The Demons Within

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A troubled kid is encouraged to write. When his characters are not pleased with the way they are portrayed, they attack their creator

Submitted: March 27, 2017

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Submitted: March 27, 2017

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The Demons Within

 

An older man with wrinkles comes on stage slowly using two canes.  He sits in an comfortable overstuffed chair facing the audience.  He is wearing thick glasses, and has gray hair.  Next to the chair is a table with several cans of an energy drink, an ash tray and a package of cigarettes.  The man proceeds to light up a cigarette, takes a couple of puffs, then places it in the ash tray as he begins to speak.  Intermittently throughout the monologue he picks up the cigarette, takes a puff and puts it back in the ashtray.A curtain will be placed behind this scene, where silhouettes will be seen as the man talks about the characters in his life.

CECIL

(Squinting out at the audience)

Nice to see ya out there tonight.  You know I can read minds, at least all of yours.  Your all thinking what the hell happened to you?  Don't be embarrassed I think the same thing when I look in the mirror every morning.

And it's even harder on me.Your looking at the P.D. Brown High School Prom King.  I beat out Stoney Jones just last year for the title. That prick, you can probably figure out what he did for his after school extra curricular activity.  Damned if I was going to let him touch sweet Eloise's hand.  That's all in the past though, a year ago to be exact.

(Cecil squints out at the audience again) 

You look shocked.

The doctor's haven't figured it out yet, the wrinkled skin, the achy joints, the bad eye sight, the gray hair. I know what's going on but they won't believe me, tell me it's some kind of psychosis that goes along with this mystery illness of mine.  Bullshit!  I know the truth.They've got me now and they are not about to let me go until they take me down.

High School Scene Unfolds in Silhouette

  I guess I'll have to take you back to high school again, to explain all this.  It started in the fall.  I was thrown into an English class taught by that damn Mrs Potter, a woman whose hated me since I first stepped foot in that school.  And a teacher I seemed to keep being thrown in with year after year, like some kind of cruel scheduling glitch.

She hated me, I knew that from the first day! Or she at least hated the punk kid I used to be taking up space in the back row.  So anyway, last fall, she gives out this writing assignment.  The main character had to be telling the story.  First person or some kind of crap like that she called it.  Now I've been sitting in her stupid class for four years doing only a bare minimum of work, just enough to pass to the next year. What possessed me to do this extra credit assignment she assigned is beyond me.  For some reason though I decided to do it.  Not in the way she expected it though.  I wanted to give her a character worthy of the person she thought I was. And I did, I certainly did.

  I gave her Earl. 

(Silhouette of Earl behind the curtain with a pool stick, playing pool).

 Earl, owned a pool hall.  I won't go into details here, times short and ladies present and all, but my character Earl was one sick bastard. The story had more than it's share of blood and mayhem. (Silhouette fights with someone with the pool stick, then curtain goes black.) 

Well the more I wrote about Earl, the more I wanted to write about Earl.  To tell his story just right.  Hell Earl deserved it after all and it would shock the shit out of that stuck up, prissy teacher of mine.

I stayed up till 2 a.m. Writing Earl's Tale, that's what I called it.  Didn't seem that late though.  Earl and I were enjoying each other's company you might say. I handed in the story the next day.  I think Potter was as surprised as me that I actually did an extra credit assignment in that class. 

The next day, a Friday if I remember, the old bag asked me to stay after class and I knew I had her.  I had confirmed all of her worst suspicions of me.  I would finally be bounced from her class. Apparently she had a few tricks up her sleeve too though.  She opened a drawer and handed me a pen and this journal.  Not a sissy journal but a brown leather looking one.

“Cecil” she said.  Yeah I know who names their kid Cecil.  I had to be tough just to grow up with a name like that.  Anyway, she says, “Cecil you can write, keep trying.”  Well I'll tell you that sure as hell was not the reaction I was expecting and an A on the story too.

