Written by Andrew Salem
Illustrated by Jiaze Ben
It’s that time of the year again. Do you see it? Spiders are casting their nets on your neighborhood’s houses; you start noticing skeletons hanging from people’s windows and Jack-O’-lanterns are starting to appear around each and every corner you look at. This process of “monsterificaton”, if it can be referred to as such, does not only affect objects. If you look around,you might be lucky enough to find the most affected: university students.
The most common type of monsters out there are zombies. If you look closely into some students’ eyes, you might realize that they are devoid of life. This is mostly due to the grotesque amount of time they spent in front of their computers and due to the fact that midterms are nearing. But fret not, for they are a rare sight since they remain secluded in their rooms fearing that they would be late in their studies, but sadly, they generally do.
When we get into midterms week, generally those same zombies transform into ghouls. Much faster and deadlier. The lack of sleep turned their eyes red and made them very irritable. You might often hear them grunt and see them slobbering. That’s generally because they made a small mistake or forgot to submit an online midterm two weeks before the deadline.
There are many other kinds of atrocities appearing around this time of the year. Among them the dreaded ghosts. They just got their grades on their first quizzes and felt like they underperformed. Since then they wander around with their books open, reciting passages until they know them by heart. The lack of food and rest makes them look half dead but thankfully it disappears when they get their next mark of 100, which they most often do.The online format of this year’s fall semester wasn’t very kind to all creatures and especially for werewolves. You will recognize them for their athleticism and their signature fear of losing gains. Before that day even started, they already stretched and did a 5 km jog. You’ll often see them sweating since they do a set of exercises between classes. You will generally recognize them in the wild thanks to their marvelous healthy hair and their signature gym bag.
Another strange conglomeration you might encounter is the Dr. and his monsters. They generally form a group of 5 or 6. In normal times, you wouldn’t know who’s the doctor but when midterms get close all the monsters will sit around and listen closely to his explanations.
He often knows a lot about the material at hand and explains it rigorously because he wants everyone to profit from his knowledge. Sadly, this group tends to break quarantine rules and does not respect social distancing but if reminded they will not complain as they all value their health.
You should consider yourself lucky since Zoom allows you to peek into the hidden lair of some mythical beasts. One of the most fascinating is the leprechaun. When walking across the street, you would have a hard time telling them apart from normal people, but if you look closely, you can see that they do hide gold in their houses. Some of them hoard ancient books, others have their own projects such as wonderful homemade machines. They don’t generally mention their stash of treasures but now you know.
Finally, the rarest of them all, the one you would have never known about unless you had visited their nests: kobolds. Their house is clean and there are no choirs to be made. Everything is squeaky clean and shining. You could probably use the floor as a mirror. Whenever there’s a chore that needs to be done it is finished as soon as possible. Their desks are organized and their rooms are very stylish. Sadly, the fact that these small faeries remain home this semester means that they feel the need to clean more often as they believe they are dirtying the room with their prolonged presence.
If you recognize yourself among these mythical beasts fear not. All should go back to normal as soon as the season ends. Good luck on your exams and don’t forget that here, at Plumber’s Ledger, we love you as you are.