The Demon Inside [short]


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  1. #1

    The Demon Inside [short]

    Don't play in the dirt, they said. Be polite, they said. Don't use foul language, they said. Don't get into fights, they said. Be a good and nice little boy, they said.

    "Fuck them!" - said the demon that was always inside me, roaring in fury and clawing just behind my eyes to get out . "Fuck them!" - I finally agreed, and let him out.

    Only now that I stand here with the blood of another human being on my hands, I realize there was no demon - it was just me all along.

    ---

    I'd lie if I said I'm not deeply disturbed by my first homicide. Thing is, I can't figure out what is it that really disturbs me about it. Logically thinking, I should feel absolute horror about having murdered a fellow human being and broken every law of God and men in doing so. But strangely I feel nothing beyond a certain "this is it, buddy - you've finally crossed the line". There's no dramatic music, no thunderclouds darkening above my head, no hand of God coming down from heavens to smite me for my unforgivable sin, no thunderous voice of the Divine condemning me to eternal damnation for my crimes, no earth opening to swallow me into the bowels of Hell for all eternity like I deserve. Only the sound of silence, and of my own breathing. If anything, I find it more disturbing about how casually easy it was to kill. One swing of an axe, just like chopping firewood, then another, and another. A scream, some groaning and gurgling sounds, and then - silence, and that was it. I thought maybe that would get my demon to finally shut up with his nagging and praise me for a job well done for a change, congratulate me on finally having damned my body and soul to a deserved fate long overdue. But even though I could feel him grin with sombre pride, like a tutor grins upon seeing his long-time disciple finallly graduate, he said nothing - and I finally realized that it was just me.

    I guess it's that realization that really disturbs me the most - that this is what I really am, the real me. A degenerate, a sadist, and as of now, a murderer.

    I've got no illusions about what will happen now. For all the efforts of the many "them" who urged me to be a nice boy and predicted a bright future for me when I was younger, I've always known there was only one out of three things ahead for me - prison, nuthouse or morgue. At that age I also considered suicide as the fourth option - because I was a good boy who wasn't supposed to hurt anyone, and I was so convinced of my role as such that I wanted to keep it that way at any cost. My inner demon would have none of it, however. In hindsight, I have to admit I just lacked the balls to off myself as would probably have been the best for everyone. So that leaves me with one of the remaining three outcomes, though it still remains to be seen which for now.

    When the authorities take me, they'll no doubt pester me with many stern questions about what drove me to hack this poor sod lying at my feet to death with a fire axe. I haven't decided what answer I'll give them yet. I could say it was because he was an asshole who had it coming, that we had personal differences and I decided to settle them permanently, and it wouldn't be a lie. But I know better than that. I didn't chop this guy up for revenge, but rather simply because I could, our quarrel merely providing a trivial pretext for the last remnants of reason and sanity in my mind to rationalize it. I killed him simply to be myself, the real me rather than the ever-nice and polite downtrodden little boy that every sorry excuse of a human being seems to feel entitled to instruct and remind to mind his manners.

    The shrinks will no doubt want to know all about my life in hopes of deducing what drove me to commit such an unnatural and terrible act. They'll ask me about my family, question if my daddy beat me or sexually abuse me, if I was bullied at school. Them shrinks probably get a kick out of it, mentally masturbating over the thought of a little boy being sodomized and tormented - because why else would any person who is not a verified sick fuck would bother asking questions like that to verified sick fucks like myself? I fear I'll have to disappoint them - I was raised by a middle-class single mom whom I only saw leave in the morning and come home late in the evening, she never lay more than a good hard slap on me when I absolutely deserved it, and I wasn't bullied more than your average kid at school. They'll probably ask me if I believe in God and angels or demons too, if I hear voices. And I'll have to disappoint them again because I am a living example in the non-existence of such things. It wasn't God or the Devil, or my proverbial demon, who told me to kill - I did it myself.

