Catherine makes monsters in her sleep.

She doesn't mean to, she doesn't want to, and she doesn't know how she does it, but every morning she wakes up to find her room destroyed. Furniture gets upturned and broken, blankets and clothes are torn to shreds, there are deep claw marks on the walls and carpets--

But none of that compares to the other things they do. With shaking hands and shaking breath, she'll pull aside the covers and pull up her shirt. Beneath the cloth, there are always scratches on her sides and belly. When she rolls up her pajama bottoms, she sees the scratches on her legs, too.

Unlike the deep wall marks, the scratches on her skin are small and thin, barely enough to draw blood. The worst they do physically is itch when they scab over. But they terrify her more than anything else; she knows the monsters are strong enough to hurt her, to hurt lots of people, and instead they. . . don't.


The staff at the Home don't complain about the broken furniture or clawed up walls. Ms. Olivia, the newest member of the Staff, even offered to stay with Catherine at night to help keep the monsters away, but she declined. Ms. Olivia was kind. If anything happened to her because of the nightmares, Catherine doesn't know what she'd do.

Catherine hasn't told them about the marks on her skin. She doesn't want anyone to know. She's afraid if she tells, the monsters will do damage deeper than scratches.

So now she stays quietly in her room, afraid to leave, but afraid to stay.

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