Monster

Shreya Vikram

I have a monster inside me.

I saw it first when I was ten, and I’ve never forgotten:

Sneak up to my brother’s cradle, push him off the bed, watch him fall in his sleep, an angel. Drag him to the middle of the room, leave him swaying, like a ghost.

He wakes up, cries, falls to the cold tile floor. Wails, pushes me away.

I smile, tell him it’s alright, hold him to my chest, whisper sweet nothings into his ear.

I imagine squeezing him till his flesh oozes out in an hourglass.

What happened, why is he crying?

Oh, it’s nothing. I think he’s sleepwalking. I was trying to put him back to sleep but…

He didn’t like me very much after that. I bribed him with chocolate so he’d walk with me and hold my hand and we could be normal again.

. . .

There’s a…

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