The Beast of Montenegro

Accompanied by the ghosts of Alena and Natalia, Mina was walking home from school when a boy, named Vladimir was teasing her. Vladimir, was a constant reminder that Mina was different and disliked. Nobody was as mean as Vladimir. He lived to terrorize Mina, him and his other friends. There was never a day he didn’t follow Mina as she walked home, calling her foul names.

“You’re a freak!” he shouted at her. “Your mother’s a freak and so is your father! We don’t like freaks.”

The other boys joined in the gibe, giggled and pointed at Mina.

“Aren’t you listening to what I am telling you? Why do you smell so funny? Don’t you bathe?  What’s wrong with you?” he jeered at her.

“She’s a freak that’s what’s wrong,” mocked another boy.

Mina kept her head down and walked through the crowd of laughing boys. The ghosts could only watch helplessly.

“Ignore them, Mina,” Alena said. “Don’t let their words sting you. Their just words.”

“I’d punch him on the nose,” Natalia said.

“Natalia,” Alena reproached her. “We are not going to advocate violence. It’s not the only way.”

“It’s always the same with these cad’s,” said Natalia. “Every day they follow her hone and cause this derision. It angers me.”

“Natalia, bite your tongue,” Alena chided. “They are boys, just boys. It’s best if she ignored it. Eventually they will get bored and leave her alone.”

“How can you believe that,” Natalia said. “These boys will never leave her alone until she stands up against them. She needs to push back.”

“Hush, Natalia,” Alena hissed at her.

The Beast of Montenegro, Chapter 2

In a garage at Albuquerque, New Mexico, the following sign is posted:

“Don’t smoke round the tank! If your life isn’t worth anything, gasoline line!”


For a long while, Mrs. Crane had prohibited Mina from going to school. She believed her daughter would be proselytize like everybody else. But, because of compulsory laws it forced Mrs. Crane to relent. The last thing the Cranes wanted was the council to get involved. It only infuriated Mr. Crane.

On her first day of school, children were not kind to Mina. They taunted her for smelling funny and wearing gaudy clothes. Mina knew she was different. Her mother always reminded her of it. But, different didn’t make Mina feel special. The Cranes were very poor and Mina didn’t own many clothes, somehow, Mrs. Crane had provided her with a school uniform. They weren’t new and they didn’t look old, but children knew. Mina felt lucky to have them even if they made her look different.

School, at times, was a haven from home even if she was ignored by teachers and avoided by most children. It was a good day when they would overlook her and then there were bad days when they wouldn’t leave her alone. She was constantly called a freak and taunted as she went home. The Cranes were well familiar in the building they lived in, and everybody talked about the strange Cranes who barely were seen.