Monsters and Kings

Written by Rebecca Kirschbaum


The gentle town of Kingsburrow has a handful of stoplights, an unstimulated police force, and an elderly man who tiptoes out of his house every morning for a predictable stroll. On Main Street, there are a handful of unordinary buildings cloaked in unassuming shadows. The town is aged, overgrown with vines and shrubbery, filled with potholes and cracked cement. Grass and dandelions grow up through the cracks in the sidewalks. A few stone fences remain from the Civil War and they line the yards of the largest houses. Children often whack at the stones of the old fences with sticks they pull from old dogwood, oak, and maple trees.

Ironically, or maybe predictably, Kingsburrow is only known for its monsters.

A little after eight, the night descends into Kingsburrow and the lights of the stores begin to go out, one by one. Here, it might seem the most wretched of threats are the feral cats, who roam the broken sidewalks, seeking a miniature victim. Ask that old man on Maple Street, the one who sits on his porch, in his rocking chair. If you sit with him as he rocks, long into the night, you will notice he is at ease as he sips at the end of his pipe. He will tell you, “Lightning never strikes twice. This town’s as safe as it’s ever been.” Continue reading