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My Demonic Roommate And The Darkness Within

By: Josephine Rudolf

I was still a little girl when we first met, but now I’m 20 and he’s still there. He found me when I was running through an endless maze, desperately trying to escape from hell. For the first few years, he joined me as a silent companion. I was scared of him, yet the darkness instilled a fear in me that was far greater, so I let him stay. A couple of years later, he began talking to me in my dreams. At first, they were terrifying nightmares, but as time passed, I learned to appreciate them. They were absolutely horrifying, but they provided a much-needed distraction from reality. After a while, he became bolder and started talking to me outside of my dreams. First, there was a noise, then a whisper, and sometimes a scream. As I grew older, I began to decipher the meaning of his phrases. He urged me to stop running and promised me that all efforts would be futile. I stopped talking to him, enraged and determined to fight my way out. I planned carefully and watched out for every detail. Finally, I escaped victorious, well, for two weeks. He never visited me at my grandmother’s house, nor did the darkness.

For the first time, I felt like I could breathe. My lungs burned from the water within, but my head was finally above the water. However, it didn’t last long. The waves became violent, and I was drowning again, back in the maze. I should have been strengthened by the break; it was a key aspect of my plan. But I made a grave miscalculation – I didn’t realize that being above water would make me accustomed to breathing air, fresh air, clean air, and most importantly, breathable air. It was as if my eyes had been ripped open, wounded, and vulnerable to infections from the harsh reality of my surroundings.

As night fell and the darkness arose, my eyes caught a glimpse of something familiar. He didn’t talk, he only comforted me. Darkness encased me like a warm blanket, and I was finally able to fall asleep. After weeks of silence, he finally spoke to me again, and for the first time, I actually understood. I understood that he wasn’t opposed to me leaving, he just knew the truth. He knew that leaving would only become an option when I reached a certain age. Deep down, I always knew this, but hearing it made it all the more devastating.

Denial had been the guard protecting my hope, the only thing that had remained untouched by the fires of this hell. But without the guard, hope quickly fell into the flames. Her wings were set ablaze, and her halo shattered. She looked so different now. That’s when hope told me that her name had changed to survival.

From then on, everything was different. The demon changed from a companion to an advisor, and my world was swallowed by darkness in its entirety. It still hurt, but the pain became constant. Soon, I became numb to it and everything else. The demon was always by my side, providing me with his blood to numb the pain and making plans to escape momentarily. Although his plans were often ruthless, hurting both me and others, they were effective. Whenever I questioned them, Survival quickly reminded me that she was the only thing that mattered.

Years went by, and one day, the devil abandoned me. It took me a while to realize that this was a good thing. I felt pained by her absence, as even after all the torture she had put me through, she had still created me. She left, taking a part of the darkness with her and letting a glimmer of light into my world. I was still in hell, but it was less dangerous now. As reality became less daunting, I needed less and less demon blood until one day, I didn’t need it at all.

The years went on, and hell became more beautiful each day. It was warm and comfortable. The devil still visited me, but only in my nightmares. Everything appeared to be perfect until suddenly, there was a knock at the door. She came back to haunt me, this time for real, and no alarm could save me, not even the demon. I knew I had to leave hell for good, but regardless I had to endure her one more time, for four endless days. I had the choice between getting back on the demon blood to endure this or lying awake for the entirety of her stay. I chose the second option, despite the demon’s sweet seduction and Survival’s demands.

She left, and the mission became clearer than ever. It was either to find a ship or to drown definitively. I reached out to hundreds of ships in dire need, but no captain seemed to care. Until one day, I found a rusty one at an abandoned shore. The days until I found out if I could enter seemed endless, each passing minute cutting into my flesh ever so slightly. Finally, there I was, on my way to a new place, ready to leave hell forever. I did it with ease, letting go of hell was nothing. However, as I looked back one last time, the darkness moved, and I watched, terrified, as the darkness crept into my heart. I had no choice but to take it with me, the demon still at my side.

Now, I live in a safe place with no darkness except for me. Survival refuses to change her name back to hope and the demon is unwilling to leave my side. He is simply too afraid of history repeating itself. I should send him away, expel him forever. However, I’m unable to do so, as he remains the only one capable of taming the endless darkness within.


Josephine Rudolf is a writer from Berlin, Germany. She has been previously published by “The Drabble”, “50-Word Stories” and “Literary Yard” among others. You can find her on Twitter under @writingsbyjr

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