A curse was released not too long ago. A curse that little was known about. It turned many but kept some safe. I was one of the turned. 

I open my eyes to the same room I’ve always slept in. The blare of my 7:30am alarm plays in my ears. Blue curtains letting in just a little bit of light. A messy floor. Half-open dresser drawers. My paintings in the corner. Yet this time when I go to turn off my alarm clock I see something new. I scream a small black, faceless, figure whispers out its first line “You don’t know me but I know you…” I jump out of bed and run, slightly dazed from the terrifying voice only to find another, bigger one blocking my way out the door, letting out the same line only louder. Now fully awake I screech again only to find them surrounding me on every side, chaotically chanting their dreadful song louder and louder until it overwhelms me. For a brieIt stops. Then like the most blood-chilling choir, their melodic voices became one, and they let out a sinful song: “You don’t know us, but we know you, every secret fear will come true, you can run, but you can’t hide, we are already inside.”

I run out of my room, down the hall, grab my keys, get in my car, and drive. Corrupted by fear, I don’t even know where I’m going but I do know I must get away from these demons. I don’t get far down the road before I see one appear in the passenger’s seat. I let out a blood-curdling scream before almost wrecking my car. I somehow find a way to stay straight as the creature spews his dreadful lines over and over again. Before I know it I am at my college, I try to make myself somewhat presentable. Then I mindlessly walk to my first class, the demons surround me, everywhere I look I see a monster, no one else seems horrified. The notion that I am alone in this suffering makes me feel like I need to hide. I hold my chin up a little higher and smile a little wider, just like everyone else. It is not long before I see my best friend, the demons could never reach her, she is my one safe place. Before I even speak, she peels away my walls and sees the fear in my eyes, “Are you ok,” she says “What’s wrong?” “It’s the curse, I’m one of the turned.” She looks at me with undeniable pity. She puts her head to mine “I’m so sorry, I’ve heard it’s horrible.” The demons are the quietest they’ve ever been when I’m in her arms but they are still there. I look over her shoulder and see one as it whispers “You know what happened last time.” I hear another one from behind me “You know her love will never last. If she loves you at all,” “You know she only holds you because she feels sorry for you,” Is the final word before I retreat. The terrible memories of lost friendships that the demons have resurfaced are far too painful. I’m too afraid to lose her I must figure this out on my own first. “That’s right Love is a dangerous weapon. Don’t trust anyone except us, we are the Truth.” They say in my ear. Nowhere is safe anymore.

I skip school that day and find myself driving home. It’s almost as if the demons know me better than I know myself. They are monsters unforgiving and relentless. Days pass by, I go about life with the monsters whispering fatal lies in my ear so much that I begin to believe them, unable to determine truth from lies. One day I am reading the news, and I see an article about a place where the curse can be cured. But to find the place you must see a doctor. This is one of the first official reassurances I’ve had since I was cursed that I’m not the only one with these monsters. The person who wrote this article must be a brave soul because I’ve heard rumors that talking about your demons makes them stronger, a risk I and few others are willing to take. Much to the dismay of my demons, I go to the doctor. I can’t even drive there because the demons overwhelm my senses and scream in my ears how ‘I’m exposing myself’ or ‘Getting help is for those who actually need it’. I take the bus I see others with the same dark circles as under my eyes from the endless nights of worries sung. When I reach the doctor’s office the monsters begin to disperse, they know I’m no longer listening to their infernal lies. When I enter a skinny man with a hopeful complexion comes in “What seems to be bothering you miss” I cough, “Uhm, I think, uhm, I’m, uh just,” My eyes dart over to the demon that walked in with me. Even though it is faceless I can feel it’s condescending voice down to my bones “You’re alone. You’re crazy. He can’t help you. This sad excuse for a doctor will only judge you for your weakness.” “Ma’am, may I ask again why you are here?” The doctor says as he looks at me with overwhelming compassion. “The curse,” I whisper.

