There are Monsters

Maddy Stella Fletcher

Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

--G.K. Chesterton

Gilda knew about the monster in her closet.

She was eight
, but that didn't mean that she was stupid, and Gilda had discovered that many adults believed the two were interchangeable. Gilda had mastered tying her laces years ago, could ride her bike without the training wheels, make peanut butter and banana sandwiches entirely unsupervised without spilling anything and even knew how to operate the DVD player in order to watch Dora explore something. She knew that four quarters could get her exactly twenty pixie sticks from the convenience store down the block. She was also somewhat informed of where babies came from: at least she was certain that there were no birds involved. Gilda also knew three swear words, including the really bad one her father had accidentally said in front of her that time when he had run over one of her roller skates while moving the lawn and had made her promise never to repeat in front of her mother.

It didn't take long for Gilda to realize that there was, indeed, a monster living in her closet. Lying her pale yellow bedroom, the glow-in-the-dark plastic stars staring down at her from the ceiling, Gilda would be tucked in by her parents and told to sleep tight. Gilda was always smiled as her father kissed her forehead, and made a show of closing her eyes and burrowing deeper into her pillow. She had tried, once, to tell her parents of the creature that lived amongst her jackets and sweaters, that hid amid her hung up dresses and skirts during the day, only to emerge, hulking and snarling at night, but she had only been chided and told that there was nothing to fear. Gilda thought to herself that, really, there was quite a lot of fear, but that, for her parents' sake, she would take care of it.

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