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The Monster

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Items from a pawnshop take over a young boy's life and wreak havoc on his life until he gets a handle on the root cause of his issues.

Action / Other
5.0 2 reviews
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Short Story

The Monster

The pawnshop on Main Street had almost too many items to choose from; nonetheless, the old shelf where Billy was looking was chuck full of wearable and usable treasures. Billy was a nine-year-old boy with large brown eyes and a split between his two front teeth, freckles, and a skinny frame. Billy eyed a Swiss Army Knife (he’d always wanted one of those) and a pocket watch, something else he spied that he thought would be cool hanging off his trouser pants pocket. But he asked trepidatiously about prices for each item, and the shop owner, Mr. Kattrel, saw how much Billy was interested in these items and replied, “well, today, son, you’re in luck! Today we have a special! Any two items on the shelf for $20.00, no tax, everything included; Billy’s eyes got large as he smiled from ear to ear and said, “I’ll take the Swiss Army Knife and the Pocket Watch, please.” The owner smiled and said, “you got it to squirt!” Billy handed over the money and clipped the pocket watch to the smaller pocket of his jeans, clutching the Swiss Army Knife as he left the store.

Shortly after he left, he got these weird visions and, later, even worse nightmares: this was the beginning of Billy’s rebirth as William. The personality became apparent in Billy within a few days once the watch was a permanent addition to Billy’s attire. However, it is evident how the Swiss Army Knife fits into this William identity as he surfaced in Billy as the days went on.

Initially, William helped Billy come out of his shell and become a confident, all-knowing, harmless part of BIlly. As the days went on, it was evident that William was now taking over, and Billy was almost lost to him. At night Billy was tortured by these night visions of children being sliced up by the Swiss Army Blade Knife, and Billy saw himself as a victim too. Eventually, Billy stopped falling asleep, not wanting to see the terrible visions that came with sleep, so he remained awake as much as possible.

Billy suddenly took center stage at school with all his friends; everyone was following him and wanted to be around him. His owning a Swiss Army Knife exacerbated his popularity because no other boys in his class owned one, and they all wanted one. How could the boys know Billy was being tormented at night by horrible visions that he could not stop from coming. The stopwatch only worsened his images; its incessant ticking was like the heartbeat of the kids who were sliced up: The visions and ticking coincided like a sick version of a nursery rhyme.

Billy randomly started to have mixed visions of people he knew with visions of others he didn’t know. They seemed to coincide with the purchases he had made. The pawnshop was a town staple since before Billy was born. But the day Billy got home from the pawnshop with “his trophies,” neither of his parents bothered to ask him what he bought there that day. Billy became consumed by the watch, believing that the ticking was talking to him, compelling him to do awful things to the other kids his age.

After a week and a half, Billy dragged himself out of bed and headed to school. Once at school, he felt a little on edge due to a lack of sleep. As he struggled to pay attention to his teacher, Mr. Jacobs asked if he was” ok?” Billy responded, “sorry, sir, I am not feeling too well today, but I can make it through the day.” Despite Mr. Jacob feeling otherwise, he decided to let Billy remain at school. A decision that would haunt him for years to come. At lunch recess, Billy lost it! He began slicing randomly at boys and girls on the playground, including himself. When the lunch duty teacher arrived on the scene, thirteen children, including Billy, were injured and needed hospital attention.

There looked like upside-down crosses on many children; he cut three sixes on his forearm on Billy’s body.

When the police and paramedics arrived on the scene, Billy had dropped the Swiss Army Knife. He also dropped the pocket watch; the glass had broken on its face, and the hands had stopped at 13:13. All of the wounded children were taken to the hospital for attention, including Billy; Billy was the only one who saw a psychologist immediately.

Weeks went by before anyone could make sense of Billy’s actions. The police officer on scene delivered the belongings from the location to Billy’s home one evening. The parents gave the Swiss Army Knife wrapped in the pocket watch to the psychologist; Dr. Jillenhall’s office thought it would help Billy.

On the day Dr. Jillenhall produced the watch during a therapy session, Billy took one look at the items and screamed, ’No, please, get it away from me. I cannot go through that again; I hate William. I am finally Billy again!” As Dr. Jillenhall removed the items from Billy’s sight, she did not appreciate the whole brevity of the situation. Still, she knew these items were no longer suitable for Billy. She led the conversation by asking, “When you said you hated William, who is William? Billy took a pen and paper and drew a picture of a boy like him, only with fangs and horns resembling a beast, who had a Swiss Army Knife and a pocket watch illustrating loud ticking. When he completed the drawing, he put the pen down and pushed the paper toward Dr. Jillenhall. Billy said nothing, but his face looked scared. Dr. Jillenhall said in her kindest voice, “William looks like a terrible monster to me. Is that who was responsible for cutting you and the others in the schoolyard that day? Billy, who was pale now, nodded yes. He was relieved, and thankful someone had figured out what he could not understand and not articulate. With his last little bit of strength, Billy asked, “Is that why I could not sleep for so many nights and saw so many visions of children being slashed up? Dr. Jillenhall asked Billy, “Do you remember if these problems began when you acquired the pocket watch and the Swiss Army Knife? But Billy was troubled by the breakthrough session and what was discussed.

Dr. Jillenhall suggested that Billy go home and have some fun, perhaps call some friends and see if they want to play a game with him. Dr. Jillenhall was still speaking as Billy stood, alerting her to Billy wishing to go home.

When Billy got home, he called three friends, who came over to go for a bike ride. Billy was back to being Billy and happier than ever. It seemed that Billy had long forgotten about the pocket watch and Swiss Army Knife since leaving them in the capable hands of Dr. Jillenhall.

Later that week, Dr. Jillenhall noticed the pocket watch and Swiss Army Knife in her office and decided to take them to the pawnshop. The owner told Dr. Jillenhall the items looked good but that he could only pay her $10.00 for the watch but $50.00 for the Swiss Army Knife. She looked at him happily and said, “sold!”

As she walked out of the store and was crossing the street, she saw Billy and three of his buddies riding their bikes heading out of town; she smiled from ear to ear.

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