The War Begins

Fear.  Fear is a powerful emotion.  It can consume you and swallow you whole.  Fear helps to keep us alