A closer look

Harshni
4 min readFeb 3, 2022

The demon was fast approaching John with its fierce eyes. It was a scary creature with horns, crooked sharp teeth, and a long pointy tongue. John didn’t have any clue as to how he was going to save himself. The demon was blocking John’s pathway to a magnificent world where he would be the king of his destiny, where he is unstoppable. He knew that it was either now or never.

He strenuously pulled out his sword that was made of shining steel and raced towards the monster. As he ran towards the demon, John, weak-minded by nature, suddenly felt a strange sense of determination that was normally foreign to him. With this sense of empowerment, he ran faster than before.

Seeing this, the blood-thirsty demon growled and ran towards him at full speed. When they were close to each other, the demon whimpered in fear and ran in the opposite direction. John was confused upon seeing this and came to a halt. What should have been an otherwise unfavorable fight for him, came to a stand-still because of the demon’s cowardice. He wondered why the demon was running away from him.

“I thought you wanted to kill me, why are you running away now?” yelled John as the demon scurried.

Hearing this, the demon skid to a halt, turned towards John, and replied, “Look at yourself, I will never be able to kill you!”

John was confused by the preposterous answer given by the demon and said, “What are you saying, aren’t you stronger than me?”

“Not anymore” cried the demon. “Take a closer look”.

When he took a closer look at the demon, John was in disbelief of what he saw. What was once a blood-thirsty, scary-looking monster, now looked like a scrawny, woeful little creature that wouldn’t even be able to lay a finger on him.

“What happened to you? You looked so scary just a moment ago and now you look so weak and pathetic” said John, with a slightly confused frown on his face.

“I am what you imagine me to be, John”, the demon replied.

“But…I’m confused. I spent all my life fearing and avoiding you. I was scared of all the things you would do to hurt me and now when I finally dare to defeat you, you seem to be nothing in front of me” said John in an uncertain voice.

“You are absolutely right John, I am nothing.” exclaimed the demon.

A perplexed John sunk to his knees hearing the shocking revelation and tried to contemplate it. Could it be that the demon was just nothing in reality? Was it just a prejudice that blinded him from reaching his goals? Would he have destroyed it had he known this earlier? Or was the demon saying all this just to deceive him?

“I could have easily defeated you years back. Now that I know the truth, there is nothing that can stop me from defeating you” said John as he slowly rose and faced the demon.

“But before I kill you, let me ask you this- who really are you?”

The demon looked at John with his weary bloodshot eyes through which he could hardly see and said “Do you remember the time when you took your stuffed toy to school and all the kids embarrassed you? Or the time when you couldn’t stop thinking about all the good times you spent with your ex-girlfriend? I’m the embarrassment that you faced because you were so afraid to let go of that toy, I’m the thoughts that you couldn’t forget because you were afraid of letting her go. I am the fear that stopped you from doing anything you love. If you are brave enough to let go of something, then the universe goes to any extent to provide you with something much better than that, John.”

“Only if I knew earlier”, whispered John as he pulled out the sword and ran towards the demon.

He stabbed the scraggly-looking creature and opened his eyes with a jolt. To his surprise, it was a dream, perhaps, a nightmare. He was almost drowning in a pool of sweat.

After realizing it was just a dream, John felt at peace. He understood that the demon of his dreams was nothing but the ramification of all his worst fears. He knew that the demon existed in real life and it was up to him to either live in fear or as Yoda rightly said, train oneself to let go of everything one fears to lose.

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Harshni

24| Cyber security enthusiast| I write about everything from cyber security to short stories.