I got home that night, tossed my bag on my bedroom floor, the journal on my bureau and walked away.  If I'd only known it would never be that simple again.  You see I woke up at 2 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep.  I kept picturing this guy named Eddy sitting in a jail cell and wondering how he got there.  Hell, I didn't know no guy named Eddy.  Why did I care that he was in jail or how he ended up there. 

No I would not give that old crone of an English teacher the satisfaction of my imagination.  I had wanted to scare her, to torment her and instead she had turned it around on me.I rolled over and went back to sleep but not like any sleep I had ever had. 

(The curtain lights up with the Silhouette of Eddy, following the action of the dream, then curtain goes black)

It was filled with this dream, this Eddy dream, of him in a thunderstorm, walking down the road, dragging an ax behind him.  The loud clap of thunder that made Eddy turn toward the field woke me up in a cold sweat.  I knew right then, just like Earl, Eddy wouldn't leave me alone until I told his story.Or at least I thought he'd leave me alone then.  He did.  Sort of....Like Earl though he was still there afterwards, hanging around, stomping out his cigarette with his steel toed boot, on my brain.

It got to be regular for me, this midnight writing thing.  Damn it was like a drug but no drug that I had ever done and trust me I had done them all.You wonder how I could keep going considering? How I keep going even today? Energy drinks,my friend, the secret weapon of possessed writers everywhere.

(Cecil picks up an energy drink can as he speaks, then crunches it in his hand as he begins to talk about the other characters)

After Eddie, there was Celeste, a blonde bombshell in a provocative red dress.She had a heart of lead and pocket full of shells.

 (Celeste appears behind the curtain, following the action then curtain goes black.)

Dominique who used his buddies to help pull off his heists

 (Curtains lights up with silhouettes of robbers following the action then goes black again)

You don't want to know what happened to his buddies after the heist was done, trust me.  Then Marc and Peter and a hundred others. 

The more I wrote, the more I had to write.  The more they were all in my head, talking to one another, planning their deeds.  They began ignoring me and creating their own plots. 

(Several characters show up behind the curtain, all with their weapons of choice, having an animated discussion and then the curtain goes black again.)

I wasn't sleeping now, I was listening, always listening to their schemes to do me in if I didn't comply, if I didn't write them the way they wanted to be written.  The stories got darker and darker until they scared even me.  That's when I decided to stop, cold turkey, no more writing, no more listening.  I would just ignore their threats.  If it were only that easy. 

The second non-writing day was when I found the bruise in the middle of my stomach.  More like a combination of a bruise on top of a welt.  Had I accidentally rolled into something while I was sleeping? That thought only lasted a moment, as it was followed by a distinctive nasty laugh, which belonged to my character Terry, the oversized maniac with an affinity for baseball bats.  And that was when I knew their attacks had begun.

(Terry shows up behind the curtain, with a bat, following the action then the curtain goes black again.)

And that was just the start of my torment.  My tremors came from Marco, who never liked the limp I gave him.  The gray hair, came from that bastard of a first character, Earl, who could never get over the fact that his description had included being bald.  The bad eyesight was a gift from Camille, who said I needed the glasses, to describe her true beauty.The wrinkles came from Eddy who was rather peeved  that he was 60.

None of this happened overnight.  Each change came with a demand.  The voice pounding, yelling in my ears.  Demanding I write their story, the way they wanted it.  My imagination fought these unreasonable requests, every inch of the way.  The characters fingers still creeping in though and taking over every inch of my body, my being, my strength.

Had I been to the doctors?  Ahundred times and more.  My parents insisted, as shocked by my changes as I was.  There seemed like there were thousands of tests none of which held an answer because there wasn't one.

Then last week I finally had to leave school.  My strength was sapped and I was walking like an old man with these two canes. And who was there to see me off, but that old witch, Potter, who opened the door as I left, grinned evilly and said “Cecil you're a writer, write.” That's when I saw her for the demon that she was. The demon who had released a hundred other demons in my life with the simple act of handling me a journal and pen.  Bastard. 

(Stage goes black.)


© Copyright 2017 Carla Charter. All rights reserved.

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