The Mother of all Monsters
a short monster story
Samantha sat at her kitchen table watching the clock tick. Her days were spent in pain, or waiting for pain. Kevin would be home soon. Then it would start. The battles. The struggles. The fights.
Sometimes, they just screamed at each other. Sometimes, it got physical.
Dishes would fly. Doors break. Once a knife was pulled. Never the same, always horrible.
How long had she felt his prisoner? It seemed like forever. Years.
She remembered when she was little, her father always chided her for taking in every lost stray. At least now, her father wasn’t around to shake his head in pity for what she’d become. In today’s parlance, a pushover, a victim.
She had just wanted to help Kevin. Now look where she was.
Why didn’t someone abandon him on a mountain top when he was first born? Before he had a name? That’s what the ancients did. To moderns it might seem cruel. But to the survivors, it was actually a mercy. Those ‘ancients’ really had it on the ball.
Samantha examined the pistol which was lying on the table. It was heavy and mysterious. So heavy, in fact, she feared it would be more lethal to throw it at him than to try shooting him with it. Could she aim it?
She reminded herself to take a practice course one of these days.
She chambered a shell. She liked the sound of it. The mechanical certainty it provided. Cold and rigid.
She knew it wouldn’t come to that, but she wanted that option available. Samantha was determined to make a change. It had been too long, living like this. She couldn’t do this anymore.
The things he would say to her. The demands. The liberties. The screaming. No more.
When he walks into the room, everything else must cease. It must be about him and his insatiable desires. Food. Attention. Whatever.
When he put her in the hospital, she thought that would be the end. But it was only the beginning for her. She saw no end in sight, if she didn’t act. Maybe not even then.
Samantha would hear about women coming out of the hospital and then not leave the abuser. It was incomprehensible. How could they continue?
And now here she is, still with him. How many years later?
It all seemed so natural. The pain subsided. He cried. He needed her. People said they belonged together. They didn’t know what he put her through.
Did he? Since he never thought of anyone but himself, she thought not.
Had she ever not felt like his captive? Even before she knew him Samantha sensed he would enter her life and take it over. More than a prisoner, she was his slave.
Samantha knew she wouldn’t shoot him. No one would believe her story about how he abused her. No one can understand staying with an abuser, so killing him also defies credulity.
But if it were an accident? Run him over? She could do that.
The pistol did make her feel secure, though.
Samantha heard the door slam. She stiffened and looked at the clock. He was early.
Kevin called out to her but she remained silent. Samantha quietly slipped the pistol into a drawer.
She heard his steps approaching.
Kevin appeared in the doorway and he saw her sitting there. Samantha remained motionless.
“Mommy!” He dropped his backpack and ran to her, giving her a tight hug. Samantha hugged him back, less enthusiastically.
Kevin pulled away and exclaimed, “Mommy, guess what Miss Thompson said. She said next year, in third grade, we get to… we’ll be learning our tables!”
“That’s great, Kev! But you already know yours, don’t you?”
“Well, I know the fives. Those are easy.” He started counting up by five.
Samantha took him by the shoulders. “That’s good Kev. But you skipped school, didn’t you?”
“Now don’t lie. I know you did.”
“But I didn’t Mommy. They let us out early for a teacher’s confa…. a meeting!”
“This isn’t the first time I caught you lying. I’m going to tell your teacher. You always lie.”
Kevin started to cry. “I didn’t lie, Mommy. Miss Thompson will tell you.”
“You’re just a stupid freak and a liar.”
He ran out of the room in tears. Samantha called after him. “Do your homework, you little brat! It better be done before dinner!”
Samantha walked to the side-by-side refrigerator and opened the freezer door. She thought, what a blessing TV dinners are. She pulled out a couple and turned on the oven to pre-heat.
Samantha settled into her chair and looked contentedly at the drawer where she’d put the pistol.
“I’m not done with you yet.”