There once was a man named Mr. Deludo who kept a monster hidden in his basement.
No one really knows where the Monster came from.
But then again, no one had been able to get a good read on Mr. Deludo as of late. Mr. Deludo was a family man but even his closest friends and neighbors started to suspect that something was dangerously wrong at home.
Some of the townsfolk noticed him making frequent late-night strolls to the local graveyard.
Each time he came home, he would be startled to see his wife sitting in the living room, waiting for him.
“Oh hiya, honey.
Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”
After a while, people suspected that the Monster must have followed him home after one of his cemetery visitations.
For some time, no one knew about the Monster, not even Mr. Deludo himself. But each and every night, he woke up while the world was sleeping to go downstairs and feed the Monster.
By morning, Mr. Deludo would remember none of it and resume his normal life. His eyes drooped from restless nights as he drove his two children to school on the way to work each day.
Weeks passed and the neighbors caught on. They could hear the Monster’s rumbling at night, when the air was still enough. But whenever they tried to bring it up, Mr. Deludo would simply deny it, because even he did not know the truth.
This went on for months and months and the Monster continued to grow and grow.
Eventually, the Monster grew so big that Mr. Deludo could not deny it any longer that something was lurking beneath the floorboards.
One day, his wife caught him in the act of his nightly clandestine activities.
“Oh hiya, honey. Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”
“We need to talk.”
Mrs. Deludo sobbed as she blubbered her way through the messy and tear-soaked intervention.
“How could you do this to us??
Think about the family… Think of our children.”
And Mr. Deludo sobbed with her, as he finally confronted the harrowing truth about himself.
“You have to get rid of the Monster.”
Mrs. Deludo managed to mumble through the tissues.
“And no more walks to the graveyard.”
The next day, Mr. Deludo bought a gun.
At this point, the Monster had already grown so big and so strong that Mr. Deludo wondered if a gun would get the job done. Not to mention that the Monster was cunning, perhaps more deceiving than its master.
None of that really mattered though because each night, Mr. Deludo still found himself helplessly opening the door to the basement and feeding the Monster.
He knew what he was doing and he knew what he was doing was wrong, but he simply could not help it. Because though he hated the awful beast, he had grown a strange affinity for it.
So he fed the Monster, night after night.
Like a slave to his own conscience.
A week had gone by, then two, and the Monster grew bigger still. Excuses were running out and so was his time.
“You need to kill the Monster.”
Mrs. Deludo demanded.
“If you kill me, I’ll kill your wife and kids.”
The Monster counterattacked.
Mr. Deludo’s heart was torn and any more of this agony, he felt his life would split into two.
Finally, Mrs. Deludo could take it no longer. Her patience had burned out and she issued her ultimatum, threatening to leave the house and take the kids with her.
“Kill the Monster!”
She screamed in crazed desperation.
“I.. I- I can’t.”
A look of horror spread across her tear-stained face.
“I just.. can’t.”
“It’s either us”, she said, grasping their two kids in her trembling arms, “or the Monster.”
That night, Mr. Deludo loaded his gun and went downstairs into the basement.
The Monster died a long and stubborn death. Multiple gunshots pierced the night and echoed throughout all of town, and when the bullets ran out, Mr. Deludo resorted to makeshift means of murder. The townsfolk shuddered at the sounds of Mr. Deludo’s deranged screaming, the Monster’s wailing, and the thought that they couldn’t always differentiate between the two.
Until finally, the house was silent again.
The neighbors went to bed, knowing that the belated deed of riddance was done.
Mr. Deludo carried the Monster’s still-twitching body out of his empty house and walked over to the local graveyard.
He strolled through the rows and rows of gravestones he knew so well, until he reached the cemetery’s edge. His pace slowed as he walked down the final row, grasping the Monster in his trembling arms.
Finally, he stopped and stood in front of three tombstones with the names of his wife and two kids engraved in them.
The Monster breathed its last.
It was the longest walk home that night.
As he trudged back home, Mr. Deludo replayed the murder scene over and over in his mind. But it was not the piercing gunshots, nor the Monster’s howling, nor even his own screams that still rang in his ears, but the ensuing silence.
It was too quiet.
When he got back home, he closed the door behind him and was startled to hear the voice of his wife echoing from the living room.
“Oh hiya, honey.
Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”