We are the Monsters
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While cruising a dark country road late one Saturday night, five high school friends accidentally kill an old drunk. Hiding the body is easy. Lying about what happened is even easier. But lies have a way of breeding Monsters in Springdale, Kansas, and the Monsters have come to play.
"Here’s the truth about growing up in a small town: you tell lies to survive.
I worked at a grocery store during high school, part time on the evenings and weekends. I saw plenty of strange things there: avocados stuffed in a barrel of fresh popcorn left to rot, a coworker who punched holes in the caps of beer bottles with an awl, pies marked “Verda’s own home-baked” which came frozen on pallets with the Sunday dairy truck. I found a body in the trash bin once, but nobody can prove who put it there. No one can prove it was there.
There were too many bodies for a town the size of Springdale. The name of the town is a lie, but the bodies aren’t. All of them. When you find a body lying with the outdated yogurt, wilted lettuce, and cardboard boxes, you make up stories to cope. You can’t process a body in the grocery store trash bin. A trick of the light, you say. The way the shadows fell across certain bits of debris like the coat hanger beast in a little boy’s bedroom. That head of lettuce, there, in the corner, looks like a human hand.
Bodies are bodies.
Dead is dead.
And lies are lies."
About the author: Aaron’s stories have been reprinted in The Best of Every Day Fiction 2009 and 2010, listed as a recommended read by Tangent Online, received honorable mention in the storySouth Million Writers Award and Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year.