Washington College's Student Literary and Arts Journal

Shadowy Fiend

By: Eric Siegel ’16

There I stood, motionless, face to face with the shadowy fiend within my subconscious. Its radiant bloodshot eyes burn a hole within the inner fragments of my soul with every passing day. It is no surprise that I have grown frail with brittle bones from my decomposing brain. It is the foggy nightmare that will not go away and the foulest part is that all it wants is oozing red blood. This demon breathes inside me, it is something I cannot get rid of because it is me and all it wants is to be freed.

I am unable to recollect how long it has lingered inside my innermost depths; however, I have concluded that it has most likely been there since birth. The mere thought that I didn’t realize it was inside me sooner still shocks me to this day. I sometimes still wonder if I had discovered it sooner when it was still weak and confused could I have stopped it. Is it possible that I could have stopped all of this from ever happening? I still reminisce the time when I first came across it; it actually had the audacity to demand my friendship and I foolishly accepted it.

The recollection is in reality nothing more than a dream; it is the only time the demon is able to influence and haunt. It is able to construct the dreams into whatsoever it desires because when I pass out I go into its world. Such as the day that it acknowledged my existence. Maybe it was just afraid or maybe it was just waiting, whatever the circumstances for why it waited, I will never forget the first time those eyes met mine. No matter what physique it chooses, there are always those golden yellow cat eyes that always seem to stay bloodshot.

However, for this specific encounter it had picked something serene and heavenly; for it must have recognized that to not set off alarms within it would have to deceitfully appear as nonthreatening as possible. It did it spotlessly. I never suspected a thing, for what did I have to distress over within my very own dreams after having closed my eyes like any time before. Naïve was I to not fathom that a heavenly figure with those eyes could ever do any mischief. It had golden wings that had been attached to a human back and its skin appeared to burn in the night that surrounded it. At the time I was dumbfounded by the magnificence of such a creature.

Its excellence continued as it dazzled with its numerous tricks within the gloomy night sky with glittering stars that it had chosen for this encounter. Then just like that, without any signaling, it propelled itself to the ground and landed with a blast of wind that nearly pushed me off my feet. There it stood, wings tucked to its side, a mere couple inches away from my face, that I could only guess showed aguish. Indeed, I will confess that I was terrified; however, it did a great job because I could not see a hint of evil.

Time seemed to freeze like the lake does outside my house every winter. Who knows for sure how long we stood there without stirring the airborne smut still plummeting ever so slowly in between our intense stares. The only thing that appeared to be capable of shattering me from this trance was the realization that this creatures breath was now coming from its mouth ever more rapidly; I could observe it ever so vividly in this icy dream because it shown like a haze. It was undertaking what individuals have notoriously known how to accomplish for an extensive time. It was speaking to me and it was time to heed to what this creature had to say.

I permitted my ears to concentrate on the prompt undertaking of its rosy moist lips and was dumbfounded to discover that it wasn’t speaking at all, but rather, talking to me through its thoughts. I focused my thoughts to hear what it was saying and that is where I committed my first major mistake. It had tested and examined my stature up until this point that it had questioned for my hand in friendship. I was hesitant as I stretched out for its hand and allowed are hands to take hold of each other into a death grip of a handshake. This insignificant symbol of a friendship would be my collapse because this was the beginning of an exploding star; it was putting its blueprints into action. At that instant I sensed a tingling perception travel up my limb and spread to the shadiest depths of my body. Everything departed into a spiral of darkness and I lost all consciousness of this world.

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