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The Child, the Violin, and the Monster

My girlbody is not terrifying to the monster maker, though villagers will always fear fire.

Since I was made a monster, I need not apologize for the destruction. If villagers did not chase, we monsters would not smash as we bolt along.

But you know this story is not just about destruction: I meet a child, Maria, at the water’s edge. Her kindness drops me to my knees and I sit with her in the clover. “Would you like one of my flowers?” she asks. Maria picks a black and white foxglove from the edge of the slush pond. “I can make a boat. See how mine float?”

The girl has put aside her fear. I shall do the same. I pluck out my vernal heart and throw it in the water. Maria shrieks. My makeshift pump glugs pond scum. It sinks. This is how good will drowns.

Still, I know how esteem sounds. It is a musical prayer in the woods. I must worship. Plunging through the forest, I stumble into the arms of a violinist. My stitched flesh weaves through his strings. I am a light to his eyes and—being wanted for the first time—I feel desire. We are two lonely creatures, nude bodies sewn together. Except he is a starving artist. My monochrome man wants fame. He feeds me gluten, gets me drunk, and films me chair dancing to “Beauty School Drop Out.” When the video goes viral, I steal his heart and run away into the starless night.

To protect myself from more amour carnage, I long for capture. Unfortunately, uneasy villagers are always scared of the dark. So I lumber off alone to a cemetery. And there, I experience deep kinship. My body, too, is made of the dead. Here the air smells of someone else’s tears. I lose my heart—once again—this time to the departed and their mute lament.

When my own end comes, I shall not fear walking into the windmill. Monsters may choose their own destinies. The villagers’ flames will never consume my brutish body. I shall set myself alight with a beatific blaze, so the maker of monsters may admire the perfection of my assembled smile.

But you know this story is not just about love.

Vinitia Swonger is a videographer and communitarian who runs mixed-genre and poetry salons. She sings with an improv group, writing and performing songs on the spot. Picture musical slam poetry generated in a collective.