Monster Repellent

Written by George Sanders

When Kibber was growing up there were no monsters in the dark. But his parents kept him away from two types monsters in the city. His mom repeated to him over and over the ways the monsters would try to come for him. It could have been tramatic hearing all the stories but she made it seem easy with a few simple steps.   Now, Kibber stood in the forest, outside an unknown village. He watched the people come and go. People of all sorts and sizes. That was a good sign. Were there monsters here? Probably, but he needed to try to find the source of the voice on the wind. He had not been able to find his friend, the storyteller, he hoped the voice would have an answer. And the voice was coming from this village.   He reviewed the rules for dealing with monsters. The first of the monsters were the nobles. They would try to enslave him for his labor- piling obligation upon obligation. Every deal always set up with a loop hole only for them. Then luring him into consuming, games of chance, and speculation to the point he would never be able to satisfy his debts to them. For them the best solution was always saying "no". The slimiest among them would find ways around "no", so the best option was to stay mobile and slip away.   The second of the monsters were the true believers. They were sickly sweet until they thought it was time for you to be taught their ways. The nobles were easy to spot, their actions and dress showed who they were. It was their deals that were dishonest. The true believers were harder to detect. They felt their beliefs should be followed by everyone, except themselves. It took time to observe that dissonance. If you were lucky one would being proselytizing. Then you could nod and politely slip away.   Both monsters wanted control and power. They were often greedy. The nobles had guards that could enforce their deals - sometimes even if you didn't make the deal. If guards were around, it was good to not be around either. If a group of the true believers were around it was important for anyone different from them to get away before the true believers came after them. He noted with some sadness that his parents fell prey to a noble, perhaps a true believing noble.   In his travels he had heard of a potion that could break enchantments true believers might use. The rumor was that it was traded to stop a war in a distant land so he didn't have that.   The only true monster repellent was a supportive community. Kibber had been mobile for a long time so he did not have that either.

Cover image: Forest During the Daytime by Tim Mossholder


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