The First Monster

The monster took up most of the street. It was half man and half light and his voice boomed and popped, but made no sense. The lights flashed through the windows–red and blue, red and blue–and I thought he’d knock down the house if he wasn’t let in. I hid in a small, dark space, and until my father made the monster go away. That’s how is was in the dream anyway.

I was thirty when I finally told my dad about this recurring childhood dream.

“I’m surprised you remember that,” he said.

“Remember what?”

I was three. A man trying to escape from the cops drove his car off the road and into our yard. The cops were right behind him and they exchanged gunfire. Dad threw me in the hall closet and told me not to come out for anyone but him. He took out his shotgun, got down on his stomach, and pointed the gun at the door.

“But they caught the guy,” my dad said and shrugged. “That was it. I didn’t think you’d remember.”

I like having one character say something offhand and thoughtless, and while it means little to the speaker, it opens a new world for the other person in the room. Really? My first memory is of bullets flying and cop cars? What I thought was a dream was real? Perhaps it opened the door for the other monsters that came later–if you believe in that sort of thing.

Don’t some lives seem to have more monsters than others? Sometimes in a fanciful mood I think my father’s house is over some kind of rift–a tiny rift, more like a sliver really, and while it might not let in aliens like it does in Cardiff it does addle the thinking and attract the odd and the misguided and the cruel.

The next monster that came, you see, killed the dog.

But that is another story, and I’ve got to go practice my cliffhangers now.

7 thoughts on “The First Monster

  1. No practice needed. I have to know about the dog!

    I think all the time that this might be G’s first memory. Or this, or this. And then I wonder which ones will stick, which ones will go into the soup of the subconscious, which ones will turn into dreams. Which ones will mess him up. Which ones will give him things to strive for.

    Memory is a fascinating thing. I think my first memories are much more mundane than yours. Something about not being let into my father’s studio, and thinking that I was just like one of the cats, who also weren’t allowed in.

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