You lock the door, reflexively, on your way past to bed and reflect on the futility of it.
The monster’s already in here.
If anything, you’ve trapped yourself.
Pause to consider this, and try not to panic.
It will not be waiting for you under the bed, you know… You locked it safe inside that box – with all the others – and then hid it in a place nobody would want to go, covered in sticky layers of academia.
Ugly little things. That’s where they deserve to be.
Why don’t they just go away?
Still, you can hear them scratching to be free, and every now and then you catch a glimpse of one, in the form of a flash of sweat at the sight of white powder maybe, or the quick dark movement over the shoulder of your awareness, as in mirrors and shadows.
Drifting like smoke in the peripheral awareness.
After all these years one might have hoped to have had them die off by now, but they have not. And one knows why, of course. Knew all along but, but did it anyway. It was always informed consent and plausible deniability be damned – that was the deal.
They are well-fed.
They were supposed to stay in that box but when nobody is looking you let them out and nourish them while you rehearse the lines you will inevitably recite when the moment arrives, again and again.
It’s not as bad as it seems – and that’s not a lie.
It’s much worse.
Brazenly, like a foolish child feeding the family dog in secret under the table, right in front of everybody, so she has room for dessert.
You wait with your lines.
Written & Performed by James Bethell
Produced by Dee Kaph
Recorded at Shadybrook Studio