In the thrall of Demons.

A piece that I wrote for my Imaginative Writing class last semester. This piece is based off of the sin of Wrath. A man experiences the throes of his own demons.

He didn’t know how he had gotten into this situation. His life wasn’t perfect; he was thirty and still living at home but there was a good reason for that. That year he had taken off after graduating high school. The three years that he had spent in the army, and after that college. Graduated now, he had a degree in business, specifically management. Interview after interview and no job. Everyone wanted experience in his field and he didn’t have it. So he accepted an internship instead. No pay, but at least he had the support of his mother—at least, as much support as his mother could give.

This man lived in her home, and he had to abide by her rules. She was a crazy woman. It was difficult every day to wake up, knowing that he had no choice but to say “yes ma’am” and “okay” and deny himself the freedom he truly wanted. She complained when he had friends over. She complained that he wasn’t occupied enough when he stayed in the house himself. There wasn’t a single person that he had introduced her to that she liked, and the same went for his brothers. Even after almost ten years of his three brothers being married she still didn’t like any of their wives. She hated those of her own race. She hated those of other races. She hated his father. There was no pleasing her and between the ranting and raving and ten o’clock curfew, she was going to drive him mad.

However there was a way out; her name was Melinda. She was beautiful with olive skin and long brown hair that made her look sexy no matter how it was styled. She was a wonderful woman and he did everything that he could to please her, to make her smile with those bright brown eyes and say, “I love you.” They had been together for two years, and despite his background and his mother and his job-but-not-a-job, she loved him and gave him all of the attention and care that he deserved. The entire time that they had been together, they had only encountered one issue, and it was a minor one in his opinion. Melinda’s ex-boyfriend, Trevor. He had taken classes with Trevor, saw him between classes, and studied with him for years. He hadn’t expected that bit of history to be there, but he was fine with it. Glad, actually, that Melinda had trusted him enough to tell him. Now he could take the appropriate measures.

From the way Melinda had explained it, the two were together for a few months and then broke up. Trevor was working two jobs and applying for a third, which left very little time for Melinda. She was a girl who wanted attention, demanded it and he couldn’t give it to her. When he wasn’t working, Trevor spent what little free time he had playing video games. And that was how Melinda ended the story: Trevor told her that he had no time to be in a relationship and Melinda felt that he had valued his games over her. It was a cruel story, and even though he knew that there may have been more to the situation it was hard not to believe a word that came from Melinda’s gorgeous lips. He still saw Trevor around campus sometimes when he went to visit or meet Melinda. He saw the change in expression when they were together. Trevor wanted Melinda back. Well, he couldn’t have her. She belonged to him and it would be that way forever. Keeping the two of them apart would be easier if they didn’t have the same friends—that was where the problem began. But Melinda didn’t want to give up her friends, and he didn’t want to make Melinda unhappy in spite of this problem.

That was how this whole thing started. She was at Mark’s apartment, visiting. She had gotten to her computer, and she was messaging him online, telling him what was happening. The first thing that Melinda told her was that Trevor was there, playing something on the vacant Playstation2 that always sat beneath Mark’s television. He didn’t like that they were there together but acknowledged that it could have been worse. They could have been alone. He himself was at home, confined to the couch there until his mother decided what movie they were going to see that evening. He had promised her. Melinda was keeping him company even from a distance, and that was the important part. Normally he would have called, but they had already had the conversation about him not “hogging all of her time” and he was working hard to show her that he had understood. She sounded cheery. Mark was making some dinner for the three of them and Trevor was being very nice. “Polite,” she had typed to him. “Respectful. I don’t see why you think he’s such a problem—he knows his limits. He’s never been that type of person.” That was another thing he liked about her. She always typed in perfect English. He replied about being bored, about maybe seeing her tonight and breaking his curfew. She didn’t answer right away. Maybe something was going on? Was she eating?

The next words on the screen were: “Hang on, she’s being tickled by Trevor.” What? Clearly, Mark had to type that, since it wasn’t in first person. He slowly thought of what to do. Wait for her to come back on? Sure. That was the logical thing. But he didn’t like this. Trevor shouldn’t have been touching her at all—that wasn’t his girlfriend. It was his. A picture of Melinda being tickled passed through his mind, and he began to feel a bit angry. Melinda knew how he felt about it; she should have told him to stop. What if she had told him to stop, and he hadn’t listened? What he wanted her back so badly that he didn’t care about her opinion of that matter. She did break up with her to play videogames; it made sense, right? Didn’t it? He felt his blood boil. But he wasn’t there, and he didn’t know what was happening and he couldn’t say anything. Melinda couldn’t hear him.

Before he knew it, he was in the car driving. He wasn’t supposed to have the car, wasn’t supposed to leave the house yet, and wasn’t supposed to go see Melinda until later. She was the only woman who loved him for who he was and he wouldn’t have her taken away from him by some man who didn’t even care about her to begin with. Mark’s house as only a half an hour away, right? He made it there in ten. He didn’t have keys to the apartment, and he didn’t have a cellular phone. How was he going to get inside? The ten minute ride had been nothing but that scene playing over and over in his head: Trevor touching Melinda. Would he try to get back together with her? Would she leave him to get back together with Trevor?

The fire escape. That was how he was going to get up there. He had been an army man and climbing it was no obstacle. He hoped the man who owned the car nearest the ladder wouldn’t see him using it. His first jump to the ladder missed. He tried again because Melinda was worth it. He loved her. The second time was the charm in this case and now questions were running through his head. Why did she let him tickle her? Why was he doing it? It wasn’t okay for him to do that. They had no agreement about him doing that. Why would Mark just stand there and let him do that? He knew about the situation and he owned the house. Why would he do nothing?

His fist was pounding on the window now. Surely everyone inside must have heard him. His mind raced—what was he going to do when he got in? Yell at Trevor was the decision. He didn’t normally yell at people but this was ridiculous. This whole situation was stupid. He had told Melinda to stay away from him and she hadn’t listened.

“Oh my god how d’you get up here?” Mark’s voice fell through the window as the glass was pulled up to let him in. This was someone’s room, but not Mark’s. Which roommate? He couldn’t remember. The only names going through his head were Trevor’s and Melinda’s. If he had opened his mouth right then those two names were exactly what he would have said, and he would have yelled them. Mark didn’t deserve that, so he said nothing. Exiting the room in silence, he swept the kitchen, his legs making big strides. He saw Melinda but in those few seconds he had used to cross into the living room Melinda’s name had melted away. Trevor was seated in the middle of the floor, controller in hand. His mouth wouldn’t open and he couldn’t think of any words to say, his rage beyond the point of communication. He couldn’t process a coherent thought, couldn’t caution himself from doing anything. Muscle memory jammed his hand into the back pocket of his pants and out came his trusty utility knife. He pointed it at Trevor.

The End

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