I am born
of negativity. I am weak.
I wake to darkness, blinded by hunger, to search sightlessly for food. I am somewhere else,
and they can’t see me. I scrabble mentally, sensing very little,
the lies and the hatred
very weak flickers in the abyss. I reach out feebly with my tongue, my only moving appendage formed, and lick gingerly.
I taste them,
though the flavor is not strong; hungrily, I slurp it all up, though it is but a mere morsel.
Her husband was seen with her sister.
There is a bitterness to it –
which makes me recoil. Tentatively, I sniff at the dank air. Yes –
he was seen with her sister,
but the feelings behind the words suggest the person thought it is more than that. I can feel the disgust radiate devastatingly from the other, too.
Oh my! What on earth were they doing?
They were very close together. Talking, I should think. It was all very hushed, you know. Secretive.
I draw strength from the words, clawing out desperately with my thoughts. I just manage to form a tentacle, cramping muscle lined with suckers, enough to awkwardly drag me along through the Nothing, following the scent of what had birthed me. I wait, famished, until I can sense it again, slightly stronger.
Have you heard the talk? It’s horrible, really. Really awful. Her husband was seen in secret with her sister, so close together it was scandalous. The second person from before gossips, eagerly weaving a story. I’m sure it’s not the first time!
The bitterness of truth is weaker on my tongue, twisted instead, sweetened. It singes my taste buds.
Do you really think – an affair? The new person answers; I can feel the excitement burning about them.
I inhale, sprouting eight delicately powerful legs, like a deformed spider. I feed on the distortion of the truth, my body swelling and growing in size. The atmosphere feels somewhat lighter around me as I force my new additions to use and scuttle away again, following the motherly smell. My singular tentacle slurps nastily at the ground as I drag it along like a lifeless body.
Bustling, the new person’s mind is a bee’s hive of working gears, churning away. Though I follow unseeing, I can imagine their hands quivering, fidgeting restlessly, mentally shuffling through friends and family to spill the gossip to like simple playing cards. They let out a breathy cross between a gasp and a sigh, suggesting they have bumped into one of their suspects. With my jaws wide open, I taste the air – which is sweet and strong, now almost completely devoid of truth – like a cat.
The person bursts out: Her husband is having an affair – with her sister, no less!
My, my, you’re sure? The other replies, but it is more for effect: they don’t wait for an answer, and add eagerly, with little care to sound sympathetic: Does she know?
Oh! Oh! Does she know? Does she know! Of course, she knows, it’s been going on for ages! She’d be an utter fool not to!
I devour my meal with skillful haste, product of the extra tongue and sharp rows of knifelike teeth that had formed over time. Once again, I drain strength from the darkness within the words; fashion myself an extra heavily muscled tentacle to pull me along through the Nothingness, my spidery appendages gathered to push from behind. I am much faster now – gracefully faster, almost at maximum strength. Just one more dinner will do, and I reach the source of the motherly smell much earlier, catching more of the conversation;
finally catching the woman’s name.
Poor Julie Anne’s husband’s been having an affair, is what I consume for my last supper. There is no truth left now, only delightfully seasoned, scrumptious lies: the truth in the foundations of it all has been poisoned and destroyed. They lower their voice for dramatic reasons: And she knows.
Blimey, she knows! Gosh, really? Why ever is she staying? Has she not confronted him, the devil?
Well, the first answers, and I can imagine them raising their eyebrows, leaning forward to cup a hand around the side of their mouth, you know he’s a fair bit rich.
A draw in of breath from the other, No! You don’t really think Julie’s a blasted gold digger?
Well, I didn’t necessarily say that, is the response, but it’s exactly what they meant.
And her ghastly sister, too – blimey, it must surely run in the family! Horrible!
I’m drawing strength from it all still – throttling the mother with my tentacles and squeezing, swallowing every last drop and centering it towards the very last thing needed to complete my form. I’m weaving hell and negativity, knitting them together with my own internal evil to fabricate more.
I press it all together, power and the motherly smell – now possessing me more than ever – overwhelming. Tainted life pulses through me and holds me up like a skeleton. My vision flicks subtly from the obscurity of blindness to the dark of closed eyelids as I take my final bite.
It must, the first agrees.
I prize my eyelids open to see the imprisoning puss engulfing me, thinning as I push towards the surface where the light and the real world is. I thrust colorful tentacles through the viscous pulp; the scent is prodigiously pungent now, enough for me with my unaccustomed eyes to burst through the blistered layer encapsulating it all and lock sight on my prey. I rise, a fallen angel, replete with lies and yet ready to swallow the earth.
Yes, her husband and her sister were seen together – but what they were actually doing is up to your imagination. For it doesn’t matter now, because they have born me, suckled me, fed me, and now I am strong enough to stand alone.
And what I am is a demon
not even Julie Anne,