The doctor’s eyes widen he looks over to the corner where my demon is and soon everything clicks for him. “I’ve only known you for a few minutes ma’am but I think I can help.” He smiles at me without a speck of pity, that’s how I know he has a real solution. “Tell me do you have these symptoms on an everyday basis: overwhelming fear, unapproachable shyness, great distrust, and finally some kind of whisper in your ear?” I nod my head. He sighs, “Well you’re right to come to us, this is the curse, and you are not alone. The people who released this curse, the AWRF (A World Run on Fear), as they call themselves, are evil. Our observations show their curse tends to prey on people who are already insecure or have a former issue. The curse takes these feelings and causes them to fester in the form of the Whispers, who look different for everyone.” He smiles again, “But there is hope, a center called Backwards Dog. They give out pills for the curse once a week for a small fee. It has worked for many people myself included.” The doctors smile leaves and he looks at me sternly, “My only warning is it only works if you want it to. Surprisingly, you may find deep down, you want the Whispers, they may have tricked you into believing they are your only solace. You must rid yourself of this notion. The Whispers must leave if you want your life to ever be rid of this curse.” He hands me a prescription and directions to the Backwards Dog company. He tells me they open in two days. I thank him for all his help and return to the bus stop. The demons rage in melody once more as soon as I get on the transportation. “His solution is a lie our kind can never die.” The most terrifying part of having these demons are their songs such as this one. Many times they just speak like a normal creature without a mouth, but the singing is what induces the most fear in me. The next two days are full of songs, everywhere I go I hear, “Their solution is a LIE, our kind can never DIE.”

These two days are the worst the demons have ever been, I can’t even hold a simple conversation. All I can hear is their voice. I can see their soulless bodies everywhere I look. My hands shake. Life is miserable. When I reach the Backwards Dog building, I feel the hot sun radiating on me, yet my entire body is shivering. My mind, soul, and heart feel numb. I am wracked with fear that claims the pill won’t work. After waiting in line I approach the front desk, “Excuse me,” I say quietly. I begin to walk away. I fear no one has heard me in this busy building or more likely, no one cares. A lady comes up behind me, “Miss, you were just at the front desk, you hear the Whispers don’t you.” I lower my head. She looks at me with a perfect smile on her face. She gives me a bag she had been holding the whole time. It says my name on it. I looked up to thank her, but in an instant, as quickly as she arrived, she was gone. I take the first pill and the demons are less but still prevalent. They are quieter now but still say, “You don’t want to lose us, you like our company.” I shake my head and as the week goes by I remember what the doctor told me “The Whispers must leave if you want your life back to normal.” I go back to Backwards Dog, the next week and while still there the demons continue to decrease. As weeks turn to months I find the demons are less and less and their voices get quieter and quieter until they are almost gone. I had never in my life felt such relief as when they stopped showing up every day. The sun shined a little bit brighter, the sky was bluer, and I had never felt such a wonderful breeze. When I thought I was fine and stopped taking the pills for a few weeks the demons amped back up again. It was then that I realized that the Whispers are like scars, they heal but never go away completely. As months turn to years and the demons leave for longer periods of time, I don’t even need the pills every week but I always have to visit the Backwards Dog center to get advice on next steps. For a few years, I didn’t even need the pills at all. But once you’ve been cursed the demons are never truly gone, so every once and awhile a whisper will return “our kind will never die.”

Authors Note: I wrote this as an allegory for people’s everyday battle with Anxiety and Depression. The main character is surrounded by the Whispers which are representations of these mental illnesses. The doctor is a representation of divine intervention/guardian intervention that leads to counseling. Furthermore, the pills specifically are representative of the evolution of getting through these problems and correcting your view of them. This can be through many different ways including but not limited to actual medication and counseling. The Backwards Dog Center is the representative of most importantly seeing yourself in light of how God sees you. As you go through your journey you may not need the medication or the counseling anymore but never lose sight of your relationship with God.  Counseling and medication don’t work perfectly for everyone and are not always necessary but this is pulling from personal experience. Always remember no matter what you are going through there is always hope. Thanks for reading!

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