A common misconception people make is believing that a predator lurks in the darkness, sneaking in the shadows as they walk down a desolate street. The street lights flickering as their bodies begin to tremble in fear of the footsteps closing in behind them. They fail to realize the real monsters do not limit themselves to the darkness. Oh, we love attention. Though we attempt to remove our own monstrosities brewing deep within our psyches, the same thing we deny feeds on the anonymity, savoring it, bite by bite. We are our own strangers. We walk passed mirrors, the image of our true nature reflecting back at us unnoticed. We are the true monsters. Not some lowlife hiding under a child's bed, tormenting them whenever the child closes his or her eyes.

Well, at least I'm a monster.

Our society has too many rules. You have to look the part, dressing as they do in order to 'fit in.' I don't want to fit in. I want to rule as we once did, wreaking havoc on the world as our ancestors had for centuries. I want to be in books, recognized as a powerful, inevitable force to cower upon. Instead, I'm sitting at a desk; pretending I don't want to rip Tom, my coworker's, head clean off before licking up every ounce of blood that drains from it.

We have to participate in a weekly drawing in order to get our... fill. If we were to hold this competition more frequently, as we had in the past, the humans would figure out our existence. Human on human crime would no longer be a sufficient enough cover up. We couldn't have that happen. There have been far too many rogue monsters in the past that sacrificed our secrecy. All of the humans most infamous serial killers were connected to us. They were us.

Out of the millions of us hidden amongst the population, it's always a bit of a circus when we come together. Well, more so a duel. See, the drawing is just the first step. Once your name is picked out of  the raffle, you then have to challenge the other opponent whose name was also selected from the raffle.

One of you must die in order to have one night of bliss, basking in being the monster you had to hide for weeks on end as you awaited the raffle. Naturally, I always sat at the edge of my seat at work, contemplating winning the raffle. It's like a dream. Though I have been around for quite some time, I've only won the raffle five times. I'm hoping for the sixth tonight.

My boss, Ronald Simmons, however, wanted me to stay after work to have a chat. Being that the raffle was in less than an hour, I was reluctant to comply with his orders. So I told him I had a family emergency, in which he replied, "I don't give a shit." Disimpassioned, I sat down, staring upon his ripened face as he circled around my chair.

"Damon, we have to let you go," he said, nonchalantly.

I shifted in my seat, anger swelling in my belly as he stared at me with a smirk littering his disgusting face.

"Why?" I questioned, simply.

He laughed, his hand tracing the crevices in the wooden chair I sat in.

"I don't have to give you reasoning for me firing you. Whatever country you're from can't stop me from letting you go either. Now, I suggest you get out of this seat and get the fuck out of my building before I call security," he said, caustically.

Naturally, I stood up, abiding by this weak, inferior creature's order. Which in turn, made my blood boil.

"Have a good life," he said, laughing as I walked out of the office's door.

I wanted nothing more than to turn around as I walked away, digging my nails deep within his chest before ripping away his cold heart from within it. But, I had bigger things to worry about.

So I sped to the isolated warehouse. As I drove through the grim, murky forest, noticing the sun meeting with the horizon, I couldn't help but ponder the thought of winning. Though I haven't in centuries, something within me could feel the possibility of being selected for the raffle. The feeling ate away at my wrath as I imagined who my lucky victim would be, if I should win. That was a no-brainer.

When I arrived at the warehouse, countless cars lined the abandoned building. I got out of the car, breathing in the smell of anticipation, competition, and a hint of fear. One of us was going to die, but it was well worth it. In the end, it's all about balance. To take the life of a human, you have to take the life of one of your own first.

Before going into the warehouse, I stripped out of my human form, releasing the toxic costume I was forced to wield. The transition was a painful one depending on how big the monster was in his or her natural state. I am a fairly big monster, so it takes skill to shimmy out of the charade the rules deem necessary throughout the year. If you should rip your disguise, you would have to give up your own child or family member, who would be sentenced to death, in order for you to receive new skin. A life for a life. Unless... you wish to be sentenced to the dungeons instead. Which is much, much worse than offering up your child or family member.

"Damon," a voice said.

I turned to see Grogoch.

"Grogoch," I said, grimacing before we began punching each other in the arm.

"It's been too long, my friend," he said, growling in between his words.

I nodded, staring at the entrance of the warehouse in anticipation.

