Tuesday, December 10, 2013


By Noah S. R. de Luzuriaga

The little girl waited in the shadows. Daddy wasn't home yet. Daddy had forgotten to pay the power bill again, so she couldn't even turn on the lights. Needless to say, she was very afraid.

There wasn't any food left in the fridge, she thought, but there might still be some water. Looking about her, the little girl tiptoed out, believing that monsters were watching, from the darkness, all around her. But that was silly. Monsters weren't real, she thought.

Reaching into the fridge, the little girl, out of that strange animal instinct that we all possess, spun around. It was then she saw the figure in the dark, the monster in the shadows.

She didn't scream, she knew from experience that screaming never helped, but she did run. Hands, gloved hands, so strong and unyielding, grabbed her. She didn't fight back. She just waited, waited for the monster to eat her.

“Where is your father?” said a voice that was harder than rock.

The girl wouldn't answer, she was too afraid.

Then, the monster took off its face and the girl realized, it wasn't a monster, it was a man.

“My name is Bruce. What's yours?”

“Joy”, said the girl, who liked the new man's voice better than the monsters.

“Joy. That's a pretty name. Are you here on your own?”

“Yes. But Daddy will be back soon.”

“Where is he?”

“He's off being a superhero. He goes up, up and away, saves people, beats bad guys. He's very strong, handsome, a little bit like you, but with yellow hair.”

“Your father's a superhero?”


Then the nice man, Bruce, she remembered, looked sad. She wondered why. Maybe he was just jealous of her Daddy.

“Joy.....I ….”

The door opened. Joy turned to look at it, and when she looked back, Bruce was gone.

“Daddy! Daddy! You just missed him, there was a monster, then a man named Bruce, and ...”

She didn't finish the sentence....being backhanded by your father would shut anyone up.

“Shut your trap. Get me a beer.”

“But, there isn't any...”

The father, the “superhero” raised his hand, and Joy ran before she could get another smack.
A thousand thoughts swirled throughout Joy's mind. She'd been a bad girl, disturbing her father. There was nothing in the fridge but water, so what was she going to do? And where was Bruce?

She heard a scream, from the other room, from her daddy, but it wasn't an angry scream. It was a scared one. She rushed into the other room, and saw the monster holding her daddy in the air with one arm.

“Put him down. YOU PUT HIM DOWN.”

“Joy” was Bruce's voice, coming from the monster's mouth.

“Please put him down. He's my Dad”.

The monster whose name was Bruce dropped the father. Without another word, he walked out. Joy ran to her father, who looked like he was asleep, and the poor girl tucked herself in next to the father who was her world, her guide, her hero.

In another, similar dark place, the monster took off his face once more, and talked to his butler.

“Alfred, contact Gotham social services. Have them get Joy. Get her out of there, away from HIM, away from that....that....”, Bruce stopped, sat back in his chair.

“She protected him Alfred. She had no idea who he really was. To her, she was perfect. Why couldn't she see?'

“Master Bruce, sometimes, the most downtrodden simply close their eyes, thank God for the experiences of life, no matter how horrible it is. “

Bruce simply nodded. He knew evil, faced evil. But this?

This poor girl was in hell, made all the worse, simply because she thought it was heaven. And heaven has no place for monsters.  

(photo courtesy of :