The monster in the corner

The following post was written as part of this week’s daily prompt from The Red Dress Club.

We were to take something ugly and find the beauty in it.

Please note that this particular post may be triggering for some still in the midst of a

Postpartum Mood Disorder as some of the imagery might get very intense.

For others, welcome, and I hope you enjoy what I have attempted to capture.

The Monster in the Corner

Once upon a time, in the dark corner of my room, there lived a monster. I gave birth to him almost six years ago, an unintentional sibling to my firstborn. Rippled with muscles, green, slimy, odoriferous, vicious, snarling, he clung to the wall and the darkness, hissing at me every time I dared to glance in his direction.

He watched over me as I slept, breathing heavily in my ear, drooling on my cheek, his arms holding me hostage in bed. I tossed and turned, restless, desperate to free myself from his grasp.

Days were worse.

When I finally rose from bed, he’d cling to my back, digging his claws into my shoulders, his weight-bearing down on me as if I were borne down with horrible sins from my past. My mind raced, my heart beat faster, I failed to control thoughts, tears slipped down my pale and hollow cheeks. Everyone else could see him, I just knew it. He was the reason they stared at me as if I had gone mad. I shriveled up, a mere shadow of myself barely able to fit into my old life.

I gasped, I begged, I pleaded, I beat my back against a hard surface every chance I got just to knock him loose. Nothing worked. I hated him. He delighted in torturing me. But there we were, roommates trapped in the same house.

Until one day.

One day I arose with the determination not to let his weight bother my frail frame as he clambered gleefully once again onto my shoulders. As his claws dug into my shoulders, I screamed with a passion unknown to me, “NOOOOOOOO!!!!”

He stopped, claws in mid-air, legs squeezing my midsection with a fearful ferocity. The howl he loosed from his throat echoed eerily against the plain white walls, searing my very soul.

I screamed again.

“GET DOWN! NOW. I’M DONE!” I clenched my fists together, straightened my back, and planted my feet.

His thighs weakened, his arms lowered as he growled again, this time deep and threatening instead of loud and searing.

“Did you hear me? I’m DONE!!!!! GET OFF ME. NOT TODAY. NOT TOMORROW! I’M DONE!” This time, his legs slid down my hips and thighs, leaving a slimy trail behind. His feet crashed to the floor, his shoulders hunched over, his head hung down, the spikes on his forehead finally hidden.

As I watched, he melted, muscles oozed down his body, his skin softened, his body curved, and turned a soft peach, his head replaced by a soft and rounded orb covered with long brown hair. He curled into a ball on the floor as he fought the rush of sudden changes, his chest heaving, his arms and legs twitching back and forth as they rearranged themselves. All at once, his frame changed completely, wood and glass, standing in the corner. I stepped closer, my own arms and legs trembling. My feet hit the ground tentatively, almost collapsing with each new step. As I grew closer and closer, each step firmer and firmer, my mouth pulled up at the corners.

That smile, that huge victorious grin, filled with happiness and joy once more, shone brightly back at me as I reached my former dark corner, now illuminated with the reflection of one of the strongest and most beautiful people I have ever known.


0 thoughts on “The monster in the corner

  1. Aaron Shively

    I know what this is meant to symbolize as it’s not thickly veiled (completely intentionally and very poignantly) but this can speak to so many other forms of depression and self doubt.
    This is wonderful.

    1. Lauren Hale

      Thank you so very much, Aaron.

      It was certainly not meant to be thickly veiled at all – I did wonder though, if anyone would “get” what I was trying to say – and I’m glad I managed to make it so clear. It was very hard to write without telling vs. showing.

  2. Katie

    Oh Lauren. Your writing is so breathtaking. I just…oh. I felt this one. All the way down to my toes. I am so VERY glad you have started writing with us. You have serious talent!

    <3 you!

  3. Lizz

    As I reach the end of this, I find myself breathing a little harder and feeling the pressure of my own demons (if you will) sliding away.
    This is an incredible, powerful piece. Truly.

  4. Jennie B

    My demons are not the same as yours but they are there. It truly is a fight to lose them, and I love the imagery of leaving a slimy film behind. Really great job on the prompt. Will visit again for sure.

  5. Mandyland

    Dang. You totally personified depression (assuming?) into the demon that it is. You hooked me with your description – the hiss was the best visual – and had me cheering for you in the end.

  6. Jessica

    Amazingly powerful piece. Many of us know this monster. You gave him a face and took me with you through the struggle and had me cheering you on as you conquerred him. So powerful.

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