I created my own little creatures, both big and small, whatever my imagination could come up with.
I had a tree fort that my dad built me a few years ago before he died. It was my secret hide out. On the door, I placed a sign with letters in bright blood red that said, ‘KEEP OUT!’ I kept everything up there that I didn’t want people to see or that I wanted to protect.
I had this collection of artwork up there that I had been working on for months now. The drawings would hardly be recognizable to anyone except me. I created my own little creatures, both big and small, whatever my imagination could come up with. In my head, I also created those creatures that I depicted as me.
I was a loner. No one really wanted to play with me or be my friend or if they did, it was just because they felt sorry for me after hearing about how my dad had died. When they realized that I simply didn’t care for their sympathy, they left me alone and I kept to myself. That tree fort was my sanctuary and I was up there every day before school and every day after school until mom would call me in for supper.
Taking out my drawings, I began to look for one particular piece that I drew some time ago. It was of a creature that was about three feet tall with big, oversized, googly eyes and a lopsided mouth with fangs. I don’t know what possessed me to draw something like it, or at least that’s what my mom said when I showed her that first time. Since then, she hasn’t seen any of my drawings.
Finding what I was looking for, I hung it up on the wall of the fort with a tack that I grabbed from the collection in the jar I kept by the door. The creature wasn’t scary to me. He was my friend. And more often than not, I wished he was real, but then I also knew, that creature lived inside me and I could never let it out.
It was like my brain had the same sign as my tree fort, ‘KEEP OUT!’ No matter how many doctors I saw or therapists or whatever grownup my mom took me to, I didn’t want them inside my head prodding with their little tools to find out why I was so different, so strange. Why I was creepier than the other kids and why I just loved horror stories that would send most kids under their covers or to their mom’s bed to sleep at night. I was just different.
But no one could understand that difference, or maybe they didn’t want to accept it. Maybe I had changed after the accident to some creepy kid that wanted nothing to do with anyone but that didn’t mean I was crazy, but I guess people simply assumed I was. So I kept things locked in with that ‘KEEP OUT’ sign plastered on the door, plastered on my face.
But sometimes, I wish I could take it down. It’s not as if I don’t get lonely. I do. And I want to scream to the world exactly how I feel about everything which is not good. I want to scream that it’s not fair! HE SHOULD STILL BE HERE NOT THAT IDIOT WHO MADE HIM DISAPPEAR! I want to bring Daddy back. But I can’t scream. I don't talk. Not really. Only to my monsters inside me and on my sheets of paper. My demons personified on the wall, in the box I keep them, just like me. Locked in a box. ‘KEEP OUT’ it says.
And no one has figured out how to open it yet.