“Homesick” by Holly Sheidenberger

Something smells foul. My sense of dread grows as the noxious odor fills my nostrils.

Suddenly a rock smacks into my shoulder. I stagger backwards, clutching at the hot, searing pain.

That’s when I see the Beast.

Our eyes lock. I’m paralyzed, frightened by his disturbingly human-like gaze.

His huge hairy hands grab my throbbing shoulders and drop me into a deep, dark hole.

I am captive.

He brings me raw meat each morning and sleeps next to me at night.

He is not cruel, but he smells.

Finally, I escape. I run, desperate for the sanctuary of home.

But my story is received with taunts, jeers, ridicule, and suspicion. They whisper that I am stupid and crazy.

I am shamed, a fool. I want to hide.

I am homesick for that deep, dark hole. I think I miss the Beast.