He hides in the deepest recess of your mind. Your cells recognize him when he appears, paralyzing them, making them do his bidding. You become powerless.
He walks in the light day, with us. He makes small talk because his real face is hidden beneath a mask of kind eyes and encouraging words. He is your friend. You never know, he just might be. He is your lover, even, just maybe. He is your biggest vice, your darkest most sordid secret.
At night, he resides in the shadows, his sneer hidden by the cloak of darkness. He hunts. He travels from place to place, leaving in his wake the remains of once whole human minds shattered to thousands of pieces. Broken bodies lie at his feet, pleading and begging. The memories and happiness he steals from them jingle like shards of broken glass and Christmas bells.
He doesn’t sleep.
He is there, always.
He is choosing because he knows weakness. He can sense it from miles away. He is drawn to it like flies to shit. He can’t get enough. Your fear excites him, spurs him on, it makes him eager and starved for your soul. He comes to you, shows himself and you wonder if you have a thing in the world to lose. He plants that doubt, promises all you need and more, gives you everything wrapped in a pretty bow. He paints the most beautiful picture with his forked tongue.
Slowly, he devours you from the inside out. You try to push, to fight but there is no use. You belong already. Your heart goes first, distancing yourself from those you love, making you crave the solace his promises bring. The empty feeling as your soul succumbs is comfortable and almost welcomed.
The calm settles over you like a grey cloud with perpetual silent storms, the atmosphere crackling with electricity but still. You stop sleeping, constantly thinking about everything that hurts, thinking about all his reasons to leave. To go with him.
You sympathize, you long for him, his company.
Then he comes, hungry, snarling, demanding. You feed him all you have, give him all you are until there is nothing left. And it’s not enough until you are empty, shaking and clawing your way out of the grave he has shoved you in. You struggle to breathe, beg for help, scream, cry. He stares passively and steals your soul anyway.
He is the monster that already exists. He is within you just begging to get out…. to walk freely in the world again…
Desiree Roundtree was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where she still lives with her husband and daughter. By day she crunches numbers, but anytime in between she is writing words. She is a lover of hip-hop, acoustic guitar and a well timed curse word.