We invited authors, aspiring authors, and poets to be our guest on the Author Gang's blog.
Author Joe Bonadonna submitted his story and chose this picture to match.
Joe's story will be featured in the Golden Box Books Publishing's Readers' Magazine.
ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT
When Debbie was 8 years old she discovered that monsters lived in her closet and under her bed. Although they never bothered her, always sticking to the shadows but always watching her, she was still frightened by this discovery. She complained to her parents over and over again, but they didn't believe her, never once checked her closet or under her bed, and just told her to do her homework and stop making up stories and acting like a big baby.
Debbie soon grew resentful of her parents and thought they were very mean. One evening, after once again telling them that she had seen the monsters, they sent her to bed without her supper. They also grounded her for a month: no TV, no books, no movies, no music, no internet, and no phone calls to and from her friends. After school each day she had to report straight home and stay in her room until supper time, after which she had to go back to her room to study, study, study. Even her bratty little brother told her there were no such things as monsters, and he laughed at her and made fun of her.
While she lay in bed crying her heart out that night, two monsters emerged from her closet and from under her bed to speak with her. Frightened though she may have been, there was a darkness in Debbie's soul that aroused her curiosity and fascination, and was surely the reason the monsters had moved into her room in the first place.
"We know your pain and frustration, Debbie," said one monster who looked like an alligator crossed with a lobster, "and we are here to help you."
Debbie wiped the tears from her eyes. "But how? How can you help me?"
"We can remedy your situation and take you away to a place where your parents will never be mean to you again," said another monster, this one a werewolf with sharp claws and fangs, and four arms. "We can teach you magic and how to use it, and no one will ever make fun of you again."
"I don't understand. How can you help me?" Debbie asked.
"Serve us," said the first monster, "and we, in turn, will serve you."
"Just give us permission to do what we came here to do," the second monster told her.
Debbie didn't have to think twice about this. The thought of learning magic and how to use it was very much to her liking. "What do you want from me?"
So the monsters told her what they wanted her to do and thus she all too quickly gave them the permission they required from her.
"Now what?" she asked.
"You must sign this binding contract between us," she was told.
Debbie was only too happy to comply.
That night, Debbie's mother and father learned that there were indeed monsters living in her closet and under her bed when she gave the monsters permission to eat her parents. For dessert, she told them it was okay for them to go ahead and eat her bratty little brother, too.
After that, the monsters took Debbie away to their secret Shadowland, from where they controlled the kings and queens, and the politicians and wealthy captains of industry who held all the power on Earth. But the monsters pulled their strings: they were the puppet masters who truly ruled the world in secret, keeping always to the dark corners of their own shadowy world.
As the years went by and Debbie learned how about magic, she used her powers to corrupt the politicians, the military leaders and all the rulers in the world. And as her powers and influence over the Earth grew, she caused wars, famine, plagues, natural disasters, and steered the course of events in any direction that suited her whims. Over and over again she would select people she thought would be a wonderful snack for the monsters, and they devoured these individuals with great relish. The monsters were most pleased with Debbie and her work, and she continued to serve them well.
As the years dragged on, the monsters began to fear Debbie, and grew more and more concerned about their own well-being. They were afraid that the darkness in Debbie's soul that made her delight in causing so much havoc and turmoil all over the world would one day expose their secret and bring them out of the shadows of their own world.
So the monsters of Shadowland decided they had to act immediately, before it was too late.
On her twenty-first birthday the monsters called Debbie into a conference.
"Now, while you have served us well over the years and provided us with many tasty snacks, your actions and your growing power are most troublesome to us," said the alligator-lobster monster. "We can no longer trust you and have decided that you have overstepped your bounds."
"Therefore," said the four-armed werewolf, "we have no choice but to invoke Article 13 of the contract you signed with us seventeen years ago."
Debbie was confused and surprised. "Article 13? What's that?"
"You mean to say that you never read that clause in the contract? You never read the fine print?" asked the first monster. "You should always read the fine print in any contract."
"Well, no one told me to!" Debbie said angrily. "So what is this clause you're talking about?"
"Simply put," said monster #1, "Article 13 gives us permission to punish you and take away your magic, should you ever step out of line."
"Punish me? How?" Debbie asked, growing frightened, something she hadn't experienced since the night the monsters first spoke to her. She knew that her magic had no power over the monsters. "What sort of permission did I give you?"
Monster #2 bared his glistening fangs. "What do you think?"
And with that, the two monsters gobbled Debbie up, bones and all.
"Quite a nice little snack, do you think?" asked the first monster, his alligator jaws opened wide in a long, drawn out yawn.
The four-armed werewolf licked his fangs. "Indeed so," he agreed. "Karma, as they say, is a bitch."
Yes, indeed it is. For what goes around eventually comes around.
I should know. I'm one of the monsters.
#darkhumor #horror #darkfantasy #jobobooks