Flash Fiction Challenge: A desperate man comes up with a unique way to make some extra cash.
“Hey dude! It’s Grant, where you at?”
“Can’t talk now, I’m in a closet.”
“In the closet? Man, you want to tell me something?”
“Not the closet, a closet.”
BOOM. WHACK. BANG. WHIMPER.
“WTF man? You okay?”
“Fine. Call you back.”
My name is Rob. I have an advanced degree in electrical engineering, served two terms in Afganistan and I am a professional monster scarer.
I kind of stumbled into the job. I got laid off and I needed a way to make some cash. At my age job offers aren’t exactly dangling on trees, you know? There are younger guys out there, cheaper too, without alimony payments.
One night I got a call from my kid, she’s seven.
“Dad, it’s me.”
“Sweetheart, what’s the matter?”
”Dad, there’s a scary monster under my bed.”
“What kind of monster?”
“He’s blue and big and has one eye in the middle of his forehead.”
“A Cyclops then.”
“Dad! What do I do?”
“Is your Mom there?”
“She says he doesn’t exist and that I have an overactive imagination. Can you come and scare him?”
What kind of Dad would I be if I said no? I grabbed my baseball bat and headed over. I’ve got to say I got the fright of my life. I peeked under the bed expecting to see a rabid warren of dust bunnies. My ex isn’t exactly a dab hand with the vacuum cleaner. She’s more of a “if I can’t see it, it’s not there” kind of gal.
I ended up going eyeball to eyeball with biggest blue mofo I had ever seen. All that government paid military training really paid off. I nailed him and I nailed him good. I got him right in the eyeball with Fluttershy. The My Little Pony? Never mind.
Then I knew. These things were real.
Of course, my daughter told a friend, who told a friend and so on and the next thing I knew I was getting calls from kids all over the city.
They call me the Ogre Crusher, the Monster Mauler and, my favourite, the Zombie Slayer. I got quite a reputation for this kind of work. No-one messes with the kids under my protection.
I ended up putting an ad in the paper. Got a lot of calls, a few crazies, but some bona fide monster vics too. I even patented my own Monster Early Warning Lazer, MAWL. You can pick one up online on www.killthatmonster.com for only $25.
The kids don’t pay me much. A couple of dimes, a dollar or two, but that’s not where the real money is. The real money is in the monsters. The bounty on those suckers is magnificent. I kill one and a crate of cash is delivered to my door. Tax-free. Courtesy of the Tooth Fairy. I shit you not. The goldarn Tooth Fairy.
Even got myself a crew now. Couple of guys like me. See things you can’t. Ex Special Forces most of them, PTSD the shrinks said. PTSD my ass. They see monsters, like me. When you faced the worst humankind can throw at you, maybe you just ain’t surprised when some metaphysical bully begs to get an ass whipping.
Look, I gotta go. Call coming in. Medusa downtown garbage shoot. Wanna come along for the ride? It’ll be a good one. Only one way to take those suckers down, a good beheading. Real scythe stuff.
No? Well, nice chatting. Remember check under the bed before you go to bed. Night now.