Not everything was completely normal in the Cald household. For one, my mother tragically died right there on her bedroom floor. It was so unexpected I didn’t know how to react, but my dad did. He ran away, never coming home. Why, you may ask? I had no idea. Out of grief? Pity? Maybe he was too self-absorbed to realize that there were other people that he needed to take care of. Well, one other person. I lived alone now. And I had been for a couple of months. No one knew, of course, because I never left my home. Never stepped foot outside of my front door. I wasn’t even sure if my front door worked from how many times I never used it.
No one suspected anything, they must have thought that the person who lived in this crusted down home was strange. So strange that they never thought to leave their house and buy groceries to keep themselves alive. The truth is, I had been living off of eating monster flesh. It wasn’t very tasty, but it was what kept me alive and breathing.
Every night at 8 pm, four overly-sized slimy black monsters came to my home and did absolutely nothing. Okay, maybe nothing is over exaggerating. They did something, but I hadn’t found out what, because they were going under my house and doing something under there after they had given me my daily dose of flesh. It was an unhealthy addiction, I was sure of it. It wouldn’t do any good eating that kind of stuff, but it was so raw and pure I couldn’t stop myself.
Me, being curious, had once tried to peek at what they were doing, but found nothing. And that is why I tell you they did nothing. The truth was, I didn’t know where they were under my house exactly. I’d searched every night for bumps on the floorboards or something giving me a hint as to where they had been, but I came up with nothing! I pity myself for that, too scared of what I might have found if I did find out what they were doing.
Of course I was only thirteen when they had started visiting every night, when they had started this project they were doing. Could I even call it a project? Since I was still very young, I had no right to know about anything. No right to do anything. I thought privacy was the only policy I needed to follow.
That was until I turned fourteen, when I started to get more intrigued with everything going on underground. I couldn’t hear anything they were doing, they worked in silence. I obviously couldn’t see them, my floor did a good job of that. And if I could even get the faintest smell as to what I was partially witnessing, I probably could have discovered it after all. But I didn’t.
You see, no one else in the entire neighborhood had this problem. And I know that because every day all the kids would be outside playing with each other, laughing and talking... and I just sat in my room, all alone, moping over the very few family photos I had. It was pathetic, not going outside. And now I regret it. I could have been making life-long friends, forgetting about the undeniable monsters, and just having a good time being a young teenager. But I refused to leave my precious home.
Why did I refuse? Why did I never leave this God forsaken house that held no meaning to me? Because of the monsters. They kept me back. They forbid me from leaving, never letting me step on the pavement of my porch. My neighbors must have felt bad for me, for they paid for everything for me every month and knocked on my door just to check on me. It was a lady with her four children. Even though I never talked to them, I knew each of their names and who they were just from looking through the window every day.
The eldest child, Bernard, was sixteen, who liked playing soccer and was currently in the championship for his most recent game. I had always admired him, wanted to be like him. Maybe I’d imagined soccer as a sport for me, which was definitely not true. I never played any sports, never got the chance to, anyway. He had tan skin from being outside a lot, and blonde hair, with dazzling brown eyes.
Then came Trucy, who was only fifteen, one measly year younger than Bernard. She, however, did theatre. She was outside practicing her lines with her friends and her siblings every week. I smiled as I watched her outside the window on sunny days, the way she had been so dramatic about all of her parts. I loved watching her. Trucy also had blonde hair, but she had eyes so dark I could barely see her pupils. I’d just figured she had dark brown eyes.
After Trucy was Stella, who was the sweetest girl in the world. She was twelve years old, but super ecstatic about everything and very cautious when standing outside my front door with her family, just hoping I would open it and talk to them, which I never did. She had the biggest gap between her two front teeth, which was the cutest thing ever. She always wore red dresses, which matched her startling hair, and had the brightest blue eyes I had ever seen, which of course I had not seen a lot.
Alas, the youngest child had been Gerald. Only eight years old, but had to have been the brightest of them all. He went home with a brand new library book every week, and I watched cheerfully through the window as he read his siblings interesting facts about mammals, science, physical education, or anything the book he had was about. He always wore either a tuxedo or a very neat vest that had always been matching with his glasses. If he had a white tuxedo on, he’d have a white pair of glasses. A black vest, a black rimmed pair of glasses. And so on. He had blonde hair like most of his siblings, but he shaved off his sides so he looked like an 80s kid. Which wasn’t a bad thing, I suppose. He always spoke in facts, no opinions necessary for him.
Yes, I had learned all of this just by watching them silently through my small window that shone directly on their lawn. They were outside almost every day, laughing amongst themselves and talking happily. Sometimes they would even argue and storm inside to tell their mother, who would occasionally come out and scold them for being immature. I had memorized their scheduled by the third week of spectating.
Monday’s was when Bernard practiced his soccer skills, and when I whipped out my notebook to jot down quick notes of what he did. Still, I never learned soccer so it was useless. Tuesday’s had been when they all were just chilling outside, sometimes blowing bubbles on a nice summer day or if it were winter they would be drinking hot chocolate. Wednesday’s were usually when Gerald came home with a new book and told everyone explicit facts about cool creatures and where they came from. None of them every wanted to listen, but I did. I wish I could have yelled at him to tell me those facts, because I would listen to him. But I knew if I did, I’d probably get eaten alive by the monsters, even if they weren’t there, when they’d arrive they would slice me to pieces and gobble me up like a nice afternoon snack. So I never talked. Or left. For any reason. Or to anyone.
Around Thursdays were the time Trucy was usually studying for her upcoming play recitals. She would go over her lines with either Stella or one of her friends and would be proud of herself for memorizing all of them. And yes, this happened every Thursday, even if she didn’t have a play, she always had a script of some sort.
And Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays were a jumble of all of them just hanging out in their yard. Playing together, talking together, doing everything together. And just by watching them, I really wished I could have joined the fun.