Inner Demon

Black clouds rolled in powerful waves of rippling muscle, raw and intense, and breathed out its early chilled winds. It rustled the dry leaves and fought against the mountain’s stony gaze. A woman with sweeping gray hair tried to hurry to her weathered blue sedan. Her scarf flapped across her face, blinding her into a stumble. A tree branch as thick as my thigh thundered to the ground, blocking off part of the road. Cars swerved around it while rushing home.

The hair prickled on the back of my neck as I stared at the people. The leafy oak tree above me creaked and swayed, bending to the will of the wind. A fresh scent of pine and rain fled down from the mountain peaks that surrounded the town. Breathing in deep, I tried to calm the unnerving sensation that screamed of danger. Heavy storms were not new to me. They came in spring and bathed the world in crystalline dewdrops. But, this was different. The storm was angry, furious even. It let out a wild howl that hungered for blood.

Out of the corner of my eye, a large black shape stood beside me, facing the oncoming storm. I turned to see a great wolf with eyes the color of embers that coursed out at over the town. My eyes locked and he turned his wide gaze to face me. I stared back, puzzled at the large beast.

“Do you see the flaw?” the creature asked.

I nearly jumped out of my skin,“What?”

“The flaw,” it repeated.

“Oh um, I’m not sure what you mean.” I turned to gaze out at the brick buildings under the gathering storm. The flaw? I wasn’t sure what it was talking about or why it was talking at all for that matter. “Is this a dream?”

“Does it matter?”

“Well,” I said, “to some extent yes, but I’ll humor you for now.” I didn’t feel like arguing with a talking wolf, nor did I think it would get me anywhere. My mind returned to its first question and I thought it over for a minute. “Do you mean the storm? The flaw in the storm?”

The large head nodded. Its silken hair ruffled in the gale, but not as much as I thought it would.

“It doesn’t feel like other storms,” I began, “it feels like a hungry, angry beast. No offense,” I added, “and it feels more like a racing pulse than a gathering rain storm.”

“All true,” the wolf replied, “but how does that make it a flaw?”

I leaned against the sturdy oak, feeling its slight sway. The wind pulled at my light jacket and I tugged it closer. I attempted to see if there was another giveaway as to what was going on. The park, where I stood, was surrounded by the shopping district. It was a square shaped area of buildings with roads and small parking areas in front of them. Though, now I noticed that the area was devoid of all people and even animals, except for us. All hid from the power that swooped down from the opalescent mountaintops. The pricking feeling of worrying slithered along my limbs. A rumble of thunder engulfed the town to send a shiver down my spine. Anxiety and fear gathered inside of me like a coiled viper. I spun back to see the creature was nowhere to be found. I remained alone in the solitude of the trees against the brewing blackness.

“The flaw? The flaw, the flaw…” The words contorted into burst of nervous irritation. I rung my fingers through my loose hair and gazed at the chestnut strands that fluttered in the wind. Fear continued to pile on like winter snow, but boiled to the surface quick and hot when met with my racing heart. Bouts of hot escaped in quick gasps and and I noticed my fingertips began to quiver. Lightning flashed on the far side of the town like an avenging arrow. I ducked behind the oak with frantic eyes. The call of the wind rose into a bellow that sped over the land at a feverish pace. I sank to the base of the trunk and held my face to the gnarled bark. My mind froze when I began to think of the wolf’s question again.

“Dammit!” I cried, “I can’t think. I can’t do anything about it. At this point, I am flaw!”

A continuous rumble sounded through the skies and I got it. The large form stood inches from my head and I glanced up to see the ink-black wolf from earlier.

“You see the flaw,” His words rang as crisp as the raindrops that now fell all around.

“Yes,” I answered. “It was important that it was a dream. I was right before too, but I am also right now. It is my inner self. My own beast that dwells in me.” The wolf managed a small toothy grin and bowed its head once. My own embrued gaze bore into the creature’s glowing stare, “Or are you my inner beast?”

The wolf did something then that I did not expect, it laughed.


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