School: Holyrood Secondary School, Glasgow
Briana had a monster in her wardrobe.
She ignored it and forgot about it most of her life, but it was still there. It was always there, watching her, waiting. Sometimes Briana thought about the monster, in the brief times she saw it. Once in a blue moon, the monster would come out of the wardrobe, and Briana's heart would thump quickly and she'd panic. She knew sometimes monsters gashed people's arms and legs, or would slit throats and wrists with their sharp teeth.
The monster didn't bite Briana. It circled her slowly, going through all her toys and books, and then scratched her face with its big fingers. Briana didn't cry. She sat still and touched the scratch, then waited for the monster to leave. She told her parents she'd scratched her face while washing herself at bedtime. They would laugh if she told them about the monster. Very few people had a real monster, they told her. Many children pretended, to get attention.
Briana could see the monster from her bed.
She knew she wasn't lying.
After that, the monster came more often, messing up her belongings and saying mean things to Briana. She would cry when the monster came. It only went away when she slept, but even then the monster was in her nightmares.
Briana decided to tell her friends. They would believe her and help her. But they didn't. They laughed and said that everyone goes through a stage where they think they had a monster. They said Briana's monster wasn't really real and would go away soon.
But the monster stayed, it spent every minute with Briana. It followed her out of her house and rarely was in its wardrobe. Eventually, the monster started to bite Briana. It bit her arm once, and then stayed in the wardrobe for the rest of the day. Briana was glad that the monster left her alone. The bite had hurt, but it was worth it to get some peace. After that she let the monster bite her more often. It still worked, only the monster's time in the wardrobe was shortened with every new cut. Six months later, it took four or five bites to get the monster to go away for about an hour or so. Briana hid the scars from her family.
One day, Briana was in her bedroom, curled up in a ball and thinking about the monster. She wanted to get rid of it but didn't know how. She cried for a long time, and the monster drank up her tears thirstily. It liked Briana when she was sad. Briana could no longer sleep at night.
One day, she fell asleep at lunchtime because she was so tired. Briana's dad put her to bed and Briana's mum came up with some juice. She opened the door just in time to see the monster leap from the wardrobe and snatch Briana from the bed. She was just in time to see the monster open its jaws and bite off Briana's head.
The monster had killed Briana, and it was too late for anyone to save her. Maybe if they'd listened, or payed attention, she would still be alive. Some monsters are harder to kill than others, but they're all destroyable.
They won't win.