The Creature: Part I

The creature had been given to her on her 13th birthday, an unlucky number indeed. She had of course brought it on herself, but it didn’t mean she felt the consequences were fair.

She was a cruel child; she felt hated and so she flung it back at the rest of the world with great vehemence to hide her oozing pain. Some numbed with drugs, some self-harmed. She cyber-bullied.

She knew on some level that she was hurting others, but it was the only distraction from the fact that she was unwanted by her parents, that though she did fairly well in school no one praised her, that she had been sexually harassed by several boys, making her feel afraid whenever she was alone in a hallway. It hid for a moment the fact that no one (not even her therapist) listened to her.

It was small at first. She’d make subtle remarks about other students looks behind the avatar of a raven. Then it escalated to not so obtuse comments and outright insults. She felt awful afterwards, but it was the only thing that made her forget other’s unkindness.

On some level, she was glad that the creature arrived when it did before she could do more damage.

It had been an oppressive day. It was July and the sun beat down without mercy. Combined with the humidity, it made you feel as if you being steamed.

Her parents went through the process of celebrating like it was a chore. The other guests were relatives she didn’t particularly like and an assortment of neighborhood kids she didn’t know, even though there were supposedly her friends. Her wish as she blew out the candles was that everyone leave her alone. Still, she was a great actress and convinced all present that she was enjoying herself to utmost.

Finally, it was late at night. She was already plotting a few things to say about one of her classmates as she headed upstairs. She opened the door, only to stop dead in her tracks.

On her floral bedspread was a present wrapped in brown paper with a neon pink bow. The card was unadorned and read:

For your own good.

There was nothing else. Confused, she picked up the box and rattled it. She could have sworn she heard a squeak. Ripping it open, she saw nothing.

A sharp chill of fear went down her spine at the snarl in her ear.