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The Monster

Ella Crosby

I have not visited this house, my childhood home, in manws. This

place is no longer my home; the events that occurred here prevent

that, but I cannot bring myself to leave without saying good-bye.

The scarred wooden door opens reluctantly, creaking, as if in pain.

I understand its reluctance to let anyone in; it, like me, may have just

forgotten how.

I drift through the corridors, wandering past the remnants of my life

before: past the remnants of her.

I ascend the stairs slowly, trailing my fingers over the bannister

we used to spend hours sliding down, now dusty and rotting away.

The wind howls through broken windows, and the billowing drapes

look like lonely ghosts struggling to escape the confines of the house.

Lying abandoned on the ground is the one-eyed doll that we

fought over constantly, now staring vacantly at the ceiling. I look

away quickly, the glassy eye conjuring up memories of that night.

Swallowing the lump in my throat, I continue down the hallway,

and come to a sudden halt.

At the end of the corridor is an old photograph of a family which,

to all outward appearances, seems perfectly happy. I trace the brittle

grins with a fingernail. That seemingly untroubled family doesn’t

exist anymore, and I’m not sure it ever really did. My eyes linger on

the face of the little blonde girl with pigtails and stars in her eyes. I

watched the life fade from those eyes.

I am responsible. I have always known, deep down, that it was my

fault; I was weak, and it was my cowardice that killed her. I let that

monster murder my only sister, and for that I will never forgive


I sink to the floor with my head in my hands, the pain in my heart

unbearable. It feels like I’m being torn apart from the inside. A tear

slipping down my cheek surprises me; it has been a long time since I

allowed myself that vulnerability. I catch it on my finger, and watch

as it leaves a shimmering trail down my hand, before falling down to

land on a faded page of sheet music.

I stare at it; a manifestation of my sorrow sinking into a relic of

one of my only happy memories. Music was my only escape from the

monster that lived in our house, and he managed to destroy even

that. Dragging myself out of the memories, I follow the trail of sheet

music towards a room full of secrets and despair.