A Monster Comes Contest Winners—2021

We asked you to imagine a monster is approaching.

Then… to describe the monster approaching from the viewpoint of a person nearby, perhaps even yourself. What does the person see or hear or feel as the monster approaches?

Here we present the winners and finalists:


By 9:00, Mom's fully changed, clawing at my bedroom door. Snarling about respect. Threatening to take away my phone. "C'mon, sweetie," she growls, "it's just me!" But it's not. Not tonight.

Ingrid Bohnenkamp
Springfield, MO


With broad shoulders, a flickering tail, and tender skin bruised like a jackal’s flesh, he paws his horns and carelessly brushes past me, knowing I will chase him till I die.

Dee Luo
New York, NY

I find shadows in the sinking sun, breaths beneath the bed. Because when I'm alone, I’m left with my thoughts. No shadows can distract from the horrors that haunt my head.

Shelby Leigh
Columbus, OH

A frigid wind blows in the Reaper of Music City, hollow for a soul. Unsheathing his scythe, he whispers, “I’m going to give you battle wounds.”

Anna Maliere
Brooklyn, NY

Heavy footsteps get closer. Drool proceeds each step, dripping from uncontained fangs. I cower, tremble, release my bladder. The monster slips in my urine. I run for my life.

Betsy Bennett
Taylorsville, NC

A boy appears from the forest, it’s the tofu-kozo, the little tofu boy! He offers me tofu and I joyously accept. We sit together with full bellies and happy hearts!

Jayne Garrett
Columbia, MO

It emerges from the lagoon like Esther Williams, muscular but lithe, water spraying from its gills. Iridescent scales shimmer, beckoning to me. I long to swim with it.

Annika Barranti Klein
Los Angeles, CA

At night, there’s a hum of her hypnotic hiss. Her perfect form, in its oozy flightiness, captures you--sucking your blood to her heartless content. The booty of a tenacious mosquito.

Abigail Levy
Fresh Meadows, NY

Part boy, part shadow. “Mom,” he croaked as he stepped toward me, stumbled. His little hand passed through mine. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t exhale. They’d promised me the gene was recessive.

Leisel Hufford
Colorado Springs, CO