Of Monsters And Men
Life

Of Monsters And Men

The first monster I met

looked like the ‘90s

looked like summer afternoons

looked like swimming pools

like soccer fields

like nintendo controllers

like cherry Kool-Aid.

The first monster I met

was not in a fairy tale

was not in a ghost story

was not in a horror movie.

He wasn’t a dragon

or a vampire

or a stranger

peddling candy from a van.

The first monster I met

looked nothing like

they said he would.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing—

or, worse, just a sheep

with sharper teeth.

I never even thought

to run away.

*  *  *

She told me her brother

discovered her body

before she was old enough

to find it herself.

Said he’d kill her if she told,

so she wrote it on a scrap of paper

and shoved it down her throat.

The secret lives inside her now,

buried too deep for anyone to find.

She could never tell her parents

they tried to protect her

from all the wrong men.

The one who hurt her

looked exactly like them.

*  *  *

STRANGER DANGER!

Teachers crowd us into gyms

make us sit cross-legged on the floor

while screaming warning after warning.

STRANGER DANGER!

Do not talk to men with candy

Do not talk to men in vans

Do not talk to men with puppies

Do not talk to men at malls

Do not talk to men near parks

STRANGER DANGER!

I always thought the men who’d hurt me

would be the ones hidden in alleyways

would be the ones catcalling on streets

would be the ones lurking in bars,

waiting for just the right beat.

STRANGER DANGER!

Turns out, they’re rarely strangers at all.

*  *  *

They had been friends for a while

when she woke up in his bed

woke up with her dress on the floor

woke up wondering

what the hell

she could have done

differently.

*  *  *

The Little Mermaid

sold her voice to the devil

so she could fall in love

on forbidden lands.

I wish I could be so lucky.

The devil stole my voice

just because he could,

made me swallow my words

for years.

I couldn’t find it in time

to save the other little girls

left alone to drown at sea.

There was a kraken on the loose

but no one to warn the villagers.

At least Ariel’s silence

only hurt herself.

*  *  *

He told me he’d been raped

but no one believed him

because men don’t say “no”

when pretty girls say “yes.”

It festered inside him,

nearly tore him apart

till he found scapegoats

to punish for his pain.

I wish I could have tied

a red flag around his neck,

a warning for the next woman

that some people only hurt others

so they don’t have to suffer alone.

*  *  *

He messaged me every day

for two whole months

after it happened.

Even when I wouldn’t respond,

even when my excuses ran dry.

He wanted so badly to fix

everything he’d broken

(even if the only thing ‘broken’

was me).

He spent weeks unwinding clocks

but couldn’t turn back time—

the damage was done.

Is done.

Will always be done.

You can’t stop an explosion

once you’ve already lit the fuse.

Fuck your intentions.

Fuck your guilt, your regret.

Fuck you for thinking

this was something you could change.

You do not get to hurt me

then decide I’m yours to save.

But some monsters still believe

wholeheartedly

that they were destined to be

Prince Charming. TC mark

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Callie is a professional Thought Catalog blogger by day and an amateur Tumblr blogger by night. Follow Callie on Instagram or read more articles from Callie on Thought Catalog.