Monster sat by the towpath and watched the water ripple. He was a
handsome, smartly dressed young man but he was a Monster all the same. A
family, laughing and enjoying a walk together, ignored him as they
walked on by.
Monster watched a film of diesel spin shapes and colours on the water.
He watched hover flies with spindly legs zigzagging in some pointless
search and he watched as the small, exhausted child slid quietly beneath
the surface of the water. Her little body descended and settled on the
silt just four feet below.
run by so closely her dress had brushed the Monster's leg. The shock as
she hit cold water rendered her mute, her eyes snapped to their widest
and locked onto the Monster's just an arm's length away on the safety of
the towpath. For nearly a minute her eyes begged him before her
strength failed and her face turned to the sky.
wasn't the Monster's fault. The little girl had become separated from
her family, squealing as she chased the ducks that had plopped into the
canal and swum away. But Emma, running at full pelt, couldn't stop
herself. The Monster watched but did nothing and if he’d done nothing
then surely he’d done nothing wrong.
No, it really wasn't the Monster's fault.