The dog is very good at getting rid of the monsters, when he can get to them. However, they are experts at avoiding his detection. Hiding in the shadowy places, in the nooks and crannies of the room, they are all but invisible. If they have to move, they move quickly, in the blink of an eye, flowing like water from one spot to the next. Their movement is like the breath of a breeze, soft and light, and barely there. The dog can sometimes see them when they move if he’s completely focused on the task at hand and thinking about nothing else. Which is challenging to do because usually there are screaming, frightened children to attend to. But when he does see them, he gives them ‘what for,’ and they never return again. He leaps in and grabs them around the middle of their nebulous ‘bodies’ shaking them as hard as he can. We try to get the children out of the way before he does this because it makes a gory mess.
He’s almost completely cleared the house, only a few remain – mainly in the youngest child’s room. These are particularly adept at hiding, using their strength and creativity, gained from feeding off the child, to find the most unique hiding spaces. Places the dog would never think a monster could fit. He goes in there every day, searching for the last few monsters, trying to clear the entire house so he can rest.
All he wants to do is to rest and not worry about what’s going to happen next. He doesn’t want to worry about tomorrow. Let it come without him having to carve a place for it. It’s just a waste of time and energy anyway. No matter how much he guards against it, the next day comes in its own manner, no matter what he does or doesn’t do. So why worry? Why bother?
Because that’s what’s expected of you when you’re the leader. To set a good example and show those around you what ‘being a good person, soldier, guide, etc.’ is all about. He didn’t choose this role, it was pushed on him by the children of the house. Each, as they were born and grew into sentience, learned from its brothers and sisters to look to the dog for solace and comfort. To listen to the dog and follow his directives without question. And that’s what they did. So he had power over them, and he had to respect that power. He had to respect them, the faith they put in him. He had to be careful with them; they were emotionally frail little beasts.
And then there was the cat. She tried to make things worse all the time. She pretended that she was helping, but we all knew that she was in cahoots with the monsters. We should just send her away, but the thought of her being somewhere and not being taken care of properly, because she is to evil, makes us want to keep her safe. Unfortunately, she knows of our weakness and takes advantage of it. She’s bold about her relationship with the monsters, without coming right out and saying it. She teases and frustrates the dog because she knows where the monsters are hiding. There are many times when the dog jumped at her and almost killed her for teasing him, but we held him back, reminding him that he’s not that kind of dog. That he can hold his temper, that he can resist being manipulated by this creature. And that, maybe, she isn’t all bad. Maybe there’s some redemptive quality in her we just haven’t discovered yet. Perhaps one day she’ll actually lead us to the monsters, instead of hiding them from us. The cat will laugh at this, and we realized how ludicrous it sounds, but we still have hope that she has some small piece of good inside her that one day we may be able to reach.