But First, A Story


Let me distract you with a picture of the TX sky.

Let me distract you with a picture of the TX sky.


Guess who’s back? So I may or may not have taken a very, very long writing break. Four months, but who’s counting really. What’s that? Oh, you were? You have  at least a 24 pack of Diet Coke chillin’ for us? Well break it open my friend, because we’re good to go!

I’m a bit nervous about this post. I’ve had this writing saved in Evernote for a while. It’s something I have worked on, deleted, worked on, etc….. I even sent it to a friend to read over, but lied and told her someone else had written it. I’m getting my confidence back as a writer, and I want to see what y’all think about it. Comments are welcome!!! Now on with the story….


Taylor Couburn ran. “Run from it, don’t let it catch you”. That’s all he could think about. His sides ached, and his lung were about to explode, but he wasn’t about to stop. The monster was getting closer, closer, it almost had him. The monster was angry, and it was after him. It was right behind him now, he could feel it’s hot breath, and hear it laugh. Reaching out, it grabbed him.

Taylor sat up in bed in a cold sweat, he gasped for air. Glancing over at his younger brothers sleeping peacefully, he tried to lay back down. The night’s dreams and fears rushed through him. It made the shadows stand out on the bare apartment walls, and the sounds outside seemed closer. Sitting up, he grabbed his cell phone. He sent a quick text to Codi, his best friend. The phone’s screen lit up, and he smiled. Codi always answered him quickly, even if it was in the middle of the night. Taylor slipped on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. Stealing another glance at his brothers, he walked to the kitchen, grabbed his keys, and locked the door behind him.

Once in the car, he flipped the radio to a music station, and relaxed a bit. He was almost there. Pulling into the parking lot that led to the city’s walking trails and small lake, he got out, and locked his car doors. Walking to the lake, he sat on the bank, and waited. Codi stopped her car in the same lot. She grabbed her sweatshirt and got out, and walkedto the lake. “Hi” she said, her smile lightning up her whole face. “Hi, thanks for coming” he replied. “Was it the dreams again”, she asked. His smile faded and he looked away. “This is stupid”, he said. “I should be able to deal with this by now”.

This, she knew was the monster. It had so dominated Taylor’s life that she knew it would take him more than a while to learn how to deal with it. “It will just take time”, she whispered. Moving closer to him, she put her arm over his shoulder. He leaned his head on her shoulder, and she hugged him. He rested on the grassy banks, and folded his arms under his head. She layed her hand on his head, and left it there as he drifted off to sleep. After a few peaceful hours, Taylor woke up. Codi lay on the grassy bank beside him. Why was it that he could always sleep peacefully when she was around? Nudging her gently, she finally awoke . ‘So meet you her tomorrow night”, he said jokingly. “Sure” she smiled. “I’m going to go on home, she said” Standing, he helped her up, hugged her, and said ‘I’ll walk you to your car.”

Philip Couburn wasn’t sleeping, he had never been able to as long as his brother was awake. Taylor’s younger brother had seen him get up, and heard the door close. He quickly walked to the only window in the small bedroom, and watched Taylor head to his car. Leaning his head on the window, he felt the coolness of the glass. He knew where Taylor went on nights like this. He half smiled. He was glad his brother had somewhere to go, but angry to see him startled awake nights with those dreams, nightmares……memories. The monster. It reached out to Philip in his thoughts and in the memories he thought he had rid himself of. It clawed at, and frightened him. He looked around, half waiting for the monster to pop out of one of the shadows. But he never did. Philip knew he wouldn’t, they hadn’t seen the monster in years. Not since that summer day four years earlier.

