Frank Lesser is an Emmy-winning writer for The Colbert Report who lives in New York. He studied fiction and film at Brown University and edited the school’s humor magazine. While growing up in Columbus, Ohio, he was tormented by the monster under his bed, a situation that only got worse in high school when the monster stole his girlfriend. His new book, Sad Monsters, brings to life humorous stories about the undead … and the unloved. Here is an excerpt.
Succubus in search of physical relationship—
No strings attached—(Lower East Side)
Saw you sleeping last weekend when I was drawn to your
bedchamber by your darkest desires. But the timing wasn’t
right—I had just gotten out of another nocturnal visitation.
Please write me back. I’m desperate to enter your room
while you slumber, have my way with you, and spawn
human-demon hybrids with your seed. And then maybe
I want you inside me—(Williamsburg)
Sorry I called that exorcist. I don’t know—I think I just
freaked out because things were moving so fast. Specifically,
my head around my body. Willing to give it another shot, if
you’re not already seeing the insides of someone else.
Basement of the Metropolitan museum—
(Upper East Side)
You: Rugged archaeologist, with Indiana Jones–meets naughty-
priest vibe. Me: Introverted demon of unspeakable
evil, lurking within ancient artifact forged in the furnace of a thousand shrieking souls. Saw you yesterday in the storage room and immediately wanted to inhabit your
body, but was too shy. Interested in dinner? I’ll cook,
if you bring the still-beating human heart.
Monkey’s paw needs helping hand— (Jackson Heights)
Swami, where are you? You only used one wish, then
disappeared the next day. Was it something I said/granted
in an unexpectedly horrifying manner?
Great timing, bad aim—(Chelsea)
I have called to you ceaselessly through your waking
hours, through your dreams, drawing you to the curio
shop’s mysterious object in which my black soul is forever
imprisoned so I could meld with your personality and
reinstate my rule on the plane of mortals. But I accidentally
melded with the shopkeeper, Christopher, who was
standing next to you. If you’re still interested in what I
have to offer (eternal life, dominion over the pitiful few
who survive my Return), grab Christopher’s hand while
chanting “Chigurraesth qliphoth og-godash,” and then
decapitate him. You complete me, and also you complete
my plan to rule the world of the living from this land of
Re: I want you inside me—(Williamsburg)
Sometimes, Diane, I wonder whether those were tears in
your eyes, or just holy water. But even with that exorcism, it
wasn’t just the power of Christ that compelled me to leave.
Sorry. If you want your memories back, e-mail me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. (Dorothy’s nothing serious—
just a friend I’m staying in.)
I miss you so much. Since you left, all I do is sit around the
house all night wailing. If you read this, don’t think
something terrible will happen if you write me:
Ouija board, Beta Alpha Delta sorority—
(Long Island University)
Tell me if I’m misinterpreting what happened last night, but
after you levitated the board and made Marcy speak in
tongues, you spelled out “I LIKE YOUR SKIRT” and
moved the planchette in my direction. Were you flirting with
me? I didn’t catch your name, since Susan freaked out after
you told her she was going to die before second semester.
Something with a C? You can find me on Facebook.
Re: Re: I want you inside me—(Williamsburg)
I hope I’m not intruding, but I wanted to say that Diane
treated you wrong … and also that you sound cute. :) I just
ended things with a Japanese fog spirit (I always felt
suffocated), but would you like to meet up? I know an out of-
the-way desecrated church with great Communion wine
spritzers. Oh—and feel free to bring Dorothy in case you
want to corrupt the trinity … :)
Not ready to be Rosemary’s Baby-Daddy—
(Upper West Side)
Dear R.—I’m sorry things ended so abruptly. I guess I kind
of just freaked when you showed me the ultrasound and I
saw it had my horns. I know, I know—this is what I said
I always wanted, and I thought that after ageless eons of
existence I was ready to be a father of something besides
lies. But I guess I was only deceiving myself. Ironic, huh?