XV - The Devil

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There's something in the back of my mind, and it wants me dead.

It's been there for years.

When I was young, it pretended to be me.

Used my voice, spoke to me in my thoughts and told me I was nothing.  

Guided my hand and tried to kill me, twice.

Told me I was nothing.

Waived the carrot of inspiration ahead of me just long enough.

But I've learned and grown since then.

 I have taken the carrot and eaten it, laughing.

I feel its gossamer claws behind my eyes daily still; the difference is I'm older, wiser, and I'm ready to fight back.

I've studied the methods of binding, the ways to bleed the beast out from behind its veil and force it into subservience, tying it to black ink on scrap paper.

 This is the incantation.

This is the ritual which I use to destroy my foe.

A warlock in the lineage of Joyce and Faulkner, aspiring to those great works that have shaped me.

My enemy has tried for years to destroy me and failed.

Its nagging, its tearing claws have ripped layers of weakness away, along with these scars they've left.

The taunting demon's ply has made me strong, and my mind has learned the ways of ink and blood.

now my foe is my familiar.

It still tears at me, but I grin in its face and draw its malice to my pen.

I will not destroy it.

I will fight it for my entire life, willingly, and make its poison my own.