I Wish I Was a Monster
By Jamaniac Joiner
The incessant cries lodged themselves in my ears, snapping my concentration in an instant. Out the window I spotted the Dalmatian scratching at the Pickets’ glass backdoor. Leave it to the Pickets to deprive me of the weekend’s last serene moments.
My attention shifted back to my desk, where my laptop screen bore the image of a rabbit I was futilely attempting to sketch. Surrounding my almost-art were the assorted supplies of my work life. Highlighters gathered in a mug my mom had gotten me for my 40th birthday. An open notebook. A stapler. A stack of graded math worksheets from my class of tiny savages. My eyes rested on the red stapler. My thoughts halted as sharp yaps sent a wave of tension through my body. I wanted to launch that stapler right at the dog’s back. I thought of the rush it would give me. That would be cruel. That would be inhumane. Only a monster would do that.
I wish I was a monster.
I stepped back to look at the newest creation tacked to my bulletin board. The drawing’s predecessors surrounded it. I questioned my choice of hobby and left my office to prepare dinner. When I opened my door, I detected an odd smell from the kitchen. It smelled like a mixture of paint and glue. What was formerly my kitchen table was now a bog of smeared paint, glue, wet paper, and glitter.
Of course, neither Charlie nor Olivia were anywhere near the scene of the crime. I threw away the paint-drenched scraps of paper. A dad’s gotta draw the line somewhere. That wonderful, horrible sensation of disposing of their creations burned so good.
Wouldn’t it be fun to be a monster?
The smell of paint continued to invade my nostrils as I wheeled the psychedelic garbage to the curb. When the sound of the bin’s wheels on pavement stopped, I heard distant wails. The source brought a cold rush of horror. The cries belonged to Charlie. He sprinted down the sidewalk as a massive branch hit his back. My gaze darted to a pair of high school boys twice his age. It was hard to see from that distance, but I could make out a stone in one of their hands. My thoughts were all replaced with one desire.
I should be a monster.
Later, I felt Charlie’s body trembling as I held him. I told him again and again that he was safe now. He needed me. He needed to feel safe. He needed to know it was over. I held my little boy who trusted me more than anyone else in this world.
Olivia stood close by. She wanted to help her little brother, but she didn’t know how. She didn’t know that she could start by saving him from the monster that cradled him.
Jamaniac Joiner, a freshman, is an English and math double major. Though he was born in Decatur, Jamaniac now lives in Roswell.