Monster


How to become a monster in seven easy steps. The Flock, when they never met.


One.


When those bastard whitecoats who gave you wings give you an opening, take it. Take it and take your fist and drive it right there, in that soft fleshy stomach. And the whitecoat hurls-eww, that's coffee and toast and eggs, the ham sandwich he had for lunch and the can of beer he snuck during his break. You hate that you can tell all that from the smell, but you're used to the stench of waking up next to a dead experiment and you're used to hating too.

You're twelve years old and hate is all you've got left.

The whitecoat is down on the floor now and the one Eraser he brought with-one, one, such a mockery, haven't they learned you're worth much more-is a joke. Not even old enough to fully morph, the quality of minions is going down. You rip off one ear-take that, you know it hurts-and your hand grips the back of its neck and squeezes. Something cracks; you smile. The Eraser goes down and the whitecoat is fumbling for his taser, they're both still alive.

Not for long and not after you've crushed both their throats under your bare heel. No mercy for the weak, ha ha ha, how do you like me now?

And then you're gone.


Two.


Pretend to admire your dark wings. Spread them wide, arched bueatifully, feathers glistening. You take very good care of them. The cold light catches them in exactly the right way and you know it's working, this new power. It's something like hypnosis but you like to call it your ticket out of here. The whitecoats are oblivious as you take their weapons, distracted by shiny, shiny, bright and shiny.

You get two at a time, one taser in each childish hand. These aren't the things they give to regular cops, oh no, because the whitecoats have considerably more dangerous jobs than those cops. These things have a kill setting and you make sure to use it. Maybe those men had families, but that's like saying maybe you could've had a normal life, and you don't care about anything anymore. You probably never had.

In your minds eye: a thousand experiments, men in white coats, harsh eyes reducing you to something less than human. Sharp teeth and cold children. The sheep kept in cages while wolves run to freedom, these men are cruel shepherds and they do not deserve to live.

You keep three tasers, two to defend yourself and one so that if you cannot escape then at least you die trying. You will not go back to the dog crates. Twelve years of waiting and finally, finally, it will all be over soon.


Three.


You wait patiently. Patience is not something that comes naturally to you, not like fire does, but you have nothing better to do.

Except for today. Today you have a plan and a purpose and it feels so good. Today is the day you escape.

The whitecoats come to get you. One is muttering what a waste and another opens your cage. You know the light is mcuh brighter outside the crate but you don't squint. You're blind and it's their fault and now they're going to terminate you.

You're not going to let that happen.

You can hear only one Eraser, stalking along behind the whitecoats. You kind of wish there were more.

Twelve years you've wasted away in here and not one day longer will you wait. Patience can only go so far and eventually even hope dies. You haven't felt hope in a long, long time. This place sucks it out of you like the blood samples they're always taking. This place takes and takes and takes until you have nothing more to give and then it takes your life and your name and everything you could have been.

In the name of science and the advancement of the human race.

You kind of want to tell them that their precious human race is going to be its own destruction, but you don't because you wouldn't be able to see their faces anyway. And you also want to laugh, because not even the truth can save them now.
Nothing and no one can save them now.

They bring you to a stop and they make you lay back on a cold metal table, them with their cold metal hearts you think. This could be just anothing experiment, except for the crowd. You had been a great success before you went blind and all the whitecoats who worked on you are there.

It's perfect, you think, right before you die and take them all with you. The ability to turn yourself into a living bomb is useful only once, but once is all you need.


Four.


You are talking to your neighbor when they come for you. He is dying and you're making sure he's not alone at the end. Maybe, when you die, someone will talk to you until you're gone.

You're pretty sure normal ten-year-olds don't think about death as often as you do, but you have wings. Normal is not something you can achieve.

So they come and take you away, the whitecoats. You hate them with everything you are, but it's a tired hate. It sits in your mind, still and glassy because you have hated so much that you hardly notice it anymore. It is the color of jade, you think, and wish for rose-colored glasses.

You're not strong, but you know strength. You knew it once in a girl you met. She was two years older, two years you did not envy, and oh had she suffered. She never let them touch her heart and she hated like you never could and she would die before she broke, that's how she was. That girl was fire and ice and she wanted the world to burn.

They took her away and she never came back.

