The Canterbury Road Monster

This block of Canterbury Road, Roselands, is bracketed by fast food restaurants. KFC is at the top, with its smell of hot fat and litter of refresher towelette sachets, its perimeter marked by rows of globular, red-leafed shrubs: chosen no doubt for their conformity to the KFC colour scheme. On the other end of the block is McDonalds, with its stunted palm trees and loitering, drive-thru traffic. On the other side of the road are building supplies warehouses, with a focus on tiles and bathroom fixtures. Faded banners for sales and discounts hang in their windows.

I might not have noticed this block in particular if it wasn’t for the monster. It presides over an abandoned lot beside the McDonalds that has, over its recent history, been a used car lot, then a water tank retailer. Now it is a site awaiting redevelopment. Over years of lying fallow the lot has fallen into disrepair, the weeds growing tall and trash accruing on the cracked concrete.


It is little different to any other vacant lot, except in one detail.

monster - 1

Draped over the corner of the canopy the monster first wore a leering expression, each white tooth clearly defined against the cookie-monster blue of its ragged body. Its appendages trailed down, swaying in the wind as it stared, vacantly, out towards the road. It could have been resting, awaiting reactivation. Or maybe it had it been trapped and vanquished there, its remains left as warnings to other monsters not to try to haunt Canterbury Road.

monster - 1 (2)

Now it’s more than a year since I first saw the monster. Over this time it has stayed much the same, weathering storms and sun and days gentle or fierce. The wind brings it to life, but never quite enough to reanimate it. But when I last went past it, I saw the monster had turned away from the street. It had moved towards the edge of the awning, a step closer to its escape, to flying free over Roselands and away.



5 Comments on “The Canterbury Road Monster”

  1. nikkola1 says:

    Left as a warning I dare say. But to whom? A warning to the other blue leering monsters that only come out at night? Who will be brave enough to set up watch?

    • Vanessa Berry says:

      One could set up in the adjacent McDonalds, which is open 24 hours, consuming $2 Oreo soft serves and bad coffee, waiting and watching…

  2. nikkola1 says:

    Yes, you’d have to be brave to endure those deprivations! Perhaps a Boy Scout troop could be dragooned into this endeavour? Certainly brave!

  3. This reminds me of a Christmas decoration a business near me would place on their upper floor balcony. It was the bottom half of a Santa and so arranged that it was suppose to look like he was climbing over the low concrete wall in order to deliver presents. To me however it always looked like Santa had taken a shotgun blast to the chest and had died while slumped over up there. His last words were probably, “Prancer… avenge me…” This made me laugh like a loon year after year until the business moved and Santa’s death scene was no more.

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