Acacia’s Monster

Status: More or less, kinda-sorta finished

Acacia’s monster first appeared when she was eight. She would glimpse it here and there- maybe just outside her door, or hidden in the bushes, or under the desk at school. Always watching her with its yellow eyes and thorny hide. Never more than a glimpse, of course.

It didn’t come out into the open until she was twelve.

Sometimes it would appear beside her when she questioned the teacher about a nonsensical rule. Or just under her chair when she doodled in her math notebook. It scared her, with its spikes and claws and pointed teeth.

But the monster was perfectly normal. At least, that’s what people said. You could never see another person’s monster, so Acacia had to take their word for it.

By the time she was fourteen, Acaia no longer questioned the teachers or doodled in her notebooks. The monster had retreated into the shadows. That was how monsters worked. They revealed your fears, your faults, your flaws. Anything that made you… imperfect. And then they chased those flaws away.

Acacia grew to like her monster, in a way. It always scared her, but at least it showed her when she was being rude, or stubborn, or just sticking out from the crowd.

Her friend Darby hated the monsters. She said the monster weren’t there to help you, but to change you. She said that people were fine just the way they were, that they didn’t need to be “perfect”. But it was only a matter of time. Eventually, Darby grew to be scared of her own monster, just like everyone else. She quieted down. Realized that she was too outspoken. Learned to fit in with the crowd. It made life so much easier that way.

Acacia only watched. Sometimes, there would be a small realization in the back of her mind. Maybe Darcy is right. Maybe you don’t need to be perfect- maybe it’s good enough to just be yourself. But then Acacia’s monster would come, and she would remember how silly it was to think that way.

After all, in a perfect world, there’s only room for perfect people.

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