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Author: Subject: Monster
EileenK98
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[*] posted on 7-12-2012 at 08:34 AM
Monster


This is a little side story I wrote featuring my OC, Nathan. (Bio in the Character Introductions forum.)

________________________________________

“Whatcha reading, sport?” Bruce asks his son one night. Nathan is sitting in his favorite place on the sofa, balancing a paperback book delicately between two fingers.
“Library book.”
“What’s it about?”
“Monsters.” And that would be the end of the conversation, except that he adds: “Like me.”
Bruce puts his newspaper down and stares at the boy. “Who told you that?”
“Dad, I--“
“Who said that you were a monster? Nathan, look at me.”
Nathan stops trying to hide behind the book and looks up at his father. Warm brown eyes, so similar, meet.
“Who told you that you were a monster? I want to know.”
“My school file.”
This is news to him. The school is the one place that he thought Nathan would be safe. “Those files are supposed to be confidential.”
“I know, but it was on the screen, and Miss Jean left the room, and I tried to read it fast but she was coming back, so I printed out a copy and hid it under my shirt. Am I in trouble?”
Normally, he would be. But there’s a larger issue at play here, and Bruce wants to address that first. “Where is this printout? Do you still have it?”
“It’s in my room. I’ll go get it.”
He disappears briefly and comes back with four or five typed pages clutched in his hand. Wordlessly he hands them over. Bruce puts on his glasses and looks at the top page.
Creature is driven by rage . . . mindless beast . . . incapable of rational thought . . .
How could someone say such things about his boy? Nathan is doing college-level work! That paper he wrote on the Spanish-American War is better than any student twice his age could pull off! What are they thinking, mindless beast?
And then he sees something at the bottom of the page that makes him sit up and take notice.
“Nathan,” he says, “did you look at the date on this?”
“Huh? No.”
Bruce points to the very bottom right corner. “Two thousand five. You were only two years old, buddy. All two-year-olds act up to some degree. And they only called you ‘creature’ and ‘monster’ because you didn’t have a name yet. They didn’t know you then.”
“Ohhhh.” Understanding dawns in those brown eyes.
“Maybe you should read the last page, the recent remarks, before you decide what they think of you.”
Nathan nods and flips to the final page. “’Highly intelligent . . . shows signs of becoming a great intellect . . . pleasure to have in class . . . takes direction well . . . favorite student.’ That was Mr. Logan. He said that about me?”
“He thought you’d be a behavior problem, but he says you do everything he tells you without any questions or back-talk. Plus you’re big and strong enough for him to hit without having to worry about hurting you.”
“So . . . this is a good thing?”
“Nathan,” Bruce says, “I don’t ever want you to call yourself a monster. Or even think of yourself as a monster again. You’re so much more than that. Okay?”
“Okay.” Nathan nods. “Then you can’t either.”
“Huh?” Now it’s the father’s turn to be confused.
“You don’t like him. I know that. I don’t like him either. But he’s a part of you, Dad, and I don’t think he likes it when you keep him locked up. He saved the world, or at least he helped. He’s a hero.”
“He’s a force of nature, that can’t be contained or controlled.”
“So’s a two-year-old,” Nathan says with an impish grin. “He just doesn’t know any better. But he means well. He tries not to hurt people, but he just doesn’t know how. You have to teach him.”
“How can I? When he takes over . . . I’m not there.”
“Then do it when you’re you. Have you ever tried just talking to him?”
“He wouldn’t understand.”
“Sometimes it’s not the words that matter. It’s the tone of voice, and the expressions, and body language. It’s harder when you’re talking to someone in your own head, I guess, but maybe he’ll know what you mean.”
“He doesn’t listen to reason, Nathan. All he does is smash.”
“Then tell him not to. Teach him that there are things he shouldn’t do. You have to try, Dad. You can’t be afraid of him all your life.”
“I never said I was afraid of him.”
“You are, though. I can tell. I’m not as scared of him as I used to be, cause I know how to calm him down and make him go away.”
“I am not singing ABBA songs, even in my own head.” He’s smiling, though, even as he says it.
“Then sing songs you like. Calm, peaceful songs, not that metal stuff.”
“Maybe he likes Van Halen. You never know.”
“Daaaaad!”
“Okay, okay, no Van Halen. Got it.”
“If you try and work with him, instead of fighting him all the time, maybe he won’t be so mad, and smash things. And then when you need him, he’ll be more willing to help you.”
Where did a kid who spent the first half of his life in a cage learn so much about psychology? Probably the same place he’s learned everything else: the Internet. “Okay, Nate. I’ll try to talk to him instead of fighting him. I don’t know if it’ll work, but I’ll try.”
“See, you’re not a monster either. And neither is he.”
And for the first time in a long time, Bruce feels that the Other Guy is . . . happy. Someone understands him at last. “No,” he says, “he’s not.”




No, you're not lost. You're right where you belong.
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Foodmoon
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[*] posted on 7-12-2012 at 10:45 PM


Ooooh! That's lovely. :D
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Wingman
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[*] posted on 7-12-2012 at 11:46 PM


Awesome



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