Short Story – Break Me Down

This story is based on the song “Break Me Down” by RED.  It’s about my character Cecil and the psychological stuff he’s going through as he struggles against turning into a demon.

All characters belong to me.

I’ve never liked birds, much. They’re always so careless, flying through the sky, not a worry in the world. They act so free, like the wind will take them anywhere. Maybe I’m just jealous. I know humans look up to them and wish they had wings to soar through the sky with. I have wings; I don’t really think it makes things any better.

I sit here staring up at them now, watching them soar away. They don’t realize just how good they have it. But they’re animals, they don’t really think in terms of fairness and how well off someone else is. But then, a human might look at me and think the same thing. Humans don’t know what we’re really like. We’re not supposed to interact with them… much.

I’m not like other angels, though. I’m not so sure I am an angel anymore. My wings are darker. They used to be white, but now they’re ashen gray. I’ve fallen so low. I can’t return to my home, so I’m stuck here. But why is this happening? My brother… he was once a demon, but then he changed and became an angel again. But now I’m falling down the path he came away from. Why?

I’m so scared. I’m terrified. I keep feeling things changing inside of me. Feeling things I’ve never felt before and shouldn’t be feeling. I keep running away from it, trying to hide. But it keeps finding me.

Down there, in the waters I’m staring into. I see my reflection, but it isn’t me. It’s a darker version of me, trying to claw it’s way up and pull me down. Its eyes are red as blood with long black horns growing from its head. But that’s not me, it can’t be me.

I am you.

No!” I throw a rock at the water, shattering the reflection, and start running away. I have to get away. This isn’t me. It can’t be. But then who am I? I don’t know anymore.

Cecil.

I go still, hearing the dark voice in my head. Cynder told me about this. He heard the voice, too, just before he fell. He was lost for so long. No, I don’t want that to happen to me. Cynder came back, yes, but I might not.

Cecil, just let go.

Stop, leave me alone. Get out of my head. I fall to my knees, clutching my temples, squeezing at it to get the voice out. That never does any good.

Who are you?” I whisper. “What do you want from me?”

You’re doubting yourself, Cecil. I can give you the answers you seek. Just let go and I can guide you.

No, I can’t. I won’t.

You will!

A ghostly figure comes out of the ground, grasping at my ankles, clawing at my sides. It pulls me to the ground and pins me down, clawed hands gripping my throat. I look into the face and see myself, but it isn’t me. It’s who I would be if I were a demon.

No, I can’t let it win! I won’t become a demon, I can’t!

But you will. You can’t escape this, Cecil. It was always coming to this. You will never be free of this curse.

Stop it, stop it! Leave me alone! I ball my hand into a fist and punch at the other me. It stumbles back and I crawl away, pushing myself to my feet before running as hard as I can. This won’t be the end. I can’t let this happen. I can’t.

The other me is giving chase. I hear his footsteps close behind me. I don’t dare turn to see. Eventually the footsteps go silent, but I don’t stop until all the breath in me is gone. I fall onto my back, gazing up at the sky, gasping for air.

Why is this happening to me? Tell me why…” Tears sting at my eyes. I pull my glasses off to wipe the tears away, stifling a sob. My body aches. Why is this happening?

Because you’ve stopped caring.

I go still. The other me is back, gazing down at me with those vicious eyes. He grins, showing a mouth full of fangs.

You let down one human while your brother saved another. That’s why he was able to change back and why now, you’re changing into this. It’s not that the human you tried to help wouldn’t listen, but rather because you were the one who corrupted her in the first place.

It wasn’t my intention. I tried to help her. I don’t want this. I don’t want to be you.

It’s too late for that, Cecil. You are me, you always have been and you always will be.

No!” I tackle my double to the ground and wrap my hands around his neck, glaring at the horrid grin on his face. “I won’t, I’m not, I never have been!”

Then find yourself, Cecil.” I gasp softly and look up, hearing my brother’s voice. I don’t see him anywhere, but he continues to speak to me. “Find who you truly are, let that part of you shine through and rise up. The real you will surface. Don’t let your doubts break you.”

His voice goes silent. I glance back down to where my demon-self was, but it’s gone now. I’m alone. Alone again. I sigh deeply and fall onto my side, breathing hard.

The birds fly above me, careless and free. Stupid things. Why do they get it so easy?

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