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The Devil Cuts Me to Pieces, the Rainbow Fades from My Eye, and my Bones are Left Unclaimed

Gross. The demon continually gnaws on the predated boy, allowing him to make choices which further engulf his heart in a blanket of boiling hatred. It's like a trainwreck. You hate to see it, but you can't drag yourself to look away, because it's just so gruesome. But this is one gruesome sight that I actually despise seeing--I know, with all my talk of chopping the people to bits and swallowing them up myself, you think I'd revel in this, but I don't.

Hey, that kid was me, at some point. It's been a long time since then, sure, but I sympathize with him. With all his lying, all his denying. All his cruelty, even (I let that harbor in my heart when I got older, but still, I know damn well where it stemmed from). But the thing is, once I became an adult, I made a silent promise:

"I will never put any kid through what I went through."

But that promise had to be extended to myself, too. As I looked back on the child I once was.

"I will never force myself to hurt more, simply because others hurt more than me."

I get it. When you first start gathering up demons at a ripe, young age, there's a sort of depressive-romantic connection you have with them. A sinewy bond that's not easily cleaved. Sticky and disgusting when looking back, but in the midst of it, you're two pieces of meat wedged with connective tissue, so you can't find much fault in it, can you?

Sometimes, you even like the feeling, which is the worst. Look at me, I'm vulnerable (not really), I'm showing my scarred skin (only the pretty parts), I'm tearing myself apart (though I refuse to say exactly how far I've gone). Slices on the skin like currency. I guess I got jealous, though--that kind of cash meant I was poorer than dirt, because I never took the knife to my body. I reveled in psychological torture, instead. It was a scar nobody could see and lock me up for. Hurting myself at my leisure.

But this demon, he'd always be at the kid's side, under service (but not really--you know, the demon could overpower at any time, I think). Though it was a type of psychological torture in itself. A positive feedback loop between the two of them. Seek revenge, accuse another, cut them down, bathe in the blood, and repeat ad nauseam. Always encouraged. Never a hand on the shoulder to question whether this was the worthy path. I get it. That feeling of isolation is like no other. Thinking to yourself: This is it. No one else is as alone as me. I am unique in my loneliness, under my fur coat of dead bodies. I killed them all myself to be alone.

The thing about the lonely is that it eats away at your soul. That thing rots and drops like fruit from a dying tree, and nobody will touch it, only the maggots. And, in a way, that demon, too, will abandon you for another meal. He won't be satisfied once he's cleaned his lips of your blood, you know--he'll continue on for another. Maybe you can say, he'll never have another like me, but you never know. He has eternity. You have a blip on a blip of a planet. You think you're that demon's best meal? Bullshit.

There's a chance to turn this all around. You can still change. But you have to let it in. You have to break the locks on the door (since you swallowed all the keys) and you must tear the chains off. And it will hurt. The pain might as well be equivalent to having that dirty soul ripped from your ribcage as the demon takes you. But after that hurt, a small ray of light trickles in. It cascades over your buckled shoes. Hello, it says. I've been waiting for you.

Would you let it in, or just let go? Myself, I fought for that light. I broke down demon after demon to get that light back. That light I once had. I followed the blue bird, I followed the forget-me-nots, I followed the butterfly. And once I left my cage, I enjoyed the outside. I enjoyed the light. The nights were dark and cold, but at least the days were full of light.

So, come on. Stop kidding yourself. What's destroying yourself going to do for your family name? Shed it, shed the skin that you've knotted around your neck too tight, and take my hand. I can't promise this will be easy, but all we have to do is steel ourselves, take one last breath, and leap.

Your first task? Kill that bastard demon.