ysabetwordsmith: (monster house)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the October 4, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kelkyag, [livejournal.com profile] rix_scaedu, and Zelofheda on DW. It also fills Row 2 ("group purpose," "group permeability," "sense of group identity," and "role fluidity / rigidity") in my 9-2-16 Group Dynamics card for the Worldbuilding 4x4x4 Festival. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] rix_scaedu. It belongs to the Monster House series.

WARNING: This poem contains intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes unexpected visitors, a panicking closet monster, references to child sexual abuse which is offscreen but ongoing, child emulation, implications of killing the perpetrators, and symptoms of traumatic stress. However, appropriate comfort is supplied and the problem is about to be very thoroughly solved. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. This poem is not tied into an ongoing plot, so skipping it shouldn't cause any confusion.


"The Real Monsters"


I was reading the newspaper when
something thumped into the coat closet
and brought me to my feet.

Out stumbled the monster-in-the-closet
with his arms around someone who looked
almost identical except for longer, curlier fur.

"This is my brother," said the monster-in-the-closet.
"He's really upset about something, and he needs
a safe place to hide out for a little while."

"Of course he can stay here," I said,
looking at the terrified, trembling monster.

"They won't stop touching him,"
the visitor said. "He won't stop crying.
He keeps begging me to protect him,
but I'm not -- I don't want to hurt anyone."

"You don't have to," the bogeyman said.
"That's my job. Someone has to be
the monster, but it doesn't have to be you."

I had a different opinion about
who the real monsters were,
but I kept it to myself.

"What can you do?" the visitor asked.

The bogeyman began to shrink.
In moments, he took on the guise
of a delicate waif with slender limbs
and huge, wet eyes. He looked exactly
like a little boy, except that ...

His teeth hadn't changed.
His claws hadn't changed.

"If they want a child to abuse,"
the bogeyman said through
his selachian grin, "I'll let them
think they have one. Briefly."

"Go get your little boy,"
I told the visiting monster.
"You can stash him with us
while the bogeyman deals
with the real problem."

"But we're not supposed --
it's against the rules," he protested.

The bogeyman made an irritated sound.
"Just get me into that closet," he said.

"Screw the rules," I said. "You're
getting hurt too. Go home, drop off
the bogeyman, get the kid, and
come back quick as you can."

So they left, and a minute later
the visitor reappeared with a small boy
in tow, who skittered away when
I offered to shake hands.

"You'll be safe here," I said.
"Would you like to take a shower?"

He shook his head. "Bathrooms are scary."

"Okay ... how about checking out
Uncle Monster's closet instead?" I said.
"He likes the linen closet upstairs."

"I like closets, they're safer," the boy whispered.
"I like monsters better than people, too.
People are scary."

"Yes," I said. "People can be monsters too."

* * *

Notes:

Child abuse, especially sexual abuse, can have lasting impacts. Know how to stop child abuse and support survivors.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-07 02:41 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
>> selachian grin <<

New word! Shiny!

Apart from that, yeah. most of us know who the real monsters are.

Re: Yes...

Date: 2016-10-08 04:14 am (UTC)
thnidu: Tom Baker's Dr. Who, as an anthropomorphic hamster, in front of the Tardis. ©C.T.D'Alessio http://tinyurl.com/9q2gkko (Dr. Whomster)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Oh, YUM!

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-28 12:56 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
I found another take on this theme here. TW for heavily-implied child sexual abuse.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-07 03:42 am (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
Dr. Infanta would approve.

O_O

Date: 2016-10-07 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Let's not encourage the severely traumatized, indestructible, most powerful soup in the world to experiment with DIY dental work and biting off body parts from pedophiles. She is scary enough as it is.

But yes, she would approve of this tactic.

Re: O_O

Date: 2016-10-07 03:57 am (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
No, I get the feeling that she'd just as soon not go *looking* for trouble... enough of it finds her already. (See also, her recent visit to ECPD.)

Re: O_O

Date: 2016-10-07 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Hmm ... I think you're right that Dr. Infanta does not tend to go "trolling for rapists" like Fortressa has been known to do. However, there are times when Dr. Infanta definitely goes looking for trouble, because things that come to her attention are often difficult or impossible for other people to stop. I just did a poem this week about her getting fed up with Israel picking on Palestine. But as long as people are behaving decently around her, she stays pretty securely in little-girl mode.

Don't make her angry ... you wouldn't like her when she's angry. ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-07 06:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhodielady-47.livejournal.com
Good poem.
It's real pity we don't have a few RL Dr. Infanta's taking out humanity's garbage.
The internet news here lately has been dreadful.
:^|

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