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  • Writer's pictureHil Hoover

I just wanted a cool monster

@wanderinghil on twitter (I have no idea what I'm writing anymore)

We could try to make it make sense, perhaps,

but why do it that way, when we have a whole world

at our disposal, centuries of folklore followed by

the modern multimedia landscape, the imagination

of every child who ever lived, the ambition of every

huckster with a little taxidermy skill, dream big,

pull out all the stops, close your eyes and

give yourself everything you’ve ever wanted

in this moment, breathe deep and change.

Start with the air in your lungs, the way it moves

through you, the organs in your body, the blood

that carries oxygen, the heart that beats inside you,

don’t think about what you look like on the outside

yet, think about what you are, how you tick, what

sustains you, would you like a different kind of

diet, and what would you need to change to

make that happen?

Ah, here we go, I see what you want, I see

your heart now, only already you are beginning to

lose heart, to shed muscle, bone, skin, it’s so quick

once it begins, always is, always has been, this

process of shedding, this process of becoming

something else, once the heart goes, and now

everything begins to be green, to be brown,

to be sprouts beginning to reach upward,

root beginning to seek into earth, is this truly it?

But then something shifts again, rootwise,

in the search for soil, for loam, for all that will

nourish, and the trickster god that has been

playing these games with humans for so long

has to drop the narrative, steps back a second

too late, feathers fluttering, wings flapping, beak

snapping at vines that have already begin to

multiply too fast, the situation immediately

out of control, unexpected and uncalled-for.

Now don’t you get cheeky with me, little one, if you don’t want to be eaten, you just take a

minute and be real sure this is what you want,

and we can start over if you don’t want to

live in the garden after all, but there’s still that

fluttering of wings, the ruffled feathers, the

roots that are burrowing into the ancient being,

drawing forth something that isn’t blood,

certainly isn’t water, nothing a vine should need.

And then it’s over, just like that, because the human

that is no more - that is already gone - chose well,

knew what they were doing, and it’s not just the

trickster who is buried, but the entire garden, the house,

a whole divine realm destroyed by a single game of

let’s play with this human’s fate

and still, to this day, it’s just another cryptid tale,

another weird myth passed down among the

strangest of strangers on the darkest of nights

that maybe no one really would believe

because honestly, how would you explain it

if your pleasant southern evening was interrupted

by a giant corvid covered in kudzu who wandered about

mournfully whispering I just wanted a cool monster

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