Beautiful Creatures

I hold a basement full of prisoners.

Some are beautiful creatures whose cells I’ve decorated with wild flower field murals, and visit when I’m the happiest. Others are malforged beings that I’d hoped to Frankenstein into beautiful monsters one day. They smile at me as I caress their mottled skin. No matter their state, I give them all a chance to grow, to learn, to absorb from one another.

Sometimes literally.

Some creatures have bright piercing eyes that make me shiver. Others have calm auras that make me smile. The small dark ones that scamper around are a scary group, but I make sure they understand that they can do me no harm. Occasionally one will climb up my leg, but with a shake I scare them away.

A few are too weak to stand independently and they form bonds with other creatures. These formations can become intimidating and grotesque. Nevertheless, being able to see a few of the individual faces peeking out at me makes me smile; the little creatures haven’t disappeared, they’ve just become a little bit stronger. From time to time  I have to pull them apart, settle them down, and give them up to new groups of tiny monsters; sorting them out by characteristics that I think will make them more compatible toward each other.

My operation room is a myriad of broken ogres stapled to butterfly wings. I tend to my prisoners nightly, with their skin stripped back showing the sinewy muscles underneath; their tendons stretching as they reach out towards me. Alas, I enjoy this spectacle but I am too squeamish and it results in me covering their bodies with Hello Kitty stickers, hoping that’ll distract me enough from what I wish I were brave enough to show others when I rip away the bandages: skin and puss stretching back between the pieces.

For now they just accumulate in the dark, but I tell myself that one day, one day they will all join me in the sun. I peek in to see how they’re doing. Are they dead yet? Do I need a body part?

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