The Boy


A young boy sought his reflection in a dirt-smudged bathroom mirror, but could not find it. Not here.

He absently touches the small matchbook in his pocket.

A bell rings, but it is muted in the boy’s dark underwater world. He exits the bathroom, weaving through the crowds of students. The children have many distinguishing features, but to the boy, they are all identical in their ignorance to the truth that defined him.

They see the faded blue backpack he drags around every day, and hear the scuffed lockers slamming shut against the walls. 

They were not blind, but the throbbing life force that pulsed in frustration and anger all around them was wholly invisible.

The boy hurried along the dim hallway as if the floors were melting behind him. 

After all, this was an appointment he could not afford to miss. 

The boy received much attention, although it consisted of jeering remarks and whispered words. 




These brats were mere annoyances for the boy, who had experienced far worse things than their taunts. 

The boy smiled subtly. 

Soon his task would be complete.

Servitude is Salvation. 

The boy repeated that phrase to himself like a mantra.


Soon, all would be set right. 

The lights overhead flickered once, an omen only the boy knew the meaning of. His face morphed into a Chesire grin.

It was time. 


The boy slowed to a stop in front of a simple, unremarkable wooden door. 

He had arrived.

The boy reached his steady hand toward the brass handle, his fingernails curved like the claws of the devil. The door swung open with a loud creak, its iron hinges rusty from disuse. The boy was not concerned. He knew well that you could only find the room if you knew what to look for. 

It had taken months to find it himself. 

The room was sparsely furnished, with a broken wooden chair, a dusty shelf, three white candles, and a bucket of blood-red paint. The boy closed the door behind him, enveloping the room in darkness.
This was the part he would always savor. 

And he will be doing it for the last time today.

For five tortuous years, he has waited. 



And, less than a week ago, he found the answer. 

They could finally go home.


The word tasted foreign on the boy’s tongue. 

He glanced at his watch, engraved with strange symbols. 

It was time to begin.

The boy struck a match, its soft glow illuminating the small space. He lit each candle, savoring the smell of citrus that wafted past. He dipped his finger in the paint can, smearing a scarlet streak on where his heart should have been for good luck. 

Finally, they would be free from this wretched realm. 

The boy meticulously drew a red pentagram on the cold floor. 

It was complete. 

Not much longer now. 

The smoke of the candles grew larger, fuller, forming a vaguely human shape restrained within the pentagram’s borders. It was a creature of shadow and sin, a wicked entity as old as time itself. One large eye blinked from what would be its forehead, its iris a deep purple and the sclera a bloody crimson. In one claw, the monster clutched a mutilated heart, in the other a gilded telescope. The archaic creature’s eye whizzed around the room, taking in its surroundings. Eventually, it settled on the boy. 


The boy had finally done it. 

He had summoned the almighty King of Daemons. 

“Master,” the boy whispered in awe and joy.

“We are now free.”