A recurring topic of this blog -- and a longtime focus of my research -- has been the history of monsters, those repulsively attractive creatures that seem to dwell in the space between the human and the animal, alien, or other. Today I will share a small collection of these beings who dwell, quite literally, close to home ... specifically within the Cohen domicile. Each has been catalogued and described by Kid #1 over the past nine years of his life here.
(1) The Green Eyes
A pair of disembodied orbs that used to float mysteriously above the grass just outside the nursery window. Unblinking, nocturnal, and luminescent. Suspected to be the reflection of an elliptical nightlight on the double paned glass of the window. This explanation was roundly rejected by Kid #1, who insisted that any moron could tell they were floating eyeballs. First sighted seven years ago, and not seen since Kid #1 moved to another room and the nightlight was replaced.
(2) The Scratchy Monster
The first monster to attempt to penetrate Kid #1's new bedroom. Never visible, but supposed to be large, bat-like, and almost flat. Could be heard at dusk as it attempted to scale the bricks of the house, moving slowly towards Kid #1's bedroom window on the second floor. Suspected to be the sound of summer crickets, but this explanation was immediately dismissed as wrongheaded: crickets do not make the steel-like scraping sound of the Scratchy Monster's sharp claws on brick.
(3) Mr. Shadow
The most unsettling of the supernatural denizens of the Cohen household. Long haunted the nursery, where he was spotted as a pair of flickering eyes that could be barely glimpsed peering out from behind the door or bookcase. Dwelled only where the nighttime gloom was thickest. For years Mr. Shadow did not speak to Kid #1, but glared in unnerving silence. When he finally did utter some words, he confided to my son that he had once been a little boy named Kidkid who had lived in the house many, many years ago. Because he was very evil (he often did not listen to his parents and teachers) he was doomed at his early death to remain in the house forever. Thus he lurked in dim places, watching this new boy to see if he would behave well. Mr. Shadow began as a frightening presence, capable of making Kid #1 run downstairs to his parents in tears, but once he confided his story he became an object of pity -- and, in a strange way, a companion. He has with time slowly faded from Kid #1's life. Now that Kid #2 has just turned two (the age at which Mr. Shadow began staring at Kid #1), it will be interesting to see if he manifests again.
(4) The Sheriff
The most recent ghoul to enter our home, making his presence known last night. Formed from an algae-like, bubbling mass that vaguely resembles a tall man in a western hat, the Sheriff enters homes via the cracks under doors or through slightly open windows. He then slides into beds and begins devouring the flesh of anyone trying to sleep there.
It is a wonder that anyone chez Cohen is able to close their eyes at night.