"s 2015 Horror Write-off:

" Resource Guarding "

Submitted by Jon Strong

My name is Mikal. This is not a confession. Only people who did something wrong or bad confess. This explanation of what happened between me and Toby. They say I'm a monster, they have me DETAINED, but they're letting me record this.

I'm not a monster. I'm a victim.

My name is Mikal. My boyfriend’s name is Toby. Her name is Roxy. You’ll need to know this. I think.

I never knew her until some point in my high school experience, but me and Toby had been friends since the fourth grade. By sophomore year in Sidney Fenn High, we were an inseparable power couple, the tall, six foot two, dark-skinned blonde with burning eyes, and the sweet, but muscular, five foot six mulatto boy. We endeared and charmed everyone.

Toby loved how strong and fast I was, he told me I was a natural athlete, I should join the team, but we learned quickly I was…aggressive. They called me Staffy, like the Staffordshire dog mascot of the football team. I gloried in it. But, apparently football wasn’t my thing and he decided if they wouldn’t have me, they wouldn’t have him. So we took up jogging.

That night I could barely keep from crying from the shame of being spurned, and gratitude for owning such a lovely person like Toby. My cries softened into whimper-like noises as I thought about him. He was the balm to all of my wounds. A contented sigh left my mouth. I slept.

People started nasty rumors about Toby the next day, saying he got kicked off the football team because I injured someone, as if it wasn’t obvious he just quit to stand by me! Ridiculous, really. Nevertheless, we jogged. I was a power player at the park we claimed, people would part like sardines from a shark and into the grass. Toby always tried to comfort me, like it wasn’t funny.

Eventually he got a sense of humor about it, and pretended to blow a trumpet as we entered the park, like squires do for kings in movies. He had me in tears and doubled over about that. It became a running joke, and then she caught on and tried to shoehorn her way in on it.

Her name was Roxy, a slut’s name, but at the time, I was only a little aggravated that she tried to appropriate our personal joke. She seemed nice enough, however, a fellow jogger and on the school’s track team no less! I graciously let her into our elite circle of friends, sincerely and with a shard of intent to use her to pull my way onto the track team. She laughed at me, an annoying and IRRITATING high pitched titter, whenever I growled with my throat in irritation. Toby stopped her whenever he saw my fists clench and my lips draw tight. Eventually I would find them waiting on me together, having left earlier to beat me to the park.

She would always be saying something to him with the snidest, shittiest look on her face when she thought I didn’t see. She was smearing me to my own man, my lover. She was trying to steal him and I felt my mouth bulge, my teeth swell in my mouth as waves of rage washed me from the inside out, scraping me clean. The feelings subsided, my mouth felt normal, as I reveled in the knowledge that she couldn’t have him, that he was utterly and absolutely loyal. Absolutely mine. A small smile spread my lips. She wouldn’t have what was mine. If I had to kill, it would remain mine.

I got onto the track team. I shot for leader, but Roxy stole it out from under me and the familiar feeling of anger scraped me (repetitive, replace one of the ‘me’s)[The submerging thing felt unnecessary, so scrapped it]. I walked away from the meeting, scorn and shame eating me alive. I found her address in the phone book. I found a way to make the score even.

I followed her home from her job. Even though I had to cancel that date with Toby, I knew this would be worth it. She never heard me, never saw me. 

I scaled the tree by her bedroom window with no effort. I could see the contents easily, despite the gloom. Inside, Roxy was just making it into her room, and I watched as she walked to her bathroom. She drew a glass of water from the tap, disgusting, and put it in a mini fridge near her bed and went to take a shower- my moment.

I pulled her window open and slid in like liquid steel, slinking to her minifridge and emptying the crushed contents of a small plastic baggie into her cup. This was difficult- my fingers weren’t small or graceful enough at the time to open the baggie as quickly as I had wanted to, and I couldn’t risk tearing it open with my teeth. I slithered quickly back into the tree as easily as I came and waited.

Ten minutes later, Roxy came out and, sure enough, she drank the water and my ingredient acted quickly enough. She was like a statue in her bed, only she was breathing. I slithered back in, a grin splitting  my mouth and light glinting off my teeth. My nostrils flared as I reared up onto my legs at the foot of her bed. I promptly “sprained” both ankles, beat up her legs a little, and my work was done. To my pleasure, she barely whimpered.

I was swift, a rocketing shadow, avoiding streetlights and open sidewalks on my way home . It felt great. I slept soundly, knowing my rightful rank would be granted.

In the morning, I was indeed track captain, but I saw my victory was celebrated too early when I found Roxy strolling the halls on crutches, but oh well. I had what I wanted. Toby pulled me aside and told me the crazy story that Roxy told him, how she just woke up with bruised legs and sprained ankles. I made a convincing show of how odd that was, and we finished on a note that the three of us, how disappointing, would be dining in the park the afternoon.

The bell rang at the end of the day, and I told them I had an errand to run before I met up with them, and I did. A neighbor needed me to feed his dogs. They did not like me and avoided me like the plague. After a while I got the chore done and found myself twenty minutes late to the lunch. Not bad, Roxy was always late to things like this.

