Miranda has a monster in her head...and she's afraid that it might destroy her.


6. Chapter 5


I heave a deep sigh as I walk down the street to my house. It’s not long before the autumn-lined road leads me to the sidewalk leading up to my house. After checking the mailbox and finding it empty, I walk up to the front steps, climb them, and open the screen door. I try to open the front door and scowl when I find it locked. I poke the doorbell, tapping my foot impatiently. Mom finally opens the door and turns away. I catch a glimpse of her groggy eyes as she retreats back to the couch. I walk in, close the door behind me, and walk down the hall and into my room. I plop my book bag into the desk chair and sprawl across the bed. The monster whispers.

(Do you ever bother washing your face?)

(Stop making excuses)

(College? What college?)

He imitates Mom’s voice perfectly, driving shadowy nails into my brain. I reach for the iPod on my vanity, shove the earbuds in, and crank up Metallica’s “I Disappear”. Then I commit myself to mind-numbing homework. It doesn’t take long to complete, and I pad out into the dining room and place it on the table so my mom can see that it’s done. I shove my lunch bag into a drawer in the fridge, then trudge out into the living room to plug in my phone. I can feel Mom’s annoyance at the sight of my earbuds. I brace myself, but her mouth remains clean of demands. I scurry back to my ice-cold den with Thirty Seconds to Mars guiding my feet.


I don’t know what’s worth fighting for

I can’t feel him.

Or why I have to scream

“Mark? Are you okay?”

I don’t know why I instigate

His eyes are blank.

And say what I don’t mean

His mouth opens.

I don’t know how I got this way


I’ll never be alright

“I’m going to kill myself.”

So I’m breaking the habit


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