V: Chained Monsters

Chapter Five on the Miniseries: The Monsters Under Your Bed

Fayth Ong
7 min readDec 4, 2023

written last 2019

Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash

51. Screams of arguments startle you. You search the room, but it lies empty. Don’t you know where it comes from? You should. You have been with them, and they grew alongside you. Rise and get your wand ready. Don’t be nervous about the spells. If you do, fear will crawl up to your spine and overtake you, leaving you no place to control your thoughts.
52. The Iesus glows again with a hue of blue. Hold the pendant tight. Rely on it for these monsters. The creatures see your weaknesses. You’ve never faced them head-on before, and who knows what will happen in this battle.
53. Breathe in. Inhale the courage. Breathe out. Exhale the fear.
54. A loud slam makes you stand straight. You glance at where the sound originated. A door appears. What emerges in front of you causes the hairs of your neck to rise. You defeated the two monsters earlier with ease. But what stands in front of you, you falter. Your eyes go wide with fear and your breathing turns more shallow. You hold the pendant, your hand clenching it while the other grabs the wand. For comfort, or for protection? Maybe both.
55. Two creatures stand before you. They need not disguise themselves for you to stand uneasily before them. Their mere appearance makes you cower and hide under your bed. Their white hair shines and their postures are bent, but you recognize, besides their demeanor, the harm they made. And yes, they loved you the most, but they also caused you the worst pain. Your hand trembles as they go near you, their eyes filled with rage and their fingers pointing at you, as if you are to blame for every wrong thing that happened in this world.
56. Imagine a white force field enveloping you, and it comes out from your wand. An intense light surfaces and makes a circle, surrounding you. The monsters try to push their way inside the shield but are blocked. The bright light has turned solid to protect you. You drop to the floor, curled in a ball, and cry as your parents continue to scold you and say things you longed to forget. The shield has protected you from them getting you, but it has not kept you from their words. You put your hands on your ears, with tears streaming your face, begging yourself to let this moment pass. The pendant shines a hue of blue brighter than before.
57. The pendant turns warm, almost searing to the touch. You cushion it and cradle it in your hand. Glimpse at it and remember the monsters you defeated while wearing it. You can beat this one.
58. Anger and bitterness replace the fear as you gather the courage to face what’s in front of you. Rise to your feet. The force field has done its job in protecting you, but it can only keep them at bay. It cannot harm them. The villains cannot touch you, but they continue to torture you with each word that spits out of their venomous lips. Observe each of them. Did you notice something peculiar?
59. Stare at their clothes. Look at their faces. Do you see something unusual? The dirt. They have stained their wardrobes and skin with mud and soil. They have smeared their faces. Dirt covers the floor they stand on.
60. Now, study their feet. Barefoot, as always. That’s normal, but look what’s surrounding their ankles. Did you spot it? The chains. The shackles on their ankles connect to the door. You don’t know where the exit leads to, but to destroy them, you need to make them leave. If they don’t, this force field can protect you, but only defend you in so much. Their spits of venom will still create a mark in your heart, and you need to get them out of your life for you to heal.
61. Do you want to know the key to defeating them? The secret is simple: for every insecurity they uttered, drag out a memory where people destroy that insecurity. With each thought, the wand will blast a shade of blue. Point the wand at them as you conjure the thought. Their eyes will be covered. They will groan in the pain of the lies they built to crush you no longer works. Their chains will tighten and shorten, forcing them to step back until they have no choice but to leave. Should you fail to deflect their attacks, their chains will appear looser, giving them the chance to catch you until they have chained you with them.
62. The man points at you, shouting with his voice weak, but his determination to make you break as strong as in his youth. “You are a disappointment to everyone!” Deflect his sentiment by conjuring an image where people have been proud of you.
63. Your memory etches back to when you presented your final paper. The long nights of researching, interviewing and typing this paper. The professors in front of you hold your future, to pass, or to fail you. Nights of sobbing and overwhelmed sighs were the products of the project. The panelists give you a congratulatory shake as your friends outside cheer. Your smile widens from ear to ear at the accomplishment you made. No, you are not a disappointment.
64. The lady then shrieks an accusatory tone, “Why are you fat? No one could love you.” Raise your wand to conjure another memory.
65. A silly dare to go skinny dipping with your college friends the week before your graduation. You drank a bottle of beer too many, and you accepted the challenge head-on, smirking, and the alcohol blocking your insecurity. The wind blasts your bare skin as you jump into the water. Realizing the mistake, you get out to cover yourself, only for them to compliment your body. Darling, your body, and what people say about it doesn’t determine your worth.
66. The chains on their feet got tighter. Their eyes show hatred and desperation, keen to keep you chained to them. With one last attempt, they scream, “You do nothing right!” Conjure another memory, your workmates after a hard day’s work, getting a drink.
67. An opportunity to present your ideas to pitch in the company. If they chose your plan of action, it would cause an immediate promotion and a raise. You prepared for a month. You asked for help from your friends, from experts in the field. And you are ready. Your smile, nervous, but calm, twitches when the computer turns black. A technical misfunction. You struggle to get it back on its place, and the time it does, you apologize repeatedly for the unfortunate incident. You got the promotion. They laugh at your earlier spill-up at the meeting, but they still praised you for your presentation. So what if you didn’t do everything right? People will love you for who you are, with your quirks and flaws. Your imperfections are not an excuse to hate you.
68. You gain more confidence as you see the monsters stepping back and hitting the edge of the door. Before they can strike another attack, counter-step them.
69. Point your wand at them and summon a memory that gives you power and freedom. You remember hugging your parents before moving into the big city. They think it’s a part of growing up, nothing more. But for you, it was a fresh start. No more muffled cries as you sob into the night. No more fighting screams forcing you to shout silently in the darkness. No more words hurting you enough to scar you. As you close the door behind you, you are free.
70. As your parents watch the memory with you, the bright light leaves them blind. Open the door and force them out. Close and lock it.
71. Bring another thought as you destroy the door once and for all. One simple memory, one phone call that ended it all. “You cannot control me anymore.”
72. The doorknob breaks. Cracks appear in the middle of the door, spreading out. The door cracks and smashes into a million pieces. And for the first time, you finally, truly, feel free.
73. Relieved, you go to your bed, put the wand in your bag, and crash on the mattress. Your eyelids get heavy, pushing you into a deep sleep. You hold the Iesus, embracing its warmth before the lull of sleep begs you to lose consciousness.
74. White walls. You open your eyes and that’s the first thing you see. Sit up straight. Eye the vanity mirror in your bedroom. Breathe deep. You’re grateful that the dream finally ended.
75. You stand up and go to your mirror, only to discover a letter similar to your dream. Your heart quickens, but you shake your head. Remind yourself, it’s just a dream. It’s over.
76. You open the note and read the words out loud, “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the monster yet to fall?”
77. The reflection in the mirror doesn’t move as you put down the message. Your face drains of color as you realize what has happened. It’s not over yet.



Fayth Ong

Teacher || Writer || Traveller || Athlete || Immortalizing moments through writing