    Myself. Not because one of "them" told me I should or should not do this or that, not because some inner demon told me, but because for once I chose to do something myself. The realization is so liberating I begin to laugh loudly. I may be a degenerate, a sadist, a scumbag and as of now also a murderer - but in the very least that's me, and not that obedient picture-perfect boy that family, relatives, teachers and every other self-important asshole in my life wanted me to be. In a few days at most, I'll most probably be dead or locked away for the rest of my days because of this one moment of true freedom, but I find every second worth it.

    If but for this brief moment, I am finally myself. I am the demon.

  2. #2
    Bravo, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I read this. You do a good job at reiterating certain points to really sell the fact that this guy reached his breaking point. And not only that, a problem I see with stories about the insane, is that sometimes the reader generally feels disconnected since they just seem so "out of it." But you really did a good job of putting things into perspective, and made me feel like I was the one staring down at someone's corpse.

    The only things I find worth critiquing are some of your grammar choices. It was not blatant to where it affected the story negatively for me, but I still noticed that it was there. An example being: "They'll ask me about my family, question if my daddy beat me or sexually abuse me," "abuse" should be "abused" since the narrator was speaking in the past tense. Not the present.

    Just minor details like that I've seen throughout this story, but other than that, great work.
    Last edited by Bmble_B; October 27th, 2019 at 01:29 PM.

  3. #3
    Wow. Amazing. Brilliant writing style and a realistic glimpse into the character's thought process.

  4. #4
    I'm sorry I missed this earlier.
    What a great descriptive piece. The internal dialogue was spot on. Both surreal, yet gritty.
    I would have liked (?) to hear some descriptive details of the act itself, in respect to your MC's actions. Swinging an axe is very physical, maybe mention some labored breathing, sweat, and blood pounding? Then perhaps just a mention of the blood everywhere, including on the narrator?
    This actually reads like a succinct prologue to a "likeable murderer" story, ala "Dexter" or "Prodigal Son". Good read.

    "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!"



  5. #5
    You’re good at using descriptive language, but there are some grammatical errors here I would advise you fix to make this better. Also I’m not sure if you want to reveal the demon isn’t real right at the outset. Considering your story is titled “The Demon Inside”, I feel you’d pull off a larger emotional impact if you waited until the very end to point out the demon never existed. Having it at the beginning feels to me like a wasted opportunity. I also really liked the line: “I killed him simply to be myself...”. It’s so brutally honest and I love it. Keep up the good work!

  6. #6
    I really enjoyed this. Your writing is very intriguing and keeps the reader interested. I would leave the big reveal of "I realize there was no demon - it was just me all along" for the end. I loved the sentence, just think it is in the wrong place in the story. Other than that, it was great!

  7. #7
    Interesting idea, I'll give you that. There are two things that I would've done different, but that might be personal bias more than anything. Firstly, I would've committed to the first person perspective a little more, made it a little more... visceral. Now that can be hard to do, especially for a text like this -done poorly it'll show- but regardless I think it can be worthwhile.

    "A dead body, specifically that of a human, has a rank and pungent smell mixed with a tinge of sickening sweetness. Imagine a rotting piece of meat with a couple drops of cheap perfume and you’re halfway to understanding what a human corpse smells like."

    But who knows, maybe I'm just one of those "sick fucks"


    Secondly, I would've made our dear MC a little more distinct, and not just a reflection/reaction of the public perception of murderers (and maybe school shooters?). A wave of catharsis once the act has been completed, welling anger at those who has always held him back from his true faith, cynical delight when he thinks of what is to come or a sense fulfillment at the first decision that has truly been his own. You have the base ingredients, but the meal still needs some spice, that little extra which can truly immerse you in the experience. You can also try grounding the story in some sort of actual space, since right now the reader has no idea how the area that the MC occupies looks.

    "In a few days at most, I'll probably be dead or locked away for the rest of my life, all because of this one moment of true freedom. But you know what? It's all worth it. Every single second of it. No prison can trump the one you make yourself, and I just made my escape."


    Other than that there are, as others have already pointed out, some grammatical issues. Run your text through a spell-check and that should fix most of your issues (I personally recommend Grammarly, it's a very competent software and free as well).

    Cheers

    I'd like to think I'm actually a nice person in real life


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