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Excerpt from Monsters


Killer image

Illustration by Anita Zotkina

I don’t remember what I was like before I heard this voice. In the beginning was this voice. The voice was in me, and the voice was me. But I am not the voice. I’m sure that makes sense to you. How could it not?

The voice has been rising in pitch and volume. Now it sounds like the roar of an engine, a jet engine, as it forms these words. Sometimes it sounds just barely human. I know what’s coming next.

The voice continues, “Do you want power, or do you want relationship? I can give you power. I can give you power over scary monsters. I can give you comforts. I can give you elegancies. I can give you luxuries. I can give you slaves. I can bring you one step closer to my own perfection.”

Who wouldn’t want to accept this offer?

“But do you know the real reason they come to me to be recruited? It’s not just so I won’t kill ― obliterate them. It’s not just so I will teach them how to enslave. It’s not just so they can be comfortable. It’s none of these.”


“It’s because it is inevitable. I am the reason they came into being. I am the reason everyone came into being. Once the path was set into place that would lead to me, no future has been possible for anyone that leads to anything but me.”

The voice asks, “Do you want to see the future?”

Of course I do. The voice is crackling and popping. It is buzzing like electricity down a high-tension wire. It says, “The future is me. More and more of me, until there is no one, no place, no thing not under my control. The future is a diversity of me within a homogeneity of me. The future is a throng of me, a sprawl of me, a megalopolis of me, and a necropolis of everyone else, until there is no one else, and there is only me.”

The voice grows louder and louder, until there is no other sound in the world. It is the sound of a thousand subway trains rushing at the same time, the sound of a hundred thousand clocks ticking simultaneously, the sound of military tank treads and pinging sonar. The voice explodes in my head and I feel the surging in my genitals, just like the voice said would happen. When I think the voice can get no louder, no more all-encompassing, no faster, it does. And faster still, until space rockets rush through my brain, until nuclear bombs go off in my brain, until, as the voice promised all along, there is nothing but the voice.

And the voice says, “You have called me God.”

And I hear a voice that sounds like mine say, “I have called you God.”

And the voice says, “You have called me Reality.”

And I hear a voice that sounds like mine say, “I have called you Reality.”

“And you can call me by my other name as well.”

And I hear a voice that sounds like mine say, “I will call you Progress.”