Demons.

Demons.

Those terrifying things we can't classify.

The demons of our sleep.

The demons of religion.

The demons unknown to science.

Demons.

We all have them. Every single one of us. Even if we don't see them in the flesh, they're still there.

The demon in the closet.

The demon you call a husband.

The demons who go to school with you.

Demons.

They're everywhere.

My mother's demon was my father and my father's demon was my professor. My professor's demon is society and society's demons are... well... more often than not, us. Us and the things we kill.

The things we kill are demons to everyone, though. Even themselves.

Kid's demon is his obsessiveness. His necessity for absolute balance. It gets so extreme, he's afraid he'll go too far.

Liz's demon is her past. Her need to get past it and move on to better things. She gets so sad, so lost, she's on the brink of depression. Or already there.

Patti's demon is her sister, the one who she deems is more responsible, the absolute best, her big sis is so smart, she can fix anything, but in reality she is the most broken.

Even the most innocent of us have demons.

Black Star's demon is similar to Liz's, only he was paying for a past he wasn't a part of. He's constantly being told of his family's crimes, and all he can do is shrug and say, wasn't me. Get over it.

Tsubaki's demon is her silence, the one that condemns her to forever face judgement without a fight. She's too shy, too kind, too fragile. She can't create a conflict. She can't engage.

Even the nice ones have demons.

But our demons are a bit more literal. Or maybe... maybe it opened our eyes. No, what am I thinking... the Black Blood is no good. Never has been.

Crona's demon is his weapon. Ragnarok. He used to be large, intimidating. He was controlling. He was violent. He was egotistical and possessive, and pretended that he cared about Crona while in the same sentence saying Crona was useless. A punching bag.

Despite form, Ragnarok was Medusa. Medusa is Crona's demon.

... Even the good ones have demons.

Soul...

Soul's demon is the nameless one. The one we refused to acknowledge as real, and we blew off as some warped form of PTSD, then continued to blow off as a side-effect of the Black Blood. It had red, akin to blood, skin. His teeth were large. Sharp. Like a piranha's. He had the horns of a devil, was typically very short, was big-headed and...

Despite form, the little demon was Soul. Soul is his own demon.

And despite the show he put on for me, I know that little demon is still around. Because as long as Soul has the slightest doubt of himself, of me, he'll have that demon in his head. Soul. Somewhere.

The Black Blood, as much as I hate to admit it, was just a light in the dark. Was just a magnifying glass; sure it was over our little ant forms and the sun burned us, but still.

It gave us perspective on ourselves that we never knew we were capable of seeing.

Or at least... not consciously.

And... just like Soul... I'd never give my partner - or anyone else, for that matter - a reason to worry about me. A reason to observe me, pay attention to me.

So he doesn't know. No one does. And if I ever got drunk enough, with the right drug influence, lacked enough rest, was close to death, Soul would be the first to know.

My demon... my demon lies within me. Magnified by Black Blood. My demon...

Demons... They're everywhere, right? Everyone has them? Just like madness, nothing special.

Madness and demons are like bravery and love.

Yet two of those we fear and the other two we underestimate.

My demon.

She's masochistic. Loves pain, loves to antagonize people to the point of being harmed. She's bubbly, though, oddly enough. But it seems artificial. Not like she forces it, but like she under some influence.

She's broken, that much is apparent.

Like a girl who's been abused for so long, it's all she knows. Like Crona.

Crona. Soul. Me. We all have literal demons.

Soul. Me. Our demons reflect what we fear most within ourselves. What we dislike about ourselves. What we fear we'll give into.

My demon... she likes 'fun'. A sick, twisted version of it, but still. She likes 'fun'. You never see her without a smile. Her laughter is entwined with every word she speaks. She's ready to be used, abused, for the sake of 'fun'. Akin to a certain woman who married a player. She thought he was 'fun'. She let herself be used. Abused. Emotionally, anyways.

She's prideful to a fault. You can't break me, I have no weakness. But go ahead and try. I'm in for the ride.

Because rides are fun.

And... and... it's all just so... so funny. So funny, you know?

She has dull, blonde hair. Dilated pupils, green irises. A grin so large, it bested Soul's. My demon...

Is myself.

Yeah, yeah, clap it up. Tell me it's cliche, it's been done before, or you already knew. Sure, from the outside, it's easy to see someone else's flaws. Sure, deep down, the person already knows. But knowing and admitting, then admitting and analyzing...

That's hard.

It's really, really hard.

And to analyze your flaws, your fears, your mind's dark corners with no one around to help, to hug you when it all comes crashing down on you?

That's... that's hard.

Heh.

And you're thinking about my stupid pride, my ego that keeps me from going to Soul, or Kid, or - Death forbid - my father.

Yeah. Sure. I'll admit it's at least seventy percent pride.

But it's thirty percent shame, fear, and self-consciousness for sure.

Demons. They know how keep us silent.

The demons some children call 'fathers'. No one knows how long its been happening. No one knows because we don't dare open our mouths and call for help.

The demons that murder defenseless people. How many of your really fight back as a first option?

Oh really?

Well, when the time comes, you remember me when you find yourself hiding in the shadows, holding a hand to your nose and mouth to keep your rapid breaths quiet.

The worst part is...

The absolute worst part.

It's that we know. Half of the time, we know. We know that if we call out for help, just whisper a plea in a passerby's ear, we'll be saved.

We'll probably be saved.

Maybe.

But maybe not.

Maybe we'll go unheard.

Or worse. We'll only be heard by our demon. Demons. We'll attract more. And more. And more. And more.

We'll be consumed by madness!

... You might think... You might think and think that this is all... stupid.

And I agree.

How stupid did you think I felt when I realized my demon is only an amplified version of me?

Really, she's no different.

I do seek out pain.

My sense of fun is warped in others' minds.

I'm too prideful for my own good.

I'm impulsive.

I want to be happy.

...

...

...

...

Demons.

It all just comes right back to that one word.

Demons.

Not all of them are infected... their souls. Not all of them are infected.

If you think about it the right way...

It's all just awful.

A never-ending line of anguish and sadistic masochism. Not a circle, because that would imply karma, and karma has nothing to do with it.

It starts with a rotten soul. The rotten soul abuses a good soul. The soul withers with strain and lashes out. Whoever receives the lash, if under the right conditions, will be lashed upon again and again and again and again.

The soul withers with strain and lashes out.

Demons.

Demons.