Long ago, when monsters could gather in numbers without fear of persecution, they would join their fellows once a year on their most sacred day and they would dance their most sacred dance.
Bedecked in their finest regalia, they moved in patterns traced into the earth by monster feet for millennia.
Called The Maass, it was both a celebration and invocation of community, of togetherness, of connection. During the exuberant dance, each monster made contact with all of the others, renewing their unity through touch.
Humans would keep to their homes, shivering with fear and ignorance at the terrible ruckus they heard in the dark hours. They whispered of fearsome creatures creeping about in the night and left offerings, treats to appease the ravenous beasts and keep them from devouring tender human flesh. On the night of The Maass, humans began disguising themselves, sometimes creeping forth to find and watch the gatherings of the monstabulary, hoping to learn more.
Human ears cannot comprehend the monstrous tongue. The humans listened and heard “The Mash” and wrote of it in secret journals.
Eventually humans lost their fear, and their respect, and the monsters learned to hide, to stop gathering in easily targeted groups. The monsters hid, but they kept dancing. Alone or in numbers small enough to be overlooked, they danced, even as they were hunted to near extinction.
One day, one of the secret journals left by past humans was unearthed. Written by a somewhat mad man who had given haven to many types of monsters in a bid to preserve them and keep their heritage from slipping into oblivion, it detailed the monsters’ daily lives and sacred days. The Maass was written of in the holiest of forms - as poetry.
The young man who found the journal recognized the importance of his discovery. He knew that the world must know of the beauty and stately grace of the dance, but he also knew that humans are full of fear, and that fear leads to anger, to blocked ears and closed hearts and minds, to torches and brandished pitchforks.
Secretly, quietly, he worked to find monsters who would teach him this dance, to help bridge the gap between misunderstood monstrerkind and ignorant humanity, but there were none to be found. Gone? Or still in hiding?
In a bid to bring them out of isolation, he turned the poem about The Maass into a song, performing it in venues all across the land and sending it through the air in waves. No monsters came, but he never gave up.
His descendants still play his invitation to the monsters on their most sacred night, still hoping for an answer, still hoping that the rustling shadows will resolve themselves into the beautiful milieu of the monsters spinning their magic out into the world and weaving it back together.
The world needs their magic.
Perhaps if enough humans raise their voices, one day the monsters will once more come and do The Mash. The Monster Mash.
Now you know.