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

Living Life #22 “Mirror”

The shards were scattered all over the floor.

Each edge was jagged, and unlike any of the others. Of course they would all be different. They all came from different experiences.

The shard closest was derived from the boy who pushed her into the sandbox when she was five, just because she had been born a girl and for no other reason more.

The one to the right was one of the bigger ones. It was from when she was seven and her father had left. She thought it had been her fault. It was not her fault.

All the way to the left was a tiny chip, nearly in the shape of a heart. Nearly. It was from the eighth grade when the boy she liked had tried to set her up with his best friend.

Then all the way in the back, that piece with the most uneven sides… the piece with the sharpest angles…. that was the one from her first job out of school when her boss had tried to sand her down. That boss hadn’t liked the bumps on her skin, the angle of her eyes, or the color of her hair. That boss had balked at the smile she wore to work every day no matter how many backhanded compliments and disguised insults were said to her face. That was the girl’s favorite piece. That was the piece that cut deepest from her skin and made her never look back or question who she was ever again.

All of these shards on the floor were an important piece of her soul. So the image left standing in the mirror, after it was fixed once again, was a smarter and stronger girl.

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash