Conquering a Demon

“Shhhh, careful!”, fearful, Jule hissed from behind us. “You shouldn’t have come with us. I knew you’d be scared and put up a fuss”, I scowled at her.

“Both of you be quiet, this isn’t the time for you to fight!”

We tiptoed around the table, past the long corridor and were able, to silently cross Aunt M’s bedroom. Even though I mocked Jule, in my heart of hearts, fear ruled. My mouth was as dry as the loaf Aunt M gives us for breakfast. I tugged hard at Moddy’s shirt.

“What?”, annoyed, he turned to look at me. “Aunt M might wake up anytime, it’s almost three.”

“Oh she won’t! Now keep quiet or go back, and I’ll do this on my own.”

I was too scared but I couldn’t let him unlock the cupboard alone. So I followed him with a silent groan. Not that I wanted to see my demon, but Moddy said it’d be the size of a lemon, since it fit into that little cupboard. Jule held on to my hand tight, and both of us with all our might, followed our leader closely.

Jule and I met Moddy last year during Christmas. He visits his grandma’s house every now and then, which is a few houses away from ours. This time, he came here to spend his summer holidays. “I don’t like you playing with him”, Aunt M says always. But we naturally reunited. We invited him over for lunch last week, little did we know an adventure he’d seek. No sooner had he entered the kitchen than the tiny marble cupboard made his eyes glisten. There wasn’t much else to evoke curiosity, but the little cupboard with flowers on it was exceptionally pretty.

It was forbidden too. Aunt M always kept it locked, and the keys dangled from an unreachable peg on the wall. We weren’t supposed to go near it at all. It contained an ugly demon, locked up by Aunt, who would otherwise get out to hunt, little kids like us.

But Moddy did not seem convinced at all. “How can it hunt if it’s tiny enough to fit into a cupboard so small? Lies!”, he said. Although his words seemed wise, Jule and I never tried going near it, until he wanted to see how the demon fits. “No! You’re not supposed to see it. It looks terrifying. It has long canines, and only one eye. Has red hands and black fangs.”, I tried explaining. But Moddy was a headstrong kid. A little older to us, he was eight. Jule and I were young and naive. I was seven and she was five.

So we stood on the floor, eager but tense, glancing at the door every now and then. Moddy dragged a chair and climbed with ease. Within a moment he had the keys. Jule and I covered our faces, planning to flee before the demon chases. But as soon as the cupboard was unlocked, all three of us were surprised and shocked.

There was a row of large glass jars. One was full of raisin tarts. The others contained colourful treats, jellies and cookies and all kinds of sweets. “Here’s your demon”, Moddy smiled evilly, and started off the task of emptying them speedily.

And with my mouthful of red-blue fiends, I wondered if it was a coincidence that Aunt M wasn’t quite fond of our friend.

