It is Too Late After All.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Following on from my short piece "Is It Too Late?" I wrote this. Turns out it was too late.

Submitted: July 05, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 05, 2014



It is Too Late After All


 Alan awoke abruptly and sat bolt upright. His heart racing and brow sweating he struggled to regain his breathing. At the bottom of his bed the demon sat, staring at him. The room was dark but he could make out the outline of this gargoyle type creature and despite not being able to see it, he knew it would be grinning through that grotesque face. It always did.

 “Sleeping well are we?” It asked patronisingly. It’s croaky voice poorly disguising the menace and malevolence it harboured.  “It was about her again wasn’t it?” Alan didn’t answer. He swung himself round so that he was sat on the edge of his bed and tried to bring himself round.  The demon leaped forward across the bed and jumped onto Alan’s back as if it were a parrot landing onto a pirates shoulder. It knew where to sit and settled as if it had done this many times. Alan winced slightly under the weight but didn’t try to resist. He learned it just took too much energy to try, energy he lacked these days.

 “You could just place the last stone and be done with it.” The demon whispered into Jack’s ear. “We’ve already had this discussion.” Alan replied, holding his gaze on the floor still sat on the edge of his bed. “I won’t tell you again.”

 Frustrated the demon scurried over his back and onto the other shoulder. “What good is this tower you’ve built round your heart if you refuse to put in the last brick?!” Alan shifted his gaze to the demon but didn’t turn his head. “There is still hope, I can still…” Alan was cut short by the demon who mockingly scoffed “Ha! A fool’s hope! She’s gone! You think she will see your light shining through that one gap you’ve left in the rampart. You’re pathetic!” Alan sighed; there was a lot of truth in the words despite their sting.

 Just then his tablet beeped. A message arrived and in an instant Alan both smiled then grimaced. The demon did not miss it. “I saw that.” It said proudly with a wicked grin. “You saw what?” Alan replied. “You think it’s from her, it probably isn’t but you hoped it was even for a split second.” The demon moved round and positioned himself on Alan's front, its wings wrapped over his shoulders and scratching at him. “In an instant you played out two scenarios. One, it was a message saying she took you back, hurray!” The demon threw its hands up mockingly. “But at the very same time you thought it was a final goodbye, didn’t you?” It looked at Alan in the eyes, the room lightening up enough so that Alan could see that grin.

 The demon walked across his legs and looked away. “Always the peaks of emotion with you over her. Always both ends of the spectrum. Elation and fear, finding and then losing.” The demon looked back over his shoulder at Alan. “How much longer do think you can do this? It’s weakening you, you know this.” Alan gave a heavy sigh. “I know, but I’ll continue.”

 “Really?” the demon replied with all the negativity it could muster and in that same patronising tone. “Or you could just place that last stone. Block our…your heart and be done with this torment.” The demon turned and walked forward, placing his blackened hand over Alan's chest and above his heart. “Or you could continue to feel this.” Alan was flooded with conflicting emotions all at the same time. Love and warmth, cold and loneliness. Happy memories of the past and a sad future yet to be played out. Alan wrestled free and pushed the creature off. It landed on the floor laughing. 

 “You can’t maintain this” It spoke as it picked itself up. “I’m stronger now…” Alan stood up defiantly, towering over the demon. “But I’m still stronger than you!” He replied adamantly. The demon began walking around the room in a cocky manner, dismissing Alan's defiance. “Yes, yes.” The demon waved his hand brushing Alan's statement away. “But for how long? There was a time I could only whisper in your ear. Now I can shout. There was a time I could only hope to coerce you down a path. Now I can steer.” The demon approached the drawn curtains and opened them. Light flooded into the room and its full menace could be seen. A gargoyle winged impish creature. Scaly and terrible its skin blackened, old and repulsive. A black cloud followed it and it almost reached out and corrupted the air around it.

 Alan looked down on the demon and gave a look of pity rather than fear. “You’ll be put back in your box in time. Don’t get fond of this place.” The demon lunged forward and leapt onto the bed, furious this time. “Just place that damned last stone, complete the wall!” A faint smile threatened to crack on the side of Alan's mouth. He still knew how to frustrate his demons, frustrate himself.

 The demon saw the ploy he had just fallen for and took a step back. “Hmm. There is still work here to be done I see.” The demon began to dissipate into the air and fade from view. “You’ve hidden that last stone well, but I know you’ve made it. I will find it.”

The demon evaporated from view but repeated his last words “I will find it.”

Alan stood at the window looking out. It promised to be a sunny morning, birds were chirping, the sun was warming through the window. Alan felt numb to it all. He could see it, but felt detached from it. He could see everything as it was outside but couldn’t “feel” it. He wondered how much longer this would all last, he knew it was temporary but how long for simply evaded him.

 He sighed, and then began the task of seeing out another day.

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