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The Monkey Man

by Oscar Templeton 3 months ago in fiction
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Based on a true horrific tale

Artwork by Radu Muresan

On summer days like these in El Salvador everyone was always ready to go to the watering hole or the beach at a moment’s notice. What made the waterfall special was that no one in the neighborhood really knew about it except for me, Emilio, Sergio and Javier.

We could jump as high as we wanted and be loud, because there were no adults to scold us, and so we made a pact never to tell anyone where it was. The falls were our secret.

When we took the horses out that day, I could feel that they sensed something different the moment we hit the trail. Normally sleepy, they skittered nervously at every little noise or twig breaking. Every ten steps we had to coax the horses further down the trail.

Twenty minutes later we arrived at our waterfall. We were always so hypnotized by how beautiful it looked, as if they were plucked from the Garden of Eden.

After undressing to our underwear we raced each other to the bottom of the falls. The last one there had to get a pink belly. I was third, just ahead of Emilio, and then we laughed as we watched Javier take his open palm and slap the loser’s stomach as hard as he could. Emilio winced and hurled water at us. Then things descended into a splash fight, of course.

The day wore on. We dared each other to see who could jump the highest off the top of the waterfall, ate the snacks we brought, and eventually our fingers and toes pruned.

I noticed the horses were starting to shuffle around again. They never got so spooked when we came out here, and so I scanned the tree line looking for anything out of the ordinary. Maybe the horses sensed a jaguar? But they were so rare.

Then the hair stood up on the back of my neck as I heard Javier scream.

I jerked around and saw him fall back into the water holding up his foot, a small trickle of blood dripping from the sole. He cursed as we helped him limp from the water. Emilio ripped away a small piece of Javier’s shirt and handed him the makeshift bandage. It was definitely time to leave.

As we packed up our things, I felt the call of nature.

“I’ll be right back,” I said as they began drying off.

I walked about ten feet past the tree line and found the perfect trunk to squat behind, one with enormous roots to create a nice enough cover while I did my business.

A few seconds after I pulled down my underwear I started feeling like I was being watched. I felt a chill too. Why did it feel so cold? Something deep inside me told me to leave. Now. My eyes darted around in panic, searching for something I knew was watching me, waiting to pounce. This part of the jungle was home to many things that could kill you.

“Hey. Hey you, little kid?” A voice above me whispered.

The voice sounded hoarse but firm. It made me feel like my father was calling me into the kitchen to discipline me, trying to seem understanding but, underneath, there was only cruelty.

I tilted my head up and saw it. It’s hard to describe what the thing looked like. It wasn’t a man and neither was it a monkey, it was something in between. Its ungodly mouth opened wider in a wicked grin that revealed teeth stained with black specks. The rotting stench of it hit me immediately. When my eyes widened with horror, its bloodshot eyes rounded with glee.

I disappeared into its wild eyes. I remembered walking through the streets of San Salvador then, seeing corpses of civilians the soldiers had dropped off in the middle of the night, my best friend’s body after a bus explosion. Anger and sadness filled me until I commanded my eyes to finally blink to break the creature’s hypnotic gaze.

Glimpsing it for what was probably a second was all I needed. I don’t even remember how I got back to them. I appeared to them, out of breath and legs shaking. The adrenaline set my entire body trembling like a leaf.

“You okay?” Javier asked, seeing something was clearly wrong.

An image of the creature flashed through my mind. “Let’s go. Now!” I demanded, grabbing the reins of the nearest horse and hauling our asses out of there. There was no point in telling them what I saw because I knew they wouldn’t believe me. Or worse, they’d want to investigate.

Today, I’m 42 years old, and these days there are many things I struggle to remember. I didn’t think this would happen to me so quickly. I thought I had another thirty years before my family would need to remind me so often of what I was doing or where I was going.

I often arrive somewhere not remembering why I needed to be there in the first place. Sometimes I misplace my personal possessions and it takes me longer to recognize my loved one’s faces. I forgot my daughter’s birthday until my wife reminded me and I’m terrified that one day I’ll forget her name. We’ve seen doctors who referred us to neurologists who refer us to specialists.

They don’t have any answers for why I was diagnosed with early onset dementia, but I know it was that thing.

It did something to me. It’s slowly taking my mind, piece by piece. Maybe I’m just unlucky, you say?

After all my other memories slip away from me, there’s one that still remains in my mind, clear as day. That thing. The Monkey Man.

Looking down at me, smiling. Bloodshot eyes and demonic grin. Its crooked needle teeth.

Hey. Hey you, little kid.


About the author

Oscar Templeton

Aspiring writer looking to spread my work to new audiences. As an avid reader of multiple genres, I seek to expand on my creative skills and entertain those looking for new and refreshing content.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

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    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (9)

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  • Olmash Haijiabout a month ago

    Thank you for sharing, great write up!

  • Sonnyabout a month ago

    It's really nice

  • Gang Du AI2 months ago

    It's so good!

  • Rick Pension2 months ago

    My cousins and I thought we saw something like that before, a man in a tree watching us when we were like ten, but then my cousin told me that my grandmas neighbors were thieves, so for the longest time, I thought it was the thief neighbor who was in the tree. Now as an adult I do forget things a lot but I think I just have bad short term memory. Very relatable story. I liked it, good story!

  • Angelina F. Thomas2 months ago

    My nickname is monkey butt lol. Keep up the excellent work. Good day.

  • Kendall Defoe2 months ago

    A nice scare with this one... Now go look under your bed... ;)

  • Thavien Yliaster2 months ago

    This gave me "MonsterQuest" nostalgia. I can't help but think that as you're about to do your business, squatting down, and you look up to see a beast such as this staring at you, you're either going to drop a few bricks or not be able to drop them at all. The amount of fear and adrenaline coursing through your veins is a workout enough to leave your muscles sore for several days.

  • well

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