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Escape thoughts

I tried looking around quickly, they were locking the door again. I wanted to devour the whole room with my eyes in the limited time. Failed. The thin ray of dusty light disappeared at once as he closed the strong iron door behind him. This iron cell is meant for me. It gives me some pleasure to think that I cannot be contained in cement rooms with wooden doors. But being a prisoner is not nice anyway. A shudder ran down my spine. Do I have to spend the rest of my life here? It’s so damp. They’ve probably never opened this room before. A cockroach ran across the room. I could feel sweat trickling down. I think they looked like silver beads. They generally do. I cannot see in the dark. But I need to leave this room. I cannot see anything. It is too dark in here, there are no windows. No cracks and no holes. Crawled from one end to the other. The floor is sticky, dirt stuck to my moist palms. There aren’t any ventilators either I think. I looked up at the ceiling. I cannot see it. I am getting weaker day by day. Before they come with their tubes and vials tomorrow, I need to leave. I am scared of them. You shall think it’s a joke. I am formless, but a chameleon nonetheless. I peep inside human beings, and I seep in, slowly. Like water in crevices. And that’s how I win over. Usurp their lives. Limit them, cripple them, overcome their minds. I occupy very little space. Sleep inside a tiny oval structure, the size of a nut- amygdala. But it surprises even me to sometimes think of the things I’m capable of. It’s a nasty thing, you’d say. But who has ever won over hunger? Hunger for power. Sans shape, sans teeth, sans form, I have to exercise my power in every way I can. Scared of losing my identity, I started crawling frantically once again, on the seemingly never ending wall. I wish I knew what colour the wall was. I laughed at my fate. I feel scared. Fear. A restless feeling in a non existant heart. Like falling off a cliff. Or drifting away in the sea. Mapless. That’s how you describe me, I’ve heard. I’ve already spent countless hours in this room, spent from trying to find an escape route. Should I accept defeat? Should I stay here and watch them recreating me, reproducing me in more powerful ways, be content with it? After all, my purpose is being fulfilled. But they can’t strip me of my power. You cannot live feeling inferior. They’re using me to do what I am supposed to do after all. They are supposed to fear me too. I cannot be trapped. I have to run away. I fidget in the dark. My eyes are aching from relentless attempts to look in the darkness. You think of my insidious motives and shudder when alone, but the apparent sweetness in stretched smiles of your fellow beings is more wretched than my business. They come here everyday. They come in suits and glasses and polished shoes. Sometimes, they wear cheap nylon shirts too. They caught me with their tricks and tools. They are clever. Cut me up in formless polygons and squeeze out my strength. I am mixed with vibrant chemicals, stored in air conditioned rooms. Or they make thin barrels and triggers out of me. And egg shaped shells which induce fear.

Via Daily Post:  Identity

Fear

Mr. Bhusan was up at five in the morning as usual. Hastily washing his face, he opened the small window by the wooden table and got down to finishing his latest novel. It was the thirty-third draft, which he was about to discard, out of his eternal, persistent fear. Mr. Bhusan has remained an aspiring writer from his teenage, owing to the fact that he never managed to complete any of his works in over two decades. How could he? He has always suffered from an intense fear, almost like a phobia- his fear of unknowingly writing something that already exists. Of course the ideas could be similar, but what if his entire work turned out to be an unintentional copy of someone else’s work?

It all started some twenty-five years back, when Mr. Bhusan won a prize at his college for an essay. Since then, he decided to become an author. He confided in his sister his dreams, who had playfully remarked, “Beware, you might write something which already exists, and you won’t even know.” Alas, what was said in innocent humour proved to be Mr. Bhusan’s biggest fear. He wrote dozens of poems, expressing his love for doe-eyed women who he hadn’t met; tons of pages, novels about lost empires, heart-breaking tales about failed marriages and about anything possible under the heavens. But he never built up the guts to read them out in close circles of family or friends, let alone publish it. He wrote pages and pages and tore them down to unidentifiable pieces. There was his reason, lying in the open- who knew if some author hasn’t already penned down exactly the same things? He would be laughed at by the others. Or worse, people would call him a cheat. He was scared for a reputation which he hadn’t built, in the first place. He never had the nerve to show anyone his works. He stared blankly, his hands shook and the soles of his feet went ice-cold when someone even vaguely mentioned of his literary practices.

After years of struggle, when last Sunday, he almost convinced himself of the originality of his work, like he had done before on rare occasions, he headed to the publishers. But as always, halfway to the office, he had to stop. His heart beat crazily, sweat broke out all over his face and there were visions of him standing upon a podium and his readers throwing his book at him, along with paper balls and eggs. All he could manage was to take a sharp about turn, and walk back home rapidly.

But the good thing about him, or so he thought, was that he did not discard his dream of becoming a writer. So he woke up early in the morning everyday to finish a few hours of writing before he went to the kitchen to prepare lunch for his wife, who was a professor, and very particular about timing. Presently, he was intently working on his thirty-fourth draft, when his wife’s shrill cry broke his trance. “I don’t know how I fell for an aspiring writer and still staying with the same aspiring writer after nineteen years. My life is a farce!”, screamed an infuriated Padma. Mr. Bhusan sighed, and quickly got up to go to the kitchen, so that his wife could leave the house as soon as possible. She wouldn’t understand. He needed a peaceful environment to think, concentrate and write. Probably this time, he would make it to the publishers…

Via Daily Prompts:

Farce