Dear Readers,

Quite plainly, this is a story about monsters. Yes, monsters. The ones that live under your bed and would like very much to eat you. The ones that hide in your closet and dream of what your delicious blood must taste like. The ones that lurk in the darkened mirror and step on the creaky stairs at night. The ones you catch glimpses of out of the corner of your eye. Love them, fear them, and don't become them.


E. M. Grinlord

They tell you there's nothing there.

Or they give in to your will and keep the light on, open the door a crack, and lock the closet. You take precautions yourself. Leap into bed from three feet away so no arms can grab you from the dark crack beneath it, draw your blankets up to your chin and lie stick straight, facing upward so nothing can sneak up behind your back as you slumber.

They tell you there's nothing there. And perhaps there isn't. Some of us are so lucky. But go on, take your precautions; keep the lamp burning through the night, sleep with one eye open, scrutinizing the lumpy shadows for signs of goblins.

It's not as though they work anyway.

Fortunately, I can tell you what does…

Shada, awestruck, flipped through the rest of the journal. It was written in a paranoid, spidery hand; he could only imagine a voice of similar characteristics speaking those words, the voice of a sharp mind that watched the world a little bit too closely. It made him shudder, and he glanced at the dark head against the pillow. The young woman's eyes were fluttering beneath the lids, but she still lay as stiff as a board, clutching a small dagger atop her chest.

He could tell that she'd been writing by the ink stains on her hands. Dark purplish blue blots- the same color that danced across the pages of the black journal. The knife was silver, a deadly substance to those who walked under the title "Monster," and an outlawed mineral of the Shadow World. Astonished, Shada, turned back to the back and delicately turned the pages with his claws.

"Urguld. Have you seen this?" he said breathlessly.

"Seen what?" said Urguld, who was sniffing the dollhouse.

"This book, this journal the young woman there wrote."

"Does it taste good?"

Shada rolled his eyes.

"Are you that hungry?"

Urguld shifted irritatingly, his red eyes gleaming in the dark.

"Been goin' on a week now. Haven't had nothing to eat but squirrel and half a skunk I found on the highway. Got clipped by a truck trying to get it, too."

Shada nodded.

"They tend not to see us during the day, don't they? Here," Shada shifted through the pockets of his torn trousers. "I've got a bar of soap. Chock full of good nutrients."

Shada tossed the lump of soap over to Urguld, who guzzled it down like precious chocolate. Shada was utterly fascinated by the book.

"She's written an entire catalogue. See? Accurate descriptions of every class of monster beyond the closet I can think of. She drew some marvelous pictures too. Look, here's one that looks just like you! It's the spitting image, I swear. My goodness, she's even listed all the ways to kill us. Soapy water, stake to the heart… garlic. I thought these were secrets known only to us. Urguld, my friend, this book is an absolute treasury!"

Urguld looked as though he cared more about the grass growing halfway around the world.

"Can we just get on with it and eat the girl 'fore she wakes up?"

"What?" Shada tucked the book away with great care, using his knuckles so his overgrown claws would not scratch the glossy cover. "Oh, yes, of course. She'll have to be eaten, of course. She knows too much. Can't have her sharing her knowledge with the world, now can we?"

"Good stuff, I 'm starving!" Urguld advanced on the sleeping human being.

"Wait. Let me put on my gloves and remove that knife."

"Yeah, yeah," Urguld nodded hungrily, "Good thinking. That's silver that stuff is. Makes me break out in hives if I touch it."

"And explode if you eat it."

"Can I have that book for dessert?" asked Urguld. "That journal you were yammering of?"

"No," said Shada with the slight smile. "This young woman put a lot of work into this book. It's quite valuable. I should like to keep it."

"Yeah, yeah, just as long as you keep it away from the humans. I don't want them coming after me with silver wherever I go. Still, I don't see why you just don't eat it. Paper's got fiber you know. Good for the digestive tract, or whatnot, my older sis told me."

Shada smiled and shadowy, mysterious smile. His eyes were saying something wicked his mouth wasn't, but Urguld was too hungry to care.

"You brought the forks?" said Shada. "Excellent. I've got mayo and ketchup."

It's weird, I know. It could get weirder. It could get no where at all. This is a small sample of Monstrosities in my head, and I would love to know what you thought about it. Review are much appreciated, even if you couldn't stand it and would rather be locked in a closet with a hungry monster for an hour. If you do choose the latter, however, I request that you write a letter with your signed name claiming I had nothing to do with it. Honestly, I'm sick of the paperwork that comes with that stuff...