art by Ron Sanders
Eight Pieces of Losing You
by Samantha Murray
1: Where a Monster Moves In Next Door to Marnie.
"You shouldn't call them that," says Carl, her son. It doesn't really make sense to call them monsters, but somehow the name has stuck. They look human, mostly. Some small differences; they are very pale, their noses are small. And then the eyes. They remind Marnie of cartoons of people--manga maybe--where the eyes take up most of the face. She knows that in infants and young animals large eyes are designed to bring out protective and nurturing instincts. She remembers when Carl and Callie were babies, and how she would look into their eyes and drown in love. She does not find the monster endearing.
2: Where Carl Waxes Philosophical.
"Who are the real monsters, anyway?" asks Carl. Marnie has heard him say this before. She has heard him speak about the burden humanity must bear for the tremendous wrong they did the monsters. How it all was a hideous misunderstanding, and the monsters hadn't meant to provoke the humans when they arrived in their vast ships and darkened the sky. Carl says that the slang of calling them monsters is in part a response to people wanting to distance themselves from the source of their terrible guilt.