There are things in this world that cannot be kept hidden from the eyes of children. Certain things stick in their minds as worthy of further investigation – secrets best kept from the prying inquisitions of grown-ups. Secrets guarded as closely by these children as their mountains of sugar each Halloween. We lurk in our world of shadows, known only through the whispers of children and therefore safe. Protected by society’s ignorance of those their juniors, those second-class citizens. And a “normal” child is so easily converted to a belief in our etheric realm – you even aid us in our mission, with your legends of Santa Clause and of the Tooth Fairy, legends we implanted only to further our cause.
She shivered at my touch. This one I will be sad to take – her eyes, eyes that reflect back the face of ages, that reflect her sympathy, her compassion. She understood why it must be done – that always makes it harder. She understood and yet still she shivered in the darkness, silently terrified before those Watchers who stood invisible, their presence only hinted at by the depth of silence and the heavy weight of the world around us. It must be done.
Another child will disappear; her face remembered on the local news, on milk cartons and the “Have you seen this girl?” questions on police officers’ lips. Her name remembered for a week, for a month or a year. Remembered until she is eventually forgotten.
She will join our shadow legion, this one. Questions may be asked of our intentions, of our plans. Of our alleged cruelty. Questions may be asked, but they will only be answered with another question of our own: How many times have we monsters saved you? Your questions answered by another question, a question whose answer you will never know.
We do not take our decisions lightly.
We take them so that you need not.
Be grateful our price is so low, even though we are hungry.
Always and forever hungry.
Just a quick early morning story for this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge and BeKindRewrite prompts: Normal(from Trifecta) and Things you cannot hide, Mountain of Sugar and The Monsters Saved Us. Comments and criticism welcomed