"How about we catch up as we walk," I said, flinging my stiffened wing over his shoulder.

The whole way to the entrance was filled with great conversation. Grogoch told me of his new children and how they drove him insane with their shedding. I enjoyed hearing about children as I was never fortunate enough to find a mate.

"Sign your names," the gorgon behind the desk said.

I couldn't help but admire her beauty. Though she was grotesque, snakes stemming from her head, she was marvelous to look at. She seemed to notice my stare, grimacing as her cheeks turned a dark purple.

"Come on, Damon," Grogoch said, grabbing my attention with a snarl.

I followed his lead into the waiting room. We scoured for open seats, passing countless sirens, succubi, and merpeople in the process. Each had their game faces on, silence enveloping the room as excitement surged through each monster's body. Not even Grogoch spoke another word as we waited for the raffle to begin.

"Attention all monsters. We are going to begin the drawings. If you shall win, you are expected to immediately go into the dueling chambers. If you do not win, you are to depart from the waiting room and enter into the auditorium to watch the duel. Now, we shall draw two names from the box," the announcer stated, the sound of rustling overcoming the loud speaker.

Looking around the room, every creature clenched their fists or wings as the announcer shuffled the raffle tickets. Though I was nervous of the outcome, I wanted to fly onto stage and break off every arm the announcer had as he took his sweet time. Patience was never my strong-suit.

"Okay, I have the first name. Grogoch, you may go into the dueling chambers," he announced, looking around the room before catching eyes with Grogoch.

Grogoch stood up, banging on his massive chest before disappearing into the chambers. The announcer shuffled the box once more, his countless eyes looking all over the room. Once he stopped, he pulled out a piece of paper and stared amongst the crowd.

"Damon, you may take your place in the dueling chambers," he said.

I stood, releasing my wings, which expanding across the room instantly, before letting out a deepened screech. Growls broke out behind me as I flew into the dueling chambers. Once in the mold ladened arena, I glanced at my friend turned opponent. He didn't seem the least bit weary about fighting me to the death just as I wasn't for him. It is within our nature to kill. No matter what species.

"Everyone, take your seats and witness these two competitors fight for the prize of indulgence. Indulgence in the only thing we as monsters crave. Flesh," the announcer said.

In the background, chanting began. Most were hoping for the legendary Grogoch to win. Some were hoping we killed each other. And, the rest wanted only to see blood spill onto the grime stained concrete. Grogoch and I were only hoping to violently murder the other, claiming our night of bliss after watching the life drain from our victim.

"Now, the duel shall begin!" The announcer proclaimed, causing the crowd to go awol.

Grogoch wasted no time charging me. He was massive, much taller and wider than me with arms as big as two stools side by side. He lunged, punching me across the room with one powerful blow. Again, he charged, mustering up his strength in order to crush my head on impact. I dodged this attempt, flying over his head before landing directly behind him. Expelling my toxic venom into his chest as I bit him, his strength began to fade. Because he was much too big to kill in one bite,  I violently clawed at his neck as he struggled onto the floor, the concrete tearing away at his flesh.

Continuously, I bit him, pumping every ounce of venom within me into his enormous body. It didn't take long before he was paralyzed, no longer able to defend himself against my attacks. So, I circled around him. My wings expanded and my arms clenched as I imagined the satisfaction of ripping out his eye before burrowing my teeth into his neck.

"I've been waiting for this," I said, kneeling before his frozen body.

His face swelled to an unimaginable level. My venom was the most toxic in the world. Much more toxic than every black mamba on this planet combined. The venom began to eat away at his hardened flesh; the stench of rotting skin permeated throughout the arena. Before carrying out my plans, I smiled in Grogoch's face. I wanted his last memory to be my diabolical smirk, looking down at his pitiful attempt of a duel. Once my smile faded, I ripped his eye from its socket, swallowing it before slashing his throat with one swift movement. As the blood pooled from his dying body, I flew midair before releasing my deafening screech.

"We have a champion! Damon, name who or what you wish to indulge in tonight," the announcer stated.

Without so much of a second thought, I named the person for years I had imagined tying up to a rusted pole in the middle of nowhere, the street lights being his only source of lighting as I fly overhead, releasing my excrements onto his pleading body.

Ronald Simmons.

Template:Nav-bottom Template:Sort