You don't know if you're coming back this time, but then again you really don't care. You're pretty sure your neighbor's been dead for a while anyway. It's hard to tell most of the time and he was starting to stink.

They take you to a room and put a gun in your hands. You are facing another experiment, a dead-eyed thing.

Shoot it, they tell you.

It's not loaded, you tell yourself. They wouldn't give you a loaded gun-you might turn it on them.

This isn't you lying to yourself. This is you being logical. You hesitate.

An electric current runs through your body. It's not powerful, but a warning of things to come.

Shoot it shoot it shoot it. It is like nothing just pull a trigger pull a trigger of course it's not loaded you might kill them-

You pull the trigger and gray matter splatters on the white walls.

You laugh and somehow you can't stop. Stopit-stopit-stopit it is not funny. But it really really is.

You thought the gun wasn't loaded but you knew it was. And you aimed it at the dead one-not like he was living much of a life anyway, right. And you aimed at the dead when they were standing right there, ha ha, could've shot them down dead like the dead dead dead thing.

In between bouts of giggling-you've just realized how funny this all is, how hilarious-you are muttering bang dead dead like the dead one shoot them pull the trigger pull it pull it shootit shootit ofcourseitisn'tloaded...


Five.


You escaped a year ago, and you call it your birthday, which makes you eight today and your little sister six-you still count her even if you left her behind. You're tough and you're smart, you've done well on your own. Because isn't digging up food from the trash better than the School? Isn't scrounging dumps for clothes better than experiments?

You try very hard to convince yourself but the thought is always there: why don't you just die you little mutt why don't you just step in front of a bus you're nothing you're a coward-

You couldn't even save your little sister.

You can still see your fingers fumbling with her lock, reaching for the combination they didn't know you knew, hearing footsteps coming closer, thread your fingers through the bars and whisper I'll come back for you angel even though you knew even then it was a lie.

You're a coward and you can't bring yourself to return there, not even for her no not even for her. Going backwards is something you can't do, only moving forward. On and on and on and on and you are so alone.


Six.


You make the whitecoat open your cage and you're out, easy as that. For a moment you look backwards and think about letting the others go too but your brother never looked back at you and even though you kind of hate him now he taught you a lesson you needed to learn: only the strong survive. It took humans thousands of years to come up with natural selection and you did it in six.

You do not set them free.

The whitecoat escorts you to the door and you gather more of them as you go because this is your big finale. When you stop there are dozens of them waiting on your command.

Natural selection, you think, and you tell them to fight.

You really should leave but you're entranced. Two are strangling each other, oblivious to the third coming at them with a scalpel. A woman clamps down onto another's wrist and her white teeth are stained red. Some of them remember they have weapons and use them but most are reduced to instincts and savagery.

Look how far you've really come, you want to point out, because these people are no different from cavemen. It's no wonder they're trying so hard to make their race better-humans are pitiful. The only thing they've ever done right was create you, and, well, you just spent your entire life in a dog crate. Obviously, they're still too stupid to see a success.

Finally the fight winds down and there is a man, heavily wounded, left standing. You command him along; he's going to be your bodyguard for now and if he survives after you've taken over the world you may even let him command an army or two.


Seven.


You thrash in their grip until the needle sinks in and then moving is too much trouble any more. Fight it fight it you chant in your mind but your body is in their control. You black out and wonder if you're going to wake up this time. Maybe you're hoping you won't and maybe you still want to live, but there's nothing for you here anyway.

Why did you have to grow wings? You were designed to be a talking dog, not to have wings. They hate the unexpected because they are human and as humans they hate everything. But you're not-not a single percent of you is them and still you manage to feel anger.

That isn't the word, you think. This feeling is more like if you could you would rip them limb from limb and shred their skin in your claws and tear out their throats with your teeth and you'd make sure they were awake for all of it. This feeling would make you put them in a too-small cage and leave them to starve, it would make you find out how long it takes the human body to burn alive, how long does it take to break a human.

It burns like a fire, your anger, but you do not wake up.


Just something that leaped on me rather unexpectedly. I love the MR-verse. It's got so many ways it can go. In case you didn't get it, the people in order are Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gazzy, Angel, and Total. I like Nudge's the best; writing a psychotic breakdown always makes me feel happy.