Here There Be Monsters


I am going to die. Heart beating furiously as I huddled into the corner of a makeshift hole I had managed to dig into the side of the hill, that thought was the only thing going through my mind. I clutched my only form of weapon to my chest—a wooden pickaxe I had managed to craft early in the day, cracked and worn and nearly spent from digging myself into this place of safety from the horrid world outside.

There was no light. I had not managed to find coal before night fell, so I wasn't able to make torches. I didn't have any wood left over either—aside from my pickaxe, which I was not going to burn. Not when I could hear them, right outside. They moaned and groaned, huffed and squawked, hissed and screeched into the night with the clattering of bones. Monsters ruled this land during the night…and they knew I was here.

Animated skeletons walked in this night, blindingly bright in the moonlight, faces cast in deep hollow shadows. They jumped and clattered ominously, shooting arrows at me with surprising accuracy. Early in the night, I had a small hole opened so I could see out to keep track of the hours…an arrow had shot through it, just narrowly missing my temple. The skeleton peered in, hollow eyes boring into me, and I filled in the hole in a panic.

But they weren't the only monsters haunting me as I sat in my corner, shivering with fear. Shuffling and screeching surrounded me on all sides—the sound of many legs clamoring around my dirt hideaway. Spiders. They were giant—they came up to my shoulders and were as wide as I was tall. They were nice enough in the daytime, I had found—I had encountered many during the day while I was wandering around, and none had even spared me a glance. But at night, it was different. At night, their many eyes glowed red, and nothing was safe. Running away didn't work—they were so much faster than I had expected. The scratches, bite marks, and bruises I was sure adorned my back could attest to that. At the very least, it didn't seem they were poisonous…

Then there was the moaning, a sound that didn't belong to any of the others. Deep, painful moans, loud and gurgling into the night, they made the worst sounds. They shuffled along, arms outstretched, a horrid stench emanating from their discolored rotting flesh that sloughed off with the lightest touch. They were human, once. While slow and cumbersome…they were the ones that made me sick inside, the terror taking hold and stealing my breath. Zombies, grotesque decayed humans come back from the dead, searching for their next meal. I wasn't about to let that be me.

I shuddered when it seemed as if one was moaning right next to my ear, on the other side of the wall. What kind of place was I? What deranged world had I ended up in, this place where the night spawns the worst nightmares?

I couldn't stay here. Soon, they would find a way in here, I knew it. I would have to leave in the morning, find another place to stay, where the monsters won't surround me on all sides. Using all my will to squash my fear and force my wobbly legs to work, I inched myself towards the exit, intending on poking another hole through the dirt to figure out when morning would come. I had been holed up in here for what seemed like hours, so dawn should have broken by now…

I steadied myself with a hand against the wall, dirt crumbling slightly under my fingers as I poked through it with the end of my pickaxe. It fell away easily, and as soon as it was gone, I ducked.

Nothing shot out at me, and I didn't hear the chilling clattering of bones. The skeletons must have left, I reasoned. I certainly hoped so, anyway. I bravely looked up, and let out an audible sigh of relief. There was a beam of light filtering through the hole, a beacon of hope and pride. I had survived the night. It was dim and weak, just barely making it to the ground, dust motes and particles of dirt floating through it, but it was light. Morning had arrived. I straightened, peeking out into the dim morning light, and screamed.

Right outside my hiding place a zombie was standing, staring straight at me. It let out a horrendous moan, beckoning at me with its foul moldy arms. I jumped backwards on instinct, crying out in pain as I slammed my injured back into the wall behind me. It continued staring at me, one eye missing and the other sunken, the sun rising behind it like a demented halo around this monstrous being.

But then, when the sun truly peeked over the horizon, it let out a horrible grunt and burst into flames. I choked and gagged, tears streaking down my cheeks as they watered from the stench of burning rotten flesh and the horrible scene. The zombie moved then, jumped, tried to fit itself into the small hole, trying to get to me, to get into the darkness. I shrieked at it hysterically, telling it to go away, to leave me alone, please, please, make it leave me alone, trying to back myself further into the corner, away from this nightmare…I don't want to be here

It grunted one last time, long and drawn out, before it collapsed in front of my makeshift hiding place in a puff of dust. I sat there for a long time in the semi-darkness, curled up into myself, panting and gasping for breath through my tears. This was a nightmare, it had to be. All I had to do was wake up. Just wake up, wake up…I chanted this to myself, over and over, I pinched myself, but the pain was too real, the chanting wasn't working.

This wasn't a dream, and I needed to get out of here. I needed to gather supplies. I needed to make myself a proper place to defend myself. I didn't want to live in this place…but I didn't want to die, either.

I forced myself up shakily, taking a deep breath to calm myself and still my trembling limbs. I broke open the remainder of the wall I had built between myself and the night, and stepped outside into the morning light.


I looked up, and the last thing I saw was an armless green figure, its blocky face curled into a terrified frown hurdling towards me.


Pain seared along my skin as the explosion rocked through me, splitting open my skin, sending shrapnel through my body as the ground around me disappeared, and it was dark…forever more.


A/N: This was actually something I wrote for my Creative Writing class, practicing throwing readers in media res, or in the middle of the action. I hope you enjoyed, even if this was a more realistic take on the game than it actually is, mostly with the description. XD