July 24, 2013
You won’t see it coming the first time. It looks like all the normal things you’re used to seeing, all of the people you’re used to talking to. Yet, like a horror movie, your mind will tense up, one will turn to you, and you will notice that they smile too large. That their fingers end in sharp claws and, before you can react, those claws have dug deep in your chest and are caressing your heart. “You are mine,” it will whisper to you, “and I can end you when I please.” It will torment you, it will make you feel like you’re dying (and even wish you were dead), and it will turn everything you love and trust into an enemy. Everything becomes a constant source of stress and worry because you don’t know where that monstrosity is hiding, waiting for you.
After the first time, though, you start to learn its patterns. You learn how to avoid it, how to parry it, how to keep away from its hungry grasp. You learn how to keep yourself safe from the things around you that summon it. You learn its patterns like a martial arts master and wield the world around you like a weapon, constantly fighting it back. Yet it has a power so insidious that you could have never prepared for it. It can seep into the minds of the people around you and control them, secretly, to attack you when you’re not looking. You’ll be focused on the monster, keeping it at bay, and someone you love and trust will quietly turn to you and sink a knife deep in your side. A rusty blade that scrapes your ribs going in and coming back out, a scrape that sounds like, “Are you sure it’s not all in your head?”
This is why you can never win without the help of the people around you. You have to recruit them before they can be taken over by the monster. Even if they have been taken over before, you have to try to recruit them. Sometimes the monster will work through them still, but you have to forgive them. It’s not them, it’s not what they want to do, they never meant to hurt you like that. They just don’t understand what the monster whispers in their ears, how it controls them, and how it attacks you. They never will understand.
At some point, it will surprise you when the monster gets you again. When its claws sink into your chest and catch your heart. When it whispers in your ears that everything is ashes in your mouth and everyone who cares for you is lying. When it tells you that it’s only a matter of time before you screw up again and it gets you. When you fight it off again, you feel cold. You feel shaken. You feel afraid and nothing will make you feel better.
The monster makes you fear the future, and so very few will ever understand why.