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This is my entry for Week 16 of LJ Idol Friends & Rivals therealljidol. Of the many topics, I chose "When is a monster not a monster? Oh, when you love it."

Monsterday, Munch 21, 2016

My Boy, the Nighttime Pals, and I are on an Adventure. We are staying at the old man's house, whose name is Pappy. He has a mustache and likes to talk. Not with the mustache, although sometimes the mustache is the only one who seems to be listening. He mostly talks to the Boy's Mommy, who has been gone much of the day for two days straight. When she comes back, she takes a shower right away and won't let the Boy hug her first. She smells like she has rolled around on a veterinarian's lawn. She brings back clear plastic bins, mostly filled with papers, and sits on the couch, sorting them. Some are tossed into a large plastic bag (for shedding), some go into the trash can (for throwing up), and some are placed gently on the table (for keeps). All night long, Pappy talks to her, and her eyes look far away, her mouth set in a thin line. Maybe she is thinking about monsters.

The Nighttime Pals and I are sleeping on a very high, small bed. Last night, the Boy kicked us out on the floor while having a bad dream. I landed first, so Bunny and Bear both landed on me and can stop complaining about how high it was and how hard they landed. It is a good thing monsters bounce.

From my place on the floor, I got a better view under the bed. No bad monsters. Just the way I like it. Scaring bad monsters away is much easier when there are no bad monsters to scare.

Tootsday, Munch 22, 2016

The Boy was very cross last night, because he spent all day with his Mommy, sitting in offices and playing games on his LeapPad. He complained it was "not very fun." He didn't take me with him, so I don't know exactly what his Mommy was doing in the offices, but I heard her talking on the phone. She said something about signing a compact with an octoneer, whatever that is. Or maybe it was an octopus? Or an engineer? Whoever it was will be selling the old lady's house, the Mommy says. The old lady's name was Grandma, and she used to walk very slow and talk in a sweet, gentle voice to the Boy. They used to paint things together.

After Grandma died, the Boy and his older cousin drew everything they could see, even pictures of me. I was very flattened. Because paper makes you two-diamond-sional. I was also flattered.

KFP (top) and his cousin drew his toy, Toby Monster. #art
The Boy's drawing on top, the cousin's drawing below

Thornsday, Munch 24, 2016

Today was a very good day. My Boy made me my own car! A car is a thing with wheels that someone pushes around, and you sit in it and go "Wheee!" inside your head. The best part: zipping down the hard-wood floor in the hallway. The worst part: bumping down the steps. When we go down the steps, I usually go, "Aaaaaaaa!!!" inside my head.

The Mommy's sister has arrived. Her name is Ant Elli, which I think means she is part ant and part elephant. She brought her husband, Uncle Jeff, and her little girls, who have names I never hear very well. They talk differently from the Boy, and their voices are very high and get caught in my horns. I call the older one Fee-Fee and the younger one May-May, which is close enough. They are fun, because they like to play with me and the Nighttime Pals. Fee-Fee brought us one by one into the big red room for living in (not for sleeping, which has its own special and important room). Bear, Bunny and Cow got to mingle with Fee-Fee's toys, and she got out a stealth-a-scope and listened to all of our inside voices. (I said "Weee!" just for her, and she smiled.) May-May gave me lots of hugs and drooled on me. I don't mind, because baby drool is a great way to scare away bad monsters, if they ever show up.

KFP made a "wheel base" to give Toby Monster rides in the Duplo box. #LEGO  #futureengineer
The boy pushes me in my car.

Saturnday, Munch 26, 2016

Once Ant Elli and her family arrived, the Boy, the Mommy, the Nighttime Pals and I moved to the living-in room. The Mommy stowed all their bags behind the bookshelf, and every night, she unfolds the couch to make a bed. In this new place, the Boy sleeps as well as ever, on his stomach with his arms and legs spread out, but the Mommy sleeps in fits and snorts. I went into her dreams a few times to try to help her, but there were no real monsters in there. Just a lot of inky clouds and memories of Grandma's house from years and years ago. I don't know why a house can make you toss and turn, especially when there is no one in it.

I thought I saw a bad monster once, but it was Pappy's cat, Mia-Mew. She is very loud, but she only speaks cat. Loud is annoying, but it doesn't make you a bad monster.

For the last couple days, Ant Elli and the Mommy have gone back to Grandma's house for most of the day. They wear masks and gloves and white bunny suits. But without the ears. They still smell a lot like cats when they come back, and they are very tired and go to bed early. Fortunately, due to the lack of bad monsters, I have had very little real work to do and can spend the night looking out the window at all the million stars in the sky over Pappy's place.

