- a tale of type one, type two error
“Oh, my dear, it is you.”
You stand very still.
“Do I appease you? Yes? You stand there and stare in my general direction. I see you’re cognizant of this surface, the soothing appearance that hides the very nature of my being. The clothes that I adorn myself with are colored with gaiety—bright and cheerful like a vibrant summer day. Yes, my countenance is slightly aloof but pleasant. It is in such sharp contrast to the pitch of my soul—dark and full of grit like over-used oil that allows the engine to seize. The deepness of the timbre surpasses the black of night, extending on into infinity to ultimately break the laws of space and time with its complexity. It is this sand, that grinds against the infinitesimal few who see me. It abrades at their very being. They clench, stiff with fear. Revolt imbued in their movements alerts me. But you are still. Interesting.”
You try to bring stillness to the fast beating of your heart.
“Some are quite clever and it is only through their movements that it can be detected. Others, well, they have not been as blessed and betray their thoughts on a larger scale. The ones of clear vision, rare as they are, are a delight. Such as yourself.”
Your breathing becomes shallow. Rapid.
“You are unlike most, left blind-sided. Sometimes, they are ignorant even in the end when I come for them. They see only what they wish to see – the beauty of their personal goals. It is their dreams that distort their sight. I am the first. The foremost. The mirror. I reflect their wishes back to them, amplified. I bring them joy without substance. In their folly, they only take hold of the joy and never look deeper. But of course you know that already.”
“I have no need to be surreptitious. Few outside science can withhold themselves from me. Science has found a ‘moderate’ ally in denying absolutes. Instead it spouts on and on about probability. It cannot keep me at bay. I shall exist and seep into erroneous thought for as long as there are creatures who think.”
“Ah, but I digress; let me have my antipodal …. Kin… speak. I’m sorry for being so rude. That is not my place and I shall not be confused for my brother.”
A second Demon addresses you.
“You look, you see, and then you flee. You cross yourself, give the evil eye. But, alas, in vain. Protection only allows me, ‘The Second’ to take you. Bear your caution like the cross, make it your downfall. Drag it on your back and feel it jab and scrape into the back of your skull, fall beneath it. Stumble—I watch you struggle to get up. It is your ego that once again proves your downfall. This storm rumbles up from fear of glorifying and edifying oneself. Through this you give me admittance. I lick the aversion that oozes from your soul, gaining sweet succor.”
You hear raspy breathing underscore each sentence.
“I am ‘The Second,’ the deadly, and I feed on the complex. Falter as you see the one mistake and I freeze, alertly and silently watching. Stagger back from your ego’s indiscretion and my eyes narrow—focused on your every move. You believe yourself to be mentally nimble, cloaking yourself with prudence and I pounce, seizing the opportunity to cloud your vision, your hearing, keeping what is—a secret. You drop the basket for gathering.”
The sound of its voice reverberates in your skull.
“The thing you wish to prove, that you reach for will be left, discarded at your feet. Ineffectively, it will whisper to you meekly from under the discarded basket. As I turn up the volume of everyday life, you will turn from it as a blind person but believing yourself to be wise and careful. As you step away, you step over other fragments of reality that support your hypothesis – still believing yourself to be vigilant. A chuckle as I watch you wander far from your collection basket, unmindful of the things you tread upon.”
“And you leave me savoring the repulsion with its nectar of sweetness. It slips down my throat like molasses, heavy and slow, leaving a glowing residue that I find intoxicating. If the reaction is severe enough, I will be left languid but not incapacitated. Ah, you may think me weakened by this but no—I am only satiated.”
A fire erupts in the fireplace beyond the demons. It leaves you momentarily blinded.
“We are indestructible.”
The Second turns slightly in the light. The light reveals a profile. At first you believe your eyes are mistaken. You may blink several times in an attempt to clear the aberration from your sight. It remains concrete, unwavering.
“We are your downfall.” The First mutters from behind the locks of gold. He looks out the corner of his eye. The one you can see; the one that can see you.
“We mingle and meld to swallow you whole.” The Second’s mouth curls up at one corner. A hungry glint dances in its eyes. Turning away, the fire crackles beyond the Second. The First comes more into view.
“The Romans hinted, whispered of our existence, unknowingly, when they worshiped their gods.” The First locks his gaze upon you. Under the intensity, you step back. The Second has almost disappeared.
“We are one. And unlike Janus, we exist past the divine.”
The beast freezes. It stares, unspeaking, at you with his eyes locked onto yours. “And, you see me true,” the First says. You shudder. It whips around with unnatural speed until its back is exposed - revealing the Second. Its radiant amber eyes fix upon you. The demon readies itself to strike, extending its forearms out to grasp the tables on either side in a measured movement.
“Oh, the odium,” The Second moans with pleasure. It is then you can break the gaze and realize it grips a bleached human skull in either hand.
“You are now mine.”
The skulls explodes. Through the cloud of powdered white dust, the daemon—The First and The Second—lunges forward.