The memories came rushing back, there was no stopping them now. Taylor had been only fourteen, Philip had been twelve, and Mark, their younger brother had been ten. They had just come home from school, and right away they noticed something was wrong. Most of the living room’s furniture was gone. All that remained was a lamp and a couch. Then they saw the note. It was from the monster, Taylor picked it up, and read it. It spelled out the details of the monster leaving them. Something about how it didn’t want them anymore, how it was done toying with them, and how worthless they were. Taylor’s eye’s had registered surprise, fear, relief, and..hurt? Had the monster really left? Philip looked at his brothers. ‘What are we supposed to do now?”, Mark asked. “I don’t know” Taylor whispered. He really didn’t. That hot summer night, they had all gone to bed uneasy. After a few minutes, both Phil and Mark came into Taylor’s room. ‘Could we sleep in here’, Mark asked. Taylor nodded, and pulled back the blankets as his response. Taylor waited until he heard his younger brothers sleeping, then he got up, sat in the chair beside the bed and cried.

Taylor walked to the apartment from his car. Phil had laid back down, he seemed to be asleep. Taylor sighed, and sat back down on his own bed. He hoped he could sleep a little now. It was two thirty in the morning, he needed to be up by five. He had alwaysbeen an early riser. That’s what the monster had wanted, and no one dared to disagree. Now though, he needed to sleep. It didn’t help that every time he closed his eyes, he saw the monster. It felt as if it could touch him. He needed help, he walked to the bathroom, and looked at the pills in the medicine cabinet. He had learned about them too, the monster had made sure of that. Grabbing a sleeping pill out of a bottle, he quickly swallowed one of them. Lying back down, his eyes closed, and he saw the monster in his memories, and it took him back.

Back to when the monster would stand in his doorway as he laid in bed. It stood there silently, watching him. Even though he was awake, he pretended to be asleep, thinking maybe the monster would go away. It never did. It didn’t want to leave, he knew what it wanted, and it wanted him. The monster smiled at the then ten year old. A sick smile. Walking into Taylor’s room, he sat on the bed, and slowly peeled off his blankets. Taylor felt his breath quicken, and he wanted to be sick and cry at the same time. He closed his eyes again as he felt the monster reach for his pajamas. The monster had come into his room many, many times before. He never waited to be invited. And then as the monster stood there, something began to happen. It started to melt, back
into it’s human form. Taylor opened his eyes, and when he looked again, standing in his
doorway was his father.


The monster had a human face, along with a human name, it was Jack. He was a likable enough guy, if you were to meet him on the street. If you didn’t look too close, you might not even see his fangs, his scales, his claws. He didn’t ask for much out of the boys, he reasoned. Just that they make him money, keep his house clean, and make him look good in front of his friends. That’s all. So they feared him. They should respect him, he reasoned. So every once in a while, he had to use his fists, belt, or whatever he could find to keep them in line. Jack had always told Taylor that the boys were like paper cups. He didn’t care if pieces broke of off them, as long as they held water. But once they couldn’t do that anymore, he would throw them away and get new ones. Taylor knew that Jack meant it too.

Taylor had always been his favorite, he did everything Jack ever wanted. He wasn’t really a monster he reasoned, just a business man. His son’s were his product, and he was going to get all he could out of them. It was as simple as that. Jack had a set of rules to which the boys were to abide. These rules controlled how the boy’s lived, how they worked, what they eat and drank, and what their punishment would be if they broke any of them. Phil and Mark’s had twenty of these rules, Taylor had forty.


 On that summer day when Taylor was fourteen, Jack had decided to give all of that up, and leave the boys. Taylor was hurt, and even angry. But more than that, he felt lost. Jack had always been there to tell him what to do, to control him. When he left, there was no one. No one but Taylor and his younger brothers. Taylor hadn’t expected to have two brothers to raise at fourteen. He was the parent now. They needed him to be strong, to act like he knew what he was doing. But he was terrified.


Pass me another Diet Coke friend, and tell me what you think.

See ya on the flip side! Blessings and Peace!



About Helen Heard

Hi!! Come on in, take the comfy chair, have a Diet Coke. Let's talk about Jesus, writing, music, family, and which M&Ms are the best (peanut of course)!
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