The monsters were on the road again the other night. Everyone turned out their lights and hid under their beds. They took the MacManus family from number twelve, dragged them out onto the pavement and started butchering them right there. The screaming went on forever. I covered my little one's ears. One of the flying types took off with young David in its talons. Mercifully, I think the poor kid was already dead. We saw it on CCTV the next day and he looked pretty limp as he dangled from the claws. We hosed the gore from the road. Some of it went down the drain and Maurice went crazy, saying he saw one of the spidery looking ones down there once and that the guts attract them. We bagged up most of the innards and threw them on the pyre. Someone suggested we say a prayer and some of us did. Darcy started banging on about how we should fight back but, yeah, ...whatever. Mary said we should get an online petition together and send it to the Monster King. A few of us thought that might be a good idea but then we forgot about it. Really we were just glad it wasn't our families. We'd survived another night. Most nights the monsters don't even bother with our road anyway. They prefer the estates further up on higher ground, nearer Monster Mountain.
We boarded up the windows and doors on number twelve just like we did with numbers five, seventeen and thirty six. Then we all went indoors to watch TV and pretend nothing happened. That new show about the invisible dog was on and we all enjoyed trying to laugh at that. The laughter sounded out from our houses and filled the night. Some believe the sound of laughter is another thing that attracts them but I only think it counts if the laughter is genuine and ours isn't. Ever. If it was gentle sobbing that brought the monsters we'd be done for though.
I'll never forget the night one came sniffing at our place. Jesus, it was tense. You could hear this great snuffling sound and see the colossal twisted shadow of the thing through the frosted glass. Kevin bolted out from next door and took the creature's attention away from us. Kevin was a good friend but I wonder why he did that. I mean, he wasn't that good a friend that he'd sacrifice himself for us. Maybe he was just tired of living this kind of life. I think it's worth it though. It's all part of the trade off. Without monster shit, how would we fertilise our allotments or fuel our cars? How would we heat and power our homes? We'd be back living in the stone age. So yeah, once and a while they take us and eviscerate us and spill our guts out on the tarmac and concrete. And sure, our kids are showing signs of trauma but our kids also eat well and don't freeze at winter. Our kids get driven to school.
When the kids get older they'll understand why we made the monsters and why we put up with them. They'll see the Monster King attending the trade meetings with our leaders and see that he is not all bad. They'll understand that for the monsters to give they have to take. Personally I think they give more than they take. Some say they are taking more than they used to but to me the balance is still in our favour. Anyway, even if we wanted to stop them, what could we do? Seriously, what? Most of us would die fighting them and what remained of us would be left with nothing but ash, debris and huge corpses to clear away. Those proposing the fight back don't think things through. I heard one say we could eat the monsters once we killed them. He didn't even know that their flesh is poison and their blood scalding. We made them like that especially so they wouldn't eat each other. We didn't think they'd grow tired of the slop we fed them and start eyeing us up as a possible alternative.
So, this is the way it is and the way it has to remain. No one leaves their house after dark, staying indoors, wilfully enjoying primetime and hoping one of the snake types doesn't come slithering down the chimney. Every night is imbued with an unacknowledged horror but in the morning, once the sun comes up, it all seems worth it. We get up and we leave our homes and we find the great mounds of shit that make our lives worthwhile. Great big mounds of beautiful fantastic shit, that's what it's all about. We take our shovels and we shovel that shit all day long. Yes sir. We shovel that wonderful foul stenched shit all day till teatime when the sun starts going down. Then we push our wheelbarrows of shit home and bolt our doors. We bolt our doors and pull down the shutters and we settle in for another night of attempting to enjoy the TV. Feeling wealthy and feeling scared, at the same time.
We turn up the volume. We drown out the sound of something scuttling across the roof.