Birthday Demons

Birthday Demons:

He sits in his room the candlelight radiating off every year that has passed. Radiating off every wrinkle that wasn’t there the year before.

Today is his birthday. Another year has passed – Another 365 days gone away.

He questions himself, “Will anybody remember me?” “Does anybody give a shit about all the time and effort I put into this?”

The man is writing another article. An article not only for himself but for others.

You see, the man has taken up new hobbies this past year. Something that makes him happy in his solitude.

A way to get the demons out. The ones that swirl around inside his head all day long.

Some people call it stress and some people call it cortisol. The man knows better. He knows that the only way to expel himself of this possession is to keep writing.

The more he writes, the quieter the demons become. He keeps them at bay.

You see, the demons do not want to exposure. They don’t want to have their own reality here. Only being brought out to the light through writing do they feel scared. They can’t take seeing themselves – even if they are only written down.

So the man keeps plugging away even on his birthday. He needs to get the monsters down on paper.

The demons we describe here are not all bad.

They are something the man needs – They are part of his legacy.

When he writes for himself and others. He writes so others do not have to sit with these monsters like he does. Resting on his shoulders like an invisible person.

As he writes the demons speak. They don’t want to be revealed – They just want to destroy you. They ask, “Do you need to be doing this!?” “Don’t you have enough work for yourself?!”

He doesn’t acknowledge the questions they ask. The man just keeps on writing – knowing that once he has them down on paper – they will be quiet. He will get the peace and quiet he deserves on his own personal holiday.

As the words bleed on the page, he sees what the article is becoming. More advice he writes for himself – More advice he will never take himself but always offer to others. The knowledge of what is behind the curtain.

Unfortunately for our hero in this story, he needs to write it for others to quiet the monsters for himself. Although they are quiet, they still exist.

And this is the problem our hero faces. He sees what is behind the curtain. What is living backstage in his mind.


A distraction. The computer screen lights up blue and white.

Facebook notifications come rushing in.

People the man knows and people he hardly knows at all wish him a Happy Birthday.

He smiles at this. Maybe he isn’t alone after all?

He replies to every single message. Letting them know he is grateful they took time out of their busy days to acknowledge his birthday.

The man is now distracted, the demons see an opening and attack. They are louder than before.

“Keep wasting your time!” “Soon you’ll be dead!” “What legacy will you leave behind without us!?” “We are your only friends here!” “These people don’t even know you! We are all you have!”

The man goes back to work. The only work that will silence this nonsense. But seeing the opening, the demons persist.

“No one cares about what you are working on!” “Go enjoy yourself more!” “You will always have us right here waiting for you!” “Why waste your time working on something that makes you no money!”

“BECAUSE IT’S ALL I GOT!”, the man shouts.

Silence in the room.

The silence he has been hoping to get through his writing.

The demons are nowhere within his sight. All that he feels is a light deep down. A glowing that could only be described as his soul.

Yes, he writes for others but also for himself. It not only keeps the demons at bay but it is what sets his soul on fire.

He smiles and remembers that this feeling is only there when he is actively working. To keep this feeling, the man knows he must keep doing this – day in and day out – until the end of his time.

He looks around the room and sees nothing. It is just himself and his words now.

The article must be coming to a close. Between the silence of the demons and the glowing feeling he has – he knows it’s almost time.

Time to share his newest masterpiece with the world.

The demons take one last chance at stopping the man from this newest exposure on them.

“Shouldn’t you be spending this time with loved ones?”, they ask.

The man, now having the feelings he has, is not scared of them anymore and speaks to them.

“The people in my life will always be here!”, he says “The ones that believe in me will understand!” “I know it is my birthday, but it is also another year that has passed”

“I must keep putting one foot in front of the other!” “To not only silence you!”, he points at the demons “But to bring happiness to the entire world!” “Even if I have to sacrifice some of my own!”

The demons do not respond. They can see the glow radiating off him.

The man continues to talk, “This is about right here, right now.” “Not the destination or where I am going, but the journey.” “If I must do this alone then so be it.” “I will take you with me no matter if you are the reason I must write!” “You are apart of me and I am you, but I will continue to bring you to the light so others do not have the same temptations.” “To see through you and understand that they are not alone in this.” “Someone else like myself deals with you every day and can conquer you by showing others.”

The demons that have been here this whole time are finally silenced – for today.

The man understands that this will be a battle that he must face day in and day out – forever. The thought makes him happy though. He might have to deal with these thoughts and emotions every day, but the man realizes it is what makes him unique. It is what makes his audience sit and wait for new content from him.

In a way, he has to thank the demons. They are is and he knows he created them.

They are his legacy and his light to shine upon the world. Without them, he wouldn’t have the perspective to share them with the world. His legacy is to help people that might be having the same battles that he has.

He finally finishes his latest masterpiece as more Facebook updates come pouring in. The man finally realizes that he never was alone at all. He has his “demons” and he has his audience. People are out there who care about him and what he’s doing.

He finally hits publish.

The glow radiates stronger. The man can feel the small, but rewarding glow that was radiating in him before. The glow won’t remain for long – maybe only a day. But the man will keep this glow as long as he keeps working toward his ambitions and goals.

The man finally turns his computer screen off. He turns in his chair to a single slice of cake with a candle he made for himself before he completed his work. The man picks up the dish containing the birthday cake and turns around.

He sees one demon before him. The demon is holding a picture of the man. The picture shows the man at least forty years older in a hospital bed. He understands this is one final attempt to get to him. An attempt to get in his head that he is aging.

The man smiles once more and blows out the candle on his cake.

The demon disappears and the man can now enjoy his birthday…. Alone?

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  • Reply
    Ethan Michael Carter
    August 7, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    I love this short.

    The story is skillfully expressed and pulls the reader into not just the plot, but also into the psyche of the protagonists struggle.

    • Reply
      August 7, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      Thanks so much Ethan. I appreciate the love! Look forward to more like this

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