Personal Demons

demon inside by Melinda Taber

Looking into a mirror, she saw exactly what she actually looked like. She started. The reflection in the mirror was vaguely familiar but she just couldn’t place it. Every single second of heartache, betrayal and loss was etched on her face. It seemed as if she had never smiled once in her life, that she knew nought of happiness and joy. The hollow holes in her face surprised her unpleasantly. The thick, black lines that encircled her eyes were expected. It was the vacant look in her eyes that stroked her spine with icy fingertips. The stroke was slow and gentle, pointedly thoughtful.

At night, they came out to play: all her personal demons. They had interesting personalities, each with its own eccentricities and they tormented her ceaselessly. Their constant presence was not comforting at all but left her with the energy of one in distress. It showed in her haphazard and erratic movements, the nervous tic and darting eyes.

She pushed herself past her physical and emotional limits so that when she hit her pillow she would sink to sleep. But they crept under her eyelids, poked her iris and then she dreamt – living the nightmare. They sketched her greatest fears in Technicolor and set her most agonising memories on replay in black and white. The full orchestra followed her every move, anticipating her next and giving her location away just before she took flight. She could never escape it. She was embedded in her life of horrors and excruciating emotional turmoil. She stopped going to bed.

She stumbled over her thoughts and her personal demons smiled with malice. She fell and had cuts all over her hands and knees. A few started bleeding. Some personal demons sat back admiring the scene as mental chaos ensued. She grasped for something to hold onto but there were only shredded bits of hopes, dreams and ambition. These were a step up from when she grabbed a personal demon and it turned to stare her unblinkingly in the eye. She dropped it screaming but the impression was engraved with fire in her mind’s eye–it would forever remain.

She tried hiding herself in sex and alcohol – drugs were too hard to come by. But those personal demons got her at the end of a climax – when she was unguarded and her body and mind were misaligned. They stood at the door when she stepped out of ecstasy and quizzed her silently with cruel, piercing questions that sent her heart reeling to the floor.

They found her in the harsh light of the morning after the night before. They attacked her at her physically weakest and ripped her apart hope by hope, dream by dream, ambition by ambition. They did it elegantly and with great sophistication. Their work embodied the aesthetics of violence.

Defeated, she pulled herself up onto the chair and looked into the mirror. Her personal demons glared back. She knew that she was fighting a losing battle. They were reflected in the mirror and their faces, despite their interesting personalities and unique eccentricities, were somewhat similar and seemed vaguely familiar. The disarray induced by excessive drinking slowly started to evaporate. The sunlight hastily sent her personal demons into hiding. She blinked at the harsh light penetrating the blinds when she looked into the mirror; they were all gone. She looked deep into the mirror to check where they were hiding and she started: she realised exactly who they looked like.

Author: FlamingNyx


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