Sundae, Munch 27, 2016

Today we drove home. The Boy didn't want to (he never wants to), but he spent time with the Mommy, Fee-Fee and May-May in the park before we left. They came back smelling like river air, grass, and tulips. They have smelled like that a lot this week, after outings with Uncle Jeff.

The Nighttime Pals hid when it was time to go, because they wanted to spend more time with their new friends, Dinosaur, Dolly and the Artick Hair. But Fee-Fee and the Boy grabbed everyone and put us all in the right bags. I poked my head out of our bag and watched the fields roll by on the way home, as the Boy slept and the Mommy sang along to a song about silence. And then, not so silently, sobbed.

Adventures are fun, but also tiring. I am glad to be home, where I know all the shadows and the shadows know me.

Me, KFP and Toby Monster, who scares away bad monsters.
Me, the Mommy and the Boy


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 2nd, 2016 02:43 am (UTC)
All the hugs.

Also this, their voices are very high and get caught in my horns. made me laugh.

Little girl voices get stuck in my horns sometimes too.
Apr. 2nd, 2016 07:58 am (UTC)
Your reply made me laugh out loud, as well! That was just one of those phrases that popped into my head fully formed, a gift from the muse. Glad you liked it as much as I did.

And thanks for the hugs.
Apr. 2nd, 2016 03:48 am (UTC)
Dear Toby,

I am very glad to see that your stitches remain firm, that your yarn is still holding up, and that your heart beats as strong as ever. You're doing everything that I created you to do, and even more than that. I knew that you would be special from the moment I first looped you onto my crochet hook, and it brings me immeasurable joy to know that I was indeed correct.

Keep protecting your charge, and try to ignore the loudness. Loud noises scare me, too, and I'm sorry that you inherited that from me.

I'll love you always,
Your Creator

Apr. 2nd, 2016 10:47 am (UTC)
Dear Creature,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing me to life! I love my Boy and my very important job. He feeds me fire gems and tells everybody how brave I am. Is it true that you made me based on a scribble he drew before he learned how to draw so well? And what is Santa really like? My birth certificate came with a letter from Santa, and I am very proud of my pet-agree.

Yours monstrously,
Toby Monster
Apr. 2nd, 2016 08:33 am (UTC)
I am completely mush. I'm in love with this wonderful creature who scares away bad monsters and takes such wonderful care of his family. I think we all need a Toby. <3
Apr. 2nd, 2016 10:58 am (UTC)
For sure! And thanks to fidgety, KFP has one of his very own. Definitely the best prize ever from an LJ Idol mini-competition! I got it for placing in the Top 25. It was one of the prizes offered by fellow contestants.
Apr. 2nd, 2016 01:35 pm (UTC)
I remember you writing about it! What an absolutely wonderful prize!
Apr. 2nd, 2016 03:14 pm (UTC)
Nicely done. I like this monster! Always great to see an illustrated entry!

This line most especially - Scaring bad monsters away is much easier when there are no bad monsters to scare.</i?
Apr. 2nd, 2016 07:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Just so happens I had a few pics ready yo share. Toby has 10 eyes, so it's not surprising he sees so much.
Apr. 3rd, 2016 06:17 am (UTC)
their voices are very high and get caught in my horns.
That cracked me up, and I can understand what the monster means by that. :)

I loved the touches of humor here-- the month of Munch, the octoneer, and the monster yelling "Aaaaaa!" inside its head. The monster himself looks like something that might have been made by one of our Idolers who crochets monsters. He is pretty nifty.

The dual-level story-telling here, of a child/monster's perspective of a very serious and sad event for the adults, worked really well. I'm glad you're back and that this part of things is done.
Apr. 3rd, 2016 03:45 pm (UTC)
This is so very sweet! I loved seeing things from the perspective of the creature, which is so fun looking. I really enjoyed the humor in here as well.
Apr. 3rd, 2016 10:58 pm (UTC)
This is such a deep, fun, sad piece - I love how you used the voice of the monster to talk about the unspeakable sadness and the drudgery of dealing with this type of inheritance. This really moved me. And I'm going to sit in my car and say "wheee" in my head all the way home.
Apr. 4th, 2016 01:43 am (UTC)
This was so artfully crafted. I adore the choice of perspective, how familiar yet oblong it was as a filter. Clever and courageous as always.
Apr. 4th, 2016 10:02 pm (UTC)
What a pleasure to read a piece from such a hard working, friendly monster. I'm glad he's back home where he is more familiar with the terrain and can better protect his boy.

This was lovely. Thank you for sharing it!

This song is a bit ribald, but I thought of it:

Apr. 9th, 2016 04:41 am (UTC)
Ohh wow, that last line is really powerful. There is so much sweetness and childlike wonder in this that creates an air of sadness for the grownup readers who can see that deeper layer. Yay for the Toby's of the world. I really enjoyed this!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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