There’s a monster loose in the city, a man who has been hollowed out and filled with intentional nothingness, who now roams the streets at night waiting on the weak to be revealed. On a glance he is like everyone else, forgettable, nothing out of the ordinary, but it is when you meet his eyes that you can see into his soul. The eyes tell all. He is not here for the same reason as everyone else. Not to shop, not to exercise, not to find a good spot to take photos of himself.
He is here to hunt.
Who is the wrong question because he does not know yet, he is waiting on the victim to reveal herself. When she does, his instincts will take control and he won’t be stopped.
Once, the monster-man was captured and placed behind bars, but they let him go. It wasn’t fair to keep him, they said, a small fine, a harsh warning, the threat of laws that he cannot understand. Ask the good people in suits who live in fine houses far from the center of the city, suburbanites who want their friends to tell them what good and noble people they are at the next party, you set the monster free, yes society is so harsh on monsters, indeed and they haven’t been given a chance, a chance is all they need, the first time he attacked an innocent woman was a mistake, the second time the police got it all wrong, the third time he was under the influence, it wasn’t really him, the fourth time the victim provoked him with a sideways look, the fifth time he didn’t do anything other than pull a gun, no one was hurt, the sixth time she survived thanks to a good Samaritan, it wasn’t all that big of a deal, and everyone deserves seven chances, won’t you be a darling and refill my wine? The problem of course are the vigilantes who are unhappy with the justice system, vicious vigilantes, won’t you fill my plate with cheese? The problem is that people are leaving the city and no one is taking responsibility.
And while the suited savior drinks his wine and eats his cheese, the monster follows her into the designer store. She’s revealed herself now. He must have her and cannot stop himself from pressing forward, they’re watching him, the clerks, but they’re too nice to say anything and he knows this. Everyone is too nice to say anything, too nice to be dangerous, too nice to keep the order and fight back the chaos that creeps on us inch by inch. There is no gut instinct to trust because it has been gutted by the digital age, by fear of being labeled, and so the nice people say nothing because they have nothing to say.
They watch him approach his prey and unveil the knife.
And in the story we wish for there to be a hero. A man at the right place at the right time who isn’t afraid of monsters–who knows what they are and how they must be crushed with severity.
But tonight there is no hero. They’ve all moved someplace else. Now it is just monsters and nice people.