Out of a developed habit of obsessively tracking Toby and Roxy’s actions when alone, I paused out of their sight when I reached the park and watched. My eyes widened as I saw them in each others’ arms, heard them whispering that they hoped I wouldn’t come at all, how Toby wished I was out of the romantic picture but he couldn’t avoid me since we were so close.

I felt my skin go bristly in waves, and heat flush me. Scorn and shame and hurt and anger and an overwhelming tide of hate and territorialism, resource guarding, swept over me. I pushed these down, resumed the me I always am, and silently stalked towards them. I wanted to reveal myself in front of them while they made out. And that’s how it worked out. I was behind a tree near them, and I forced the waterworks, a wonderful hurt facade, and stepped out in front of them, took a breath, and whimpered, “Toby?”

He jumped a mile high and I saw his heart break through his eyes as he saw me, in a wonderful picnic dress and gloriously radiant and straightened gold hair draped around a puffy, crying face. Roxy glared daggers at me before smirking smugly, thinking she won, thinking Toby would dump me there. He didn’t.

He babbled apologies, almost crying himself, and I decided a final test for him. I stamped my foot and bit out, “Im done. This relationship is done. Over.”

I spun and ran away, a radiant streak. If Toby sat and stayed with Roxy, it was over. If he didn’t, then I’d graciously take him back. Once I was out of sight, I scaled a tree and watched. He didn’t leave her side. He turned back to Roxy, and they resumed their activities. I snarled, and decided that tonight I would end it.

Night came, and the moon was so bright it left spots in my burning orange eyes. They were Toby’s favorites. I would get to him. I shed my skin and let it slip within me as I became the me my father made. A "me" my mother hated so much she tried to get rid of me and daddy. Daddy resolved it, though. He loves me. Like I loved Toby.

My skin became bristly, like golden hay but much softer. My mouth bulged out to accommodate my hateful teeth. My arms lengthened, my legs became even more muscular. I dropped forward, recalling how this used to hurt, like when Toby took me for the first time. Like my first time, it stopped hurting with time and experience. The first time, I cried. This time, I reveled in it. I was tall and graceful and strong when I wasn’t daddy’s me, but now I was much, much more than I was before.

After a delightfully excruciating half hour, I bolted down the street. Lamps didn’t bother me, I was pissed, I didn’t care if I was seen. I knew where I was going. It was October. They were together, having a horror movie night at Toby's that every year prior was MINE, mine and Toby’s. Not HERS. It angered me, but it was good to know where they were. He lived close, though, so I really didn’t need to go so fast, but it felt good, and you gotta enjoy the moment, the momentum.

In five minutes I was there. (maybe end sentence here for a more dramatic effect) I stalked silently to his window, the one by the door, and stared in. My Bloody Valentine. My favorite movie. I bared my teeth as my terrible nature flared, but I took control and hunkered down below the windowsill. I scratched along the side of the house, leaving deep grooves, a mark of my territory and a scarlet letter only I understood. I smashed through the window in a flying leap, powerful blonde arms and talons stretched out in front of me. Soon I had them separated, Toby having locked himself selfishly and conveniently in a closet, leaving my primary target in the open. I leaped and slammed her to the ground, snapping my jaws furiously at her face and chest, avoiding her neck. I wanted her to live.

I reared up, my repurposed and rearranged legs straddling her, and began slashing at her face and knocking her arms out of the way, in fact, encouraging her to claw and beat at my golden, muscled wall of a chest. It gave me a cleaner shot at her face, which I gratefully took. I snapped and punched and scraped until I was sure no plastic surgeon alive could ever make her look human again. I tasted the humors of an eye on my tongue.

I threw her onto the couch, and waited to see if she was strong enough to flee. She wasn’t. I was satisfied. I dropped back down and padded silently to the closest. Toby had barred the door with something from the inside, but I just ripped the door off. I grabbed him with one hand and slammed him into the wall across from the closet, stunning him, and grabbed the back of his shirt in my jaws and bounded off with him, out to front door, slamming it open with my now very thick skull.

Roxy had called the cops, and my daddy happened to be one of them. I hadn’t figured he would have been working that night. He narrowed orange eyes at me, raised his gun at me, and said to the chief that the beast in front of them was…well, me. Betrayal and scorn stabbed my heart as the clicks of various pistols and revolvers sounded like a jury being rigged. Then I realized, they probably don’t believe my daddy!

I dropped Toby, but only to prove to them that my daddy was right. I put a hand on him to hold him down as I became the me my mother loved, the only me she accepted. Tall, gorgeous, blonde. At this, the chief came forward, and I sighed in relief. I reached up a hand for him to help me up and cried out in outrage as a handcuff was slapped onto me.

My father said that he would shift, a crude phrase for a beautiful thing, and rip my throat out if I “shifted” and fought instead of complying, and his tone chilled my bones enough to make me just…go with you guys. I know you’ll listen to this. I turned to plead with Toby, but you guys had him turn away from me as they wrapped a blanket around him and ushered him into the same ambulance as that meat-faced whore Roxy.

I’m a victim….I had a breakdown. Im not a monster like they keep saying! The heat of the moment defense is legal I'm sure, and it is TRUE. They want to put me down, like a dog, I’m sure of it. Help me. I don't want to die.