Flash Fiction – “The Devil”

“You have met with a horrible destiny, haven’t you?”

The devil in the mask held the dagger out, the handle towards me and blood from the blade pooling in its fist. Still as stone, its unmoving eyes bore into mine.

I tried to keep trained on the blade but couldn’t help but let my stare wander back to its face. Not like it had changed the whole time. The same macabre expression of a grin slitted with pointed teeth and a forked tongue hooked out of the right corner of its mouth were still all I could see. Some part of me was trying to see a crack to the monster underneath but masks existed for a reason.

“Horrible destiny….” I laughed, but brokenly. “I think I’ve heard that somewhere before.”

It drummed its claws along the steel, a little ting sounding every time a nail made contact. Then one scratched down a little too far and I flinched, a little too noticeably. So… the devil did it again. And again.

Just to break the cycle I took a step closer, and it mirrored me. When I took one to the left, it took one to its right. Step by step bringing us closer and closer together. Only when I took one back did it not move in turn. It stayed still, that smirk forever painted on its mouth.

It wanted me close. But couldn’t it see that this game was irrelevant? With my posture hunched, and my breathing hitched there was no way it didn’t see how exhausted I was. I didn’t even have my sword anymore. Then there was that dagger… just out for me to take.

If I wanted to survive I needed it. But, the one offering it was someone who wanted to drag me down at the end of all this…. something that would never want to hoist me up.

“All heroes have heard that before.” It bounced the blade in its hand, and the moonlight above glinted off the red steel.

I bit my lip. “I’m not a hero.” Then, I reached out and took the dagger. The devil didn’t let go though as my grip tightened.

It chuckled, low and grating. The sound like nails on a blade. Then it put its free hand to the edge of its mask and tipped it off.

“No, you’re not a hero….” the monster whispered, my own face reflected back at me like a mirror where its own should have been. The expression was familiar but crooked, and hungrily grinning at me underneath the shadow of the mask. “are you?”

I would have taken those pointed teeth and forked tongue for anything now… but they weren’t visible any longer since now I was the one wearing the mask.

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

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