There once was a boy.
He was an average boy, nothing special or remarkable about him.
But he was very quiet.
One of his favourite things to do was read. His brothers all did exciting things, but the boy liked to read.
And he liked Monsters.
He had read about all the different kinds on Monsters in stories, but knew they didn’t really exist.
So the boy made a Monster of his own. Not out of sticks and cloth, but in his imagination.
While his brothers won awards and competitions, the boy talked to his Monster.
It wasn’t a bad Monster; it didn’t have sharp teeth or big claws.
It was small, and quiet, and scared of things, just like the boy.
The Monster would always worry.
It didn’t like talking to people, it just liked the boy.
It was afraid of almost everything, and all the terrible things that could happen.
But the boy didn’t mind, because the Monster wasn’t real.
And because the Monster wasn’t real, the boy felt safe telling the Monster things. Things he wouldn’t tell anyone else.
It was his Monster.
And the Monster would remember everything the boy told him.
At first it was nice, having a Monster to talk to; a Monster that was with him all the time, and who would always listen.
The boy even liked how afraid it was. It showed the boy that, even though bad things could happen, they were never as bad as the Monster feared.
But, as the boy grew up, the Monster remembered more and more about him.
The boy was so used to telling the Monster everything he didn’t know how to talk to other people.
And when the boy thought about talking to other people, he imagined the Monster and all its worries of what could happen.
And, because the boy kept thinking about them, they became his fears too.
But it was ok, because even if he couldn’t talk to people, the boy could talk to the Monster, and the Monster wasn’t really real.
Then, one day, the boy met a girl.
He liked her and she liked him.
The girl wanted to be friends with the boy, and when they played the boy was happy and forgot about the Monster.
But sometimes the boy felt worried or scared, just like the Monster would.
He wanted to tell the girl things, secrets that friends tell each other, but knew if he did, all the terrible things the Monster knew and the boy half-remembered could come out.
Because the boy had only ever really talked to the Monster, he didn’t know how to talk to the girl.
He started to find it hard to have fun with the girl.
He was worried, just like the Monster, which made him think of all the terrible things that could happen, just like the Monster would.
So the boy stopped playing with the girl. He wanted to, but couldn‘t stop thinking like the Monster.
The girl didn’t know what to do; it wasn’t the same boy she first met.
So she left.
The boy missed the girl, which made thinking about the Monster even worse. He didn’t know what to do. He was afraid of this Monster who knew all the bad things the boy had done.
And then one day the Monster was real.
The boy was sitting in his room reading when the Monster came to life. He didn’t hurt the boy, but the boy couldn’t move.
His heart was beating too fast.
His hands wouldn’t do what he asked them to.
It felt like the Monster was around his throat, and the boy couldn’t really breathe. The Monster reminded the boy of all the terrible things that the boy had done, and all the bad things that could happen.
He kept telling them over and over again, and the boy couldn’t breathe.
Finally, the Monster stopped. It didn’t go away, but went back inside the boy, where it lived.
Where it had always lived.
Monsters weren’t supposed to be real, but the boy realised that he had made the Monster and it was as much a part of him as he was of it.
So the boy did the one thing he was good at; he read.
He thought he had learned all about Monsters when he was younger, but he didn’t realise how different Monsters became the older you got.
He read and read until he found someone who knew about Monsters.
Someone to talk to.
Someone that wasn’t a Monster, but a Monster-Expert.
When he met her, he found that she had a Monster just like his.
Smaller, and happier, this Monster wasn’t afraid.
The boy and his Monster talked to the Expert. About everything. About why the boy made the Monster, how he talked to it and what he told it – it all the good, but mostly the terrible things – throughout the boys life.
The Monster-Expert listened, and told the boy the truth about Monsters;
Everyone has a Monster.
And every Monster is different.
Some talk to people differently, and some act differently.
But they’re all real.
And they all eat the same things.
They all eat what we feed them.
Then the expert taught the boy how to take care of his Monster.
Monsters can’t be killed, but if you feed them and take care of them properly, sometimes they sleep.
Or sometimes they help you.
The boy found that his Monster could help him. Especially with his second favourite thing; Writing.
Because the boy liked writing.
And he liked Monsters.