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The footsteps thundered behind me as I clawed for air, hoping to outrun the demons’ sadistic infatuation with me. Running from fear like I was running from the bullies while they laughed and jeered. Anger’s screaming viciously gutting me like a carcass, just as my words left mother emotionally eviscerated. Howling like anger as frustration worms its way within, feasting on an endless banquet of diced future fears grown through the roots of failed grades. Regret cornering me all alone like the crippling solitude at countless lunch tables. Smelling Death’s seductive breath urging the blade over my wrists. Shame lunging toward my weak form, feasting on my ineptitude. My brown eyes pleading, a desperate cry for help. And then a pencil falls near me. I pick it up, and do the only thing I know with it: I write. Shame screams in agony as I imprison it between my lines. Regret cowers as I mercilessly shatter it. Death scuttles away from my fortress of words. Finally, I tower over fear’s retreating form, scorning at the once unconquerable demon. The sun finally rises over the blinding darkness, and I walk side by side with writing as we face my demons.

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