Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bathroom Monologue: Give Me Your Daughter

Everyone in the camp knows at this point. This thing, this monster is going keep attacking us every night, killing a new victim until we give it my daughter. I thought you’d get it last night, but this morning there’s a new widow, and I hear people murmuring that he died instead of my girl. That’s not an exchange a father ever wants to hear murmured under breaths while he’s taking a piss. Now I hear you might consider giving Cornelia over.

Understand that you’re not giving that thing my daughter. Give it me instead.

It goes for stragglers. People too near the perimeter, or who don’t think there’s safety in the group. It’s never killed a group, has it? So tonight you build fires, and you set traps, and you sharpen all the fucking pointy sticks you can make. And you get everyone into a single group. You scare them with stories about what’s been happening – what happened to that pardoner who thought he could do better alone last night. You tell them his bloody tale so they get theirs into camp.

And an hour after dusk, when no one’s left the campfire, and everyone’s armed, I’ll start an argument with you. I’ll shove you, and you’ll hit me, and I’ll storm off towards the conifers. I’ll piss on them, and complain to myself, and pray like I’ve been doing, none of it too far from you. I’ll be the only easy prey the monster sees. It’ll have to kill me eventually to make good on its threat.

You wait until it’s eating me. Until I’m screaming in pain. Then you bring everyone down on that thing and you kill it, cut off its head, tear out its lungs, so that it never bothers anyone again.

Then you don’t have to worry about it killing us in the night anymore. Then you just got to worry about raising my little girl.


  1. Good story throughout, and that last line raised the power of the entire piece tenfold. Great job!

  2. So why his daughter, rather than anyone else's? And, if she is that attractive, will another monster come along? And neither of these questions leapt to my mind instantly - I had obviously willingingly suspended my disbelief. Which is a compliment I don't often pay. Thanks John.

  3. And that's pretty much how parenting is, except it happens in slow motion and the monsters are metaphorical, though no less relentless.

  4. Monster made me read this one and I'm glad she did. Like Tony said, that's exactly what being a parent is...especially of a teenage girl.

  5. Wow, as the parent of a little girl, I feel this acutely. The other comments are spot on. Last night my nerdling was sick with a high fever, and then hypothermia some time after. I spent most of the night begging the universe to please, please make me the sick one and not her. She's fine now (and I've got the fever) but in the wee hours I was that dad, ready to be struck down in her place. I've only been so scared a few other times and they were all when she was in perceived danger. This is a great story. Thank you for bringing it to Thursday Tales!

  6. Not being a parent, but being able to know how things work, I have to agree with the other comments about parenting. Definitely how any parent would react to having strangers want to do such a thing.


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