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“I look at myself in the mirror at what I became. What I allowed anger and hate change me into. When people see me they see the charming handsome young man that I portray. But then again everybody wears a mask and the man who caused my hate was nice and friendly and then he killed me. I hate masks. I hate fakes. But we all must wear them. Some wear them because they are afraid. Others wear them to be accepted. Others wear them to protect themselves. But some, the ones I hate, truly hate because hate is such a harsh word, those masks hide an evil worse than any monster that exists. Those masks under friendly adults, under helpful hands, under the smiles and layer of false love, under all that is a monster that would prey and hurt children in the worst possible of ways before taking their lives. Because of one such person in my human life, I allowed so much hate to fester I became a boogeyman, not the worse ones, not them, they are the humans, no I actually became a boogeyman. But I don’t go after kids. No. After all I never got to grow up from being a child when I was living. No to keep my abilities I must drain the marrow out of 75 people a year. I go for those who prey on children and show the world a mask better than mine.”
Caliban sat at home; well he was laying on the couch wondering what game to play. He lived with Beth. He was a teenager here; and Beth was his foster mom. Of course she loved him as much as she loved any child. She loved children. She had started to date Bo, and I was okay with that. Bo was a good monster. Good man. He let out a humph when a weight landed on his chest. He looked down and smiled. It was the dog Frank made him. He said it wouldn’t do for his brother to not have a pet. The dog was a small dog, not much more than a puppy. He had been ran over and left for dead. Frank did some of his and Beth’s magic and he had a puppy for life. He was a lab that would never grow up. Much like Caliban would never grow up. That was taken from him by a monster worse than any monster he has met.
Caliban closed his eyes. He opened his mouth as if to scream. But he couldn’t. The demons within him fought against his mind. They wanted out to torment those monsters that he knew were in town. But he had promised Beth he would behave as a mature monster. So Caliban took the internal monster within his mind and pushed him down on his knees and told him to wait. They would soon be selfish and take what they wanted. What they needed. He pet his puppy, which he had named Mark. Mark was such a normal name, but then again all the monsters had ‘normal’ names. His was exotic but that was because it was his name given to him by his parents many centuries ago and he never wanted to let go of the one thing that helped him to remember to not be a blood thirsty monster. It was his tether to his conscience.
Caliban remembered that day clearly. He had been with his coach, cliché he knew, but then again there was a reason even the bad events in people’s lives had clichés, his coach had turned on him and hurt him so badly. Taken his innocence and then killed him. Caliban’s spirit had been so furious. So very furious. The anger welled up in his spirit and he made a deal. Who Caliban called the devil came to him, he was in a three piece suit and told Caliban he was special, he would become a monster. A boogeyman to prey upon the real boogeymen, to prey upon the scum of humanity. In exchange he had to kill seventy five real life monsters, meaning humans, a year that would hurt children and do what his coach had done to him and to continue living the immortal life and taking out the scum for the end of days he had to suck the marrow out of the bones of the mortals he killed. Caliban had readily agreed being an eight year old that was furious with the hand fate had dealt him. So there he was kneeling in front of the devil with the three piece suit and made a deal that made him this… this monster. He was a boogeyman that prey upon the scum of society. He drank the marrow and he gained his magic and his power to live a normalish life. He was teen thanks to his magic, and Beth loved him like a mother. He had games and went to school and even had a pet. Beth and Frank made sure that he somewhat of a childhood every so often. He was grateful to them. They saved him. He was going around just killing all who triggered his senses. He was leaving a trail of blood and pain. After all he had nobody. He had not a single soul. Then Beth and Frank found him. Taught him. Cared for him. Frank was very much his brother and Beth was very much their mother. He smiled and the demons quieted down. He would have to kill three soon. And he had the three in mind. There was a coach, vice-principal, and a parent volunteer at his high school preying on kids. He had gotten close to all of them and he knew their plan was to involve all of them when they killed him. He, of course, was going to kill them, drink their marrow and leave their rotten bodies hidden in a shallow hole to be found in a decade. Long after the trail had gone cold.
“Caliban!” Beth called as she came home.
“In here mom!” He yelled.
Beth smiled. “Did you get all your homework done?”
“All set then?”
“Three days time.”
“Good! Did you want me to wait and pick you up?”
“Sure he will!”
“Even with Sophie?”
“Yes even with Sophie Caliban. You know Frank loves you. And you are Sophie’s favorite uncle.”
Caliban laughed. “I am her only uncle. And she is a cute kid.”
“Of course she is. She is a Frankenstein just like you, Frank and I. Now go cleanup for dinner.”
Caliban rolled his eyes, but did as he was told. Yeah he loved being a Frankenstein. He was loved and cared for, and happy.
Three nights later he was at the school. His mask on. “It is sure nice of the three of you to help me with my homework and practice for the football team.” He was telling his victims.
“It is no trouble at all.” One of them stated as he handed him a doctored drink.
Caliban mentally snorted. These drugs had no effects on monsters. He drank it and waited until they made their move. As soon as he saw them move at him, he used his magic to look like a monster. And attacked. He sliced all three of their throats with one swipe, and as they lay bleeding out he started to peal their skin away to get to their bones and their life source within the bones. A few hours later Caliban was sitting there sucking on the last bone. A pile was thrown behind him and organs and blood was everywhere. He called Tony. “Hey man, the high school gym.”
“No problem little monster!” Tony laughed. “Later.”
Caliban went down to the locker rooms and cleaned up and then rushed outside. He saw Frank waiting for him, without Sophie (Bonus!). “Hey Frank!”
Frank moved and hugged him. “Thought we would have a guys’ night. Movies and video games until mother called and yelled at us.”
Caliban smiled. He couldn’t believe it. A whole night with Frank without the crying poop machine that he loved, but she took so much of Frank’s time. “That sounds awesome!”
Frank laughed and ruffled Caliban’s hair. “Thought you would like it!” He got into the car. “So let’s go to the mall and I hear the popcorn is actually fresh today!”
Caliban smiled. His human life may have been cut short tragically but the fates and that devil man made up for it in his undead life. He found a true family. And he couldn’t be happier. After all not only did he prevent other kids from having their lives cut short, but he also had a brother, mother and a little niece. He settled back ready for a guys’ night with night with his brother. His greatest blessing in this undead life of his, an older brother who has more than once killed for him; he turned and smiled at Frank. Frank ruffled his hair again as they drove the twenty minutes to the mall. And as Caliban sat down with his popcorn, candy and soda he realized that the demons in his mind were finally quiet, not even a mummer, because he finally accepted his life as a monster.