Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Demon and the Demigod

This is a short story I wrote based on a dream that I had.

Trapped in a small cave-like room I pulled frantically at the large rusted metal clamp that had been placed around my left wrist. Every time I moved the clunky chain would drag across the arm of the wooden chair I was anchored in. On the other side of the table in front of me sat a Demon. He had placed the chain on me in an effort to claim me for himself. But despite all of his attempts to gain control, he was a rather weak creature. He was struggling with an illness that he was trying to hide from me. I could see from his thin arms and his fragile frame that this once fearsome beast was losing his own personal battle.

The chain around my wrist was meant to keep me seated but the table between us was meant to maintain distance. For all of his attempts to control, it was actually the Demon who was afraid of me. In my right hand I held a large steel spike; and he knew that if he got any closer I wouldn’t hesitate to drive it through his neck. So he felt confident in his distance while I held my spike close and began to search the room.

It was empty and dark, nothing much to look at. I could hear the sound of water dripping somewhere in the distance. Then I noticed the Demigod seated at a few feet away to my left. Unlike the Demon and I in our wooden chairs, he was seated in a modest throne covered in dusty crushed velvet. It looked more like something you would find in an antique store than a throne. It was hardly fit for a ruler but you could tell the Demigod prized his modest throne by the way he arranged his body to take up as much space as possible.

The Demigod was strong and confident, much more powerful than the Demon. The Demigod wanted me to come to him. I pulled and twisted my arm to try and get free but I remained stuck. After several minutes of struggling my wrist became scraped and swollen. I raised my bleeding arm to show the Demigod and to ask for his help. To my surprise he looked down on me with eyes full of contempt. He could see the blood and he could chain but he thought my struggle was easy. And this Demigod, with all of his power, forgot his human nature. He sat unmoved and angry on his dusty throne.

If I am no damsel in distress, then he is no hero. We sit locked in our stalemate. The Demon smirks in my direction and casts possessive eyes upon me. The Demigod still looks upon me with disdain. I don’t care to be viewed upon by either set of eyes and so I turned away in defiance to face the wall. In all my time spent captive I never felt afraid, only held back.

And so I wait.

It doesn’t take long for the Demon and the Demigod to fall asleep in their chairs. By now the blood on my wrist has dried and the swelling has gone down. I slowly and steadily work the chain over my hand until it slides past my fingertips. Silent and weightless, I grab the spike and move like a breeze to the door behind me. I turned around to take one last look. The room is much darker now. I realized that is was my energy that was giving light to the cave. I think that was the reason they valued me. The same way the moon can only reflect the light given from the sun.

As I stand at the other end of the room the light I radiate flickers over their faces like candlelight nearing the end of a wick. I clench the spike in my fist. It would be easy to finish off the Demon, but in his sleep I can see that he his struggling to breathe. I take the spike and place it gently on the ground next to my feet. His illness will take him soon and I leave him to fight his last battle alone.

The Demigod sleeps comfortably curled in his throne. He seems to thrive on the embrace of that dusty chair. He sleeps soundly and I dare not wake him. I cannot trade being the prisoner of one for being a slave to the other. And so I turn and slip out the door, taking only the light with me as I go.

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