Lifeline

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My Demons

I am surrounded by darkness.
It swirls around me
And sucks me deeper into its thick embrace.
I know where the light is.
I’ve seen it before
In others.
If only these walls would stop
Closing in on me,
Stealing my oxygen.

I can hear Them.
If I could just stay ahead,
Keep moving
Moving
Moving.
Never stop.
It’s too late.
They reach out to me with gnarled hands,
Scratching, clawing.
No escape.
They pull me back,
Back
Back.

And I’m back at the beginning.
Back where I started.
The walls begin to close again.
I can already hear Them
Whispering thoughts into my ears.

“You will never be free,”
“You will never be good enough,”
“You will never be loved,”
They say.
And I hang my head in shame.
It’s all true, what they say,
My demons.

It’s time to rest now.
My eyes are closed.
This can all be over if I could just
Fall asleep.
I feel no pain when the blood spills free.
Their claws, like razors,
Cut me.

It’s a funny thing,
To bleed.
Animals bleed.
Humans bleed.
They are the living.
I am the dead.
My blood runs cold.
It’s all true, what they say,
My demons.

The stone floor is cold.
Like ice against my skin.
Ice.
Ice.
Ice....
Cold?
What is this?
I feel...no.
Shut it off.
No feeling.
Feeling is for the living.
And I am the dead.

When a heart beats,
It means warmth,
Blood,
Life,
Love.
What is a heartbeat,
But a contraction of muscles?
I don’t believe in love.

It’s taking a long time
For the sleep to come.
It’s unusual.
I listen to the blood fall
In the darkness.
Drip.
Drip.
Drip.
And I finally begin to slip
Slip
Slip away.
Into the land of the dead.
It’s all true, what they say,
My demons--

Wait.
Something freezes, and yet,
Has been unfrozen.
A spot of warmth rises up
In my heart,
Something that has not moved in...
A long time.
And there,
Oh!
A spark lights up the dark.
A flash of light so brief,
I could’ve imagined it.

I may have screamed,
Blinded.
Then...there!
Another flash.
And another.
And another.
A hand slips into mine
And suddenly I can see.
I can see everything.
And I feel...no.
Shut it off.
But...yes.
There is no shutting this off.
I can feel.
I can finally feel.

Your hand is in mine,
And my arms are throbbing,
And there is so much blood,
But it’s alright.
You are a stranger to me
But I’ve known you forever.
The pain eases.
The bleeding slows.

How did you find me?
How did you save me?
It’s all true, what they say,
My demons.

Except it’s not.
My demons lie,
And they lie,
And they lie.

"You will never be free," They say.
Yes I will.
I already am.
Because I have realized that
My demons aren’t my demons.
They’re me.
And I can change me.

"You will never be good enough," They say.
Maybe not for myself, but for others.
I am good enough for you,
My savior,
So why would I not be good enough
For anyone else?

"You will never be loved," They say.
Maybe.
But maybe not.
I love you.
And maybe someday
You’ll love me too.
If not, someone else will.

You have brought light to my eyes
And feeling to my soul.
Thank you.
I am free,
Because I am alive.

They are the dead.
I am the living.

My blood runs smoothly now.
I know it will take time
To truly find my light
In this thick darkness.
But for now, you can be my light.
You can show me the way.
Lead me off my ledge and into safety.
I think I may be starting
To finally believe in love.

It’s all lies, what they say,
My demons.

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