Jayda makes monsters.

Sometimes, it's on purpose. She'll be drawing and create a monster on paper. Fangy monsters, fluffy monsters, ones with horns and tails and claws. Monsters with mandibles and chitin, scales and bones, extra eyes-- beautiful, terrifying, lovely monsters.

And then, with all her love for her monsters pouring out of her heart, the monsters will be there in front of her, sitting on the carpet or flying around on pterodactyl wings. If the Staff find out about those monsters, they make Jayda clean them up. Big monsters have to be erased, though the littler, harmless ones can live in her room.

But then there are the other monsters, ones that aren't on purpose. When she remembers her parents fighting. Her dad calling her a bitch. When she remembers stupid things she's said and the memory plays again and again and again.

Instead of love filling her, it's other things. Feelings she doesn't know the words for but knows are hurting her in terrible, unseen ways. They rot inside her, tearing her apart until she has to get rid of them. They can't stay; she knows if they do, she'll die.

And a bad monster will appear. Formless, shadowy monsters made from all those bad things inside her, monsters that want to hurt others as badly as they hurt, because pain is all they are.

Jayda can't get rid of those ones, but the Staff can. They come with calm words and hands full of light that turn the monsters to nothingness, and then they come to Jayda with those same calm words and caring faces.

She knows someday she'll have to get rid of those monsters on her own, but for now, she is grateful.


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