Here be Monsters

I’ve been walking through my mindscape lately - more than the actual city. Revisiting memories, turning them in my hand and seeing how the light strikes them. Testing boundaries.

I’ve been watching Penny Dreadful, and I’ve been swilling the word monster around my mouth like boxed wine. Monster. What the hell is a monster anyway? They used to be on maps, but science drove them all away (literally, we’ll get to why).

Children are afraid of monsters, we know this. That’s why horror movies are for adults. And we’ve seen enough gore-infused sets to know that monsters are destructive, but I don’t think that’s the heart of them. Explain fake blood and silicon organs away until you’re blue in the face, the monster is still scary.

I won’t play coy, it’s not my nature. Monsters have no fear. Strip the mutated hide from the creature’s bones and you will only see purpose, hunger, need, and nothing to stop them from taking what’s yours. The wolf went from beast to companion when man discovered it feared the fire, the stick, and the thrown rock. Grendel became human weeping at his mother’s feet, because if you think of it, it’s Beowulf who’s the true monster of that tale.

So, if someone scares you, if you lean away slightly when they’re near, watch them closely. Find out what they’re scared of. They’re all more human than you think.

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