'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 4 July 2014

KBR Short Story: The Dark Monster

by Robert Walton

‘There’s a monster with teeth like swords. It likes to eat children, but especially little boys.’

‘Grandfather, why are you telling me this?’

The old man turned his head. ‘You’re the one who asked me why night comes. If you don’t want to know, don’t ask.’

‘A monster makes the night?’

‘Of course, the Dark Monster.’ The old man cleared his throat. ‘This monster is bigger than a hill and has sparkling white eyes, hundreds of them.’

‘And teeth longer than swords?’

‘Yes, yes, I said that.’ The old man shifted on the bench. ‘Don’t interrupt!’

The boy smiled. ‘Sorry, grandfather.’ Dusk, pearl gray and meek as kittens, crept around them.

‘The Dark Monster rises up out of the west and its shadow falling across the land makes night.’

‘What if it comes from a different direction?’

‘Bah! It never does.’

The boy looked from side to side, his curly, dark hair gleaming in the evening star’s light. ‘I think I see some sparkly eyes. Shouldn’t we go in now?’

Grandfather took a deep breath of cool air, lightly burdened with the scent of garden roses and a mysterious hint of cinnamon. ‘We’re safe for a while yet. I know this monster pretty well by now and I can tell exactly when he’ll pounce.’


‘Not yet.’ Grandfather leaned his back against their house. Besides, there’s an even bigger monster the Dark Monster fears more than anything.’

‘Big teeth?’

‘Like logs. And a mouth bigger than a dump truck.’

‘Does it eat boys?’

‘And girls, too!’

‘What’s it called?’

‘The Moon Monster and it will be along shortly, I believe.’

‘Well, if that’s coming too, hadn’t we better go in?’

Grandfather pursed his lips. ‘You might be safe.’

The boy glanced up. ‘Might?’

‘The Moon Monster only takes children who forget their grandfathers’ birthdays. I seem to remember a card from you.’

The boy nodded. ‘It had Snoopy on it.’

‘Good! That should be enough for now.’ He looked sideways at the boy. ‘You can make absolutely sure that you’re safe from the Moon Monster by doing one more thing,’


‘Bring your grandfather a good piece of chocolate after supper.’

‘Every day?’

The old man rubbed his chin. ‘No, once a week will do.’

The boy grinned. ‘I’ll remember that.’

‘See that you do.’

Robert Walton is a retired teacher and a life-long rock-climber and mountaineer. His writing about climbing has been published in the Sierra Club's "Ascent”. Most recently, his historical novel "Dawn Drums” was published by Moonlight Mesa Associates. He and his wife Phyllis live in King City, California and have done so for forty-two years. See more at chaosgatebook.wordpress.com.

KBR Short Stories are a way to get your work ‘out there’—and to delight our KBR readers. Stories are set to a monthly theme and entries are due in the 25th of each month. Find out more here.