It’s not easy being a monster. People don’t like it when you roar, they complain when you shred the carpet, and they generally frown upon you eating the furniture. So it wasn’t a surprise that Blarfy ended up at the orphanage. The only surprising thing was that my parents wanted to adopt him.
“He’s so furry and cute!” Mom said, “And orange is such a wonderful color.”
“And his horns are pretty cool,” said Dad as Blarfy sharpened them on the side tables in the orphanage’s common room.
“He’s a furniture eating, killing machine!” I countered as he chomped through the leg of my chair.
“He can eat that dining room set from Aunt Gertha.” Dad said. Mom glared at him.
Blarfy licked my face. Slobber dribbled off my chin.
“He likes you!” Dad said.
“Yeah,” I said, “probably for breakfast.”
“Nonsense!” Dad said, “I’m sure he knows you’d be much tastier at dinner time.”
They wouldn’t listen. Mom had her heart set on Blarfy and Dad went right along. “Don’t I get any say in this family?” I asked. “He’ll mess up the house, scratch the floors, and-and he’ll-”
“RRRRRRROAR!” Blarfy said as he jumped on the coffee table and turned his face toward the sky.
“Do we even know if he’s house trained?” I asked
A few minutes later we had our answer: No.
But Mom and Dad still didn’t seem convinced. “But he’s a monster!” I said. Somehow this didn’t register as an issue.
Mom looked me in the eye. “Blarfy needs a home, Scott. He’s had a rough life thus far and I think we can do something that will really make a difference for him. He has his problems, sure, but you weren’t exactly ‘house trained’ when we brought you home from the hospital.”
“Can’t we just send the orphanage some money each month?” I asked. “I’ll pitch in some of my allowance.”
Dad knelt and put his hands on my shoulders. “Those programs are great, son, but your mother and I want to do more for Blarfy. Sure money would help, but he needs a home and a family… and we’ve got room to spare.”
And so it was decided, Blarfy came home with us.
“I know you’d rather not share your room” Mom said, “but Blarfy is your new brother and we just don’t have the space.”
“What about a closet?” I asked. “Or your room? Dad said we had lots of room to spare.”
Mom just shook her head.
“How do you know he won’t eat me in my sleep?” I asked.
“He’s your brother now, you shouldn’t say mean things about him,” she replied.
And so it was decided, I would share my room with a monster.
That night I hugged my Mom and Dad. “Goodbye,” I said, “If I’m just a pile of neatly picked bones in the morning, please tell grandma and grandpa that I love them and that I’m sorry I could not tell them myself. Dad, please see that Nathan and Doug get an equal share of whatever of my possessions are not covered in drool and teeth marks. Goodbye, dear parents, goodbye…” with that I turned and plodded toward my room.
“Not so fast, Mister,” Mom said. “Did you brush your teeth?”
“I wanted to remember the taste of my last meal,” I replied.
“If I’m going to identify you by your dental records,” Mom said, “I want to make sure they’re nice and shiny.”
And so it was decided, I brushed my teeth and headed for my doom, but Blarfy didn’t eat me that night. He was too busy eating my desk (along with all its contents), howling at the moon, and snoring like a jet engine on over drive.
If school had started I’d have had quite an excuse: “I’m sorry, Miss Spanoola, my brother ate my homework.” In all her thirty-seven years of teaching, I’ll bet she’s never heard that one before.
School started the next week. Blarfy had never been in school before, but Mom and Dad wanted to be sure he got a “solid educational foundation.” Mr. Swallow, the principal, didn’t quite know how to handle a monster, but to give him some “normalcy” Mr. Swallow put Blarfy in my grade. And so it was decided, I’d have to share even school with a monster.
The only time I could get away from Blarfy was recess, but that was because Nathan and Doug thought a monster was pretty cool and hung out with Blarfy instead. The other problem was Gary Smallfoot. Way back on his second time through kindergarten Gary had decided to have it out for me. And so it was decided, my few moments of freedom were spent underneath the slide, by myself, hoping Gary wouldn’t find me.
A few days later while my friends and Blarfy were hanging out on the other side of the playground, Gary found me. I ran, but he caught me by the swing set and shoved me down. Before I could get back to my feet a “RRROOOOOAAARRRR” split the air. In two bounds Blarfy was between me and Gary. Blarfy’s eyes blazed green and the ground rumbled with his growl.
Blarfy grabbed Gary’s shoe, yanked it off his foot and swallowed it whole. He followed it with a sock chaser. Blarfy pointed a menacing claw at Gary’s other foot, his stomach growled on cue. Gary turned tail and ran.
Blarfy turned to me, helped me up and together we walked back to our group of friends.
And so it was decided, I’d still rather have my own room, but I like having a brother, even if he is a monster.