body away when it's finished.
Of course you have. It happens to others all the time.
You would describe these monsters as mean, ugly and vicious, am I correct? They could be gigantic, or they could be microscopic. Either way, they're terrifying.
When you hear the term "monster", you might think of zombies, werewolves, vampires and ghosts. Lots of people would tell you that these things don't exist, and they're right for the most part.
. . . But they do exist, in a way. They're all around us. They represent the worst forms of cruelty and despair that plague the world. Murderers, rapists, pedophiles, abusers, terrorists, dictators, mobsters, sadists. They live to cause suffering, ruin lives, and make someone's world come crashing down.
They lurk in the dark, snarling hungrily as they wait for some poor soul to cross their path so they can strike. Or they can be in your sights, beating on a family member, or making life hell for your friends and siblings.
A disease like cancer slowly and painfully destroying someone's body from within constantly reminds the victim of their inevitable death. The sudden blitz of a stroke or a heart attack can be even worse, snatching someone's life in only a few minutes.
Furthermore, there are some unsettling similarities to the classic monsters people deny the existence, and eerie examples of abnormal human behavior. And why not? There have been crimes that were considered uncanny to vampirism, a werewolf attack or the beginning of a "zombie apocalypse".
Zombies? Mindless greed and conformity. They're so hard to get rid of, because they keep coming back with more like them. From whatever the circumstance, people can degenerate into these drooling, hungry monstrosities, and all they do is destroy or consume everything in their path with no regards for others who may be harmed. Friedrich Nietzsche once said that insanity in individuals is rare, but in groups, organizations, it's the rule. Think about gangs and hate groups who hunt people down- just because they're different. Insanity? Check. Mindlessness? Check. Brutality? Check.
Ghosts- as most of us know- are a remnant and reminder of the past that won't fade away. They don't want to leave, and they will continue to haunt the place or person they're bound to. In a negative sense, they constantly hang over you like a dark cloud or hounding you like a starving beast, mercilessly reminding you of bad things. Their twisted faces laugh cruelly as you glare back at them, trying to put the painful past behind you.
Werewolves are raging fury personified. The worst in us can come out in an instant, and that instant can be the catalyst for immense destruction. They are the sadists and the abusers who prey on people who cannot defend themselves, or don't know how. Most of the time, these beasts usually act normal, maybe even kind. But it just takes one little thing to send them over the edge. They start screaming, cursing, hitting, kicking, and even using an object as a weapon- anything to terrify and beat their victim into submission, or to death. They're not themselves when they act that way, that's for sure.
The vampire's parasitic lifestyle is reminiscent of greed, arrogance and selfishness. While ordinary people are out living their lives in the daylight, vampires hide in the dark, only coming out to feed. They can't be like normal humans anymore, so they leech off the energy of others. If they got the chance, they would rip away your life, emotions, dignity, anything that makes you human. They just take and take until there's nothing left. Despite this perversity, they think they're superior, and go out of their way to flaunt it.
To them, you're nothing but a pawn for them to use, an insect for them to crush, food for them to devour, a toy to play with until they get angry and break you apart. They feed on fear and live to cause someone's suffering. They don't care how much it hurts. They just want to slip away into the dark again, putting on a human mask to blend in, waiting to do the same thing to someone else.
To you, they're the real monsters.
Just what is really lurking in the basement or the woods behind your house? What about the alley and the parking garage? Someone or something could be listening, watching, following. . . until they set their eyes on you, and become hell-bent on grabbing you and dragging you into an abyss you can't escape from. That is, until they're finished with you. They'll just leave you as a traumatized shell of who you used to be. Or they destroy you completely, leaving your remains for another poor soul to find.
Whether you were screaming and begging for mercy as you tried to escape, or cursing and shouting when you fought back, your last moments will be imagined with shock and dread as they stare at the ruined, violated, disemboweled, mauled, eviscerated, mangled, battered, shredded hunk of flesh, bones and organs that used to be a human body; a body that never should have been there.
You've probably heard the phrase "they were at the wrong place at the wrong time" spoken after a crime has occurred, but I'm sure you're wondering what exactly went wrong- aside from the notion that things are never what they seem, and that this is a world where monsters live among humans. This has gotten to the point where people are even pretending- insisting- that such things aren't real- impossible. Don't listen to that.
I'm frightening you, aren't I? I see you twitching and cringing ever so slightly.
Hell, I certainly don't blame you. I feel the same way.
When we were children, some of us were scared to go to bed because there was a boogeyman in the closet, or a monster under the bed. Then we became scared of the bullies in the hallways and urban legends.
Now we're scared of being murdered, raped, abused, robbed, falsely imprisoned, trapped with a lunatic, or stricken with an incurable, painful disease.
Do you see what I mean now?
I know it's scary, but you must face your fears if you want to fight back. If you want to turn on the light, you have no choice but to reach into the dark until you find the switch. But before you do either, you need to look a little closer to find out who the real monsters are.