No monsters!

Leo stepped into the corridor with busy nurses and technicians bustling past him. He looked left and right. No predators slinking around chewing on sick people. No monsters anywhere! He leaned against the wall, stunned.

„C‚mon Honey, let‚s get you back to bed.š Sam and Amy came up behind Leo and put their arms around him. Leo was silent as they lead him back to the room.

„Lightning shuffled your brain, then the electric shock reshuffled it.š

Dr Simms was back in her chair, no monsters feeding on her. Two weeks had passed. Her surgeons thought they got all the cancer and she was feeling fine. So was Leo.

„The hallucinations are still gone, Doc.š Leo smiled triumphantly. „All of them. Nothing out there but boring reality.š

„So I guess we can declare both of us cured. But you will continue with follow up visits?š

„Doc, I‚m not depressed anymore. The only forks I hold are for eating.š

„I‚m sure that‚s true Leo. But you‚ve been through some big changes. We just want to make sure everything is back in place.š

On the way out, she added, „Thanks for the wedding invitation. I‚ll be there.š

Leo whistled as he got in his car. He had never felt better. He had his family back. No more visions. No need for drugs. And best of all, he could let go of the crazy notion that human beings provided a perpetual smorgasbord for invisible predators. Welcome back mental health, he smiled.

Leo drove down Fourteenth Street into a decaying slum neighborhood. One more chore - he had to finish up with his dealer. Thank God this would be his last trip to hell. He parked next to a boarded-up pawn shop, locked his car, and headed down an alley to the abandoned machine shop known as the shooting gallery.

Five shabby men and several dirty, disheveled women lurked around the back door the building, now the retail center for crack and heroin. Their eyes searched the street for signs of the dealer. Haunted and feral, they were long overdue for fixes. Leo felt uncomfortable and out of place. This was the first time he‚d visited the gallery with a clear head. And he didn‚t like what he saw.