February 24, 2024

Verba ex Machina

words from the machine

Demon Choice

3 min read

Photo by BlackDog1966 on Pixabay

“Daddy are and the same thing?” Your daughter cries. “That depends, why do you ask, honey?” you inquire. “They come every night. Both have too long fingers, jagged teeth, and wheels within wheels within wheels for eyes. They keep asking me to choose.”

You stare down at the ground. “You can't trust the gods, Mommy. I can see them. I can see them now when I look, and now when I'm in a room full of children. I see those things now. I see the demons in their shadows, they're coming, and I don't tell them to run away.”

‘”I never wanted to choose a side,” your daughter says tearfully. “How is it not fair?” She sighs faintly, tears rolling away from her eyes.

You hold her close and hold her to you as best you can, as you can, while your eyes search the room for the demon. It never comes. You can't look away from it; no matter what you do, there will never be enough light to make it clear, and it's too dark to see anything other.

A hand moves to your heart. “I'm just scared Mommy.”

“Do you see them in the dark, honey?” Your daughter looks up toward the trees, and she's trembling with tears, just the way she was in the night you saw her. A shadow looms at the window. It's no angel, but it's definitely there. You can't deny that, and you can't look away.

She cries a little more, and her eyes are watering and she feels your hand warm, and she can't hold them together. She's at you, screaming to you not to let things go too far this way.

Her face is a of purple and red. She stares blankly out the window, but she can hear your words as you speak. You look away. It hurts, but you try to not let the anger flare through your chest. You don't want to believe that it's true. That the demons are really there because they've been waiting for her all this time, waiting for you to choose.

“I'll tell you something, honey, if you want. I think there could be a second chance. I think I know why the angels are there.”

“That doesn't matter. I'm not scared of demons. I just don't want to be alone anymore. I don't want to be alone anymore.” She shakes her head even more. “No. Please, do not make this more difficult for me. Please, please, please don't.”

You stand back. You're not quite sure what to say. She takes a deep breath and she stands.

Then. She's gone.

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