Just a story. So it's fictional, maybe. I didn't write it today. Not suitable for children.

Once upon a time there was an institution, and a girl lived there. There was also a Monster, a hideous shadow whose name was Pain. At night, when silence and darkness prevailed, he would visit her room, sometimes sneaking up without a sound, sometimes entering rudely with a loud bang. He would reach out those deformed claws and hook them tightly into her chest, tugging and tearing the flesh. Then standing back, he would watch the splatter, drizzle of blood, the cough and the fear. She barely had the strength to call for help, and even if she did, he made sure there was no one was close enough to hear. She would hide under her sheets, and hug herself tight, closing her eyes so that she would not see his formless face. She cried and cried and he would collect tears as if he was collecting gold. Eventually Pain would be satisfied and leave. Miraculously her wound would disappear without a trace. She felt a lingering throb and twisting of her insides. But there were no physical injuries and scars, and the healers were unable to offer any help.

When Pain left, his good friend Loneliness always followed. He was a pale, solemn looking man with a neat suit and briefcase, with no particular features to distinguish himself as one of the Monsters. Loneliness never raised his voice and was always polite, as if he was paying a social visit. And he would talk. He would come up close to her and whisper in her ears and chill her insides with his cold breath. He was a professional liar, or was he brutally honest, she couldn’t tell. He convinced her that no one understood, no one cared and Friends did not exist but were illusions. They all hate you, he would say, don’t you remember when they said this to you, and my, did you notice the tone they spoke to you in? Then Loneliness would lay a cold hand on her shoulder and say, that’s okay, I will stay with you for the night. Occasionally though, a fellow inmate, a Friend, would walk in while he was talking to her. The girl would turn back to Loneliness and retort, hey, you are wrong! He would shrug, then bow, and excuse himself and leave.

On the nights of their visits, the Monsters would enter some rooms in the institution, but not others. No one really knew why that was so. The girl guessed it was because she was weak and did not kick them out, or run fast enough. Or that she and the Monsters grew mutually familiar with each other’s company. Or was it that she was stupidly feeding them something they hungered for. Or perhaps, they merely came to remind her that there was no space, no room available, no place suitable for her in the institution – telling her she had to leave. Some inmates saw and felt the attacks, while others were oblivious. Some were strong and defeated the Monsters. However, others grew weary of seeing the Monsters on many dark nights, and eventually agreed to negotiate with Despair, who was the master of Pain and Loneliness. The girl hated Despair and prepared many knives to throw at him. Since she forged the knives, he had stopped visiting her. She grew very angry and upset when Despair tried to offer her Friends a deal. He told them about the land where there were no Monsters. In exchange for their room in the institution, he could offer a one-way train ticket to that land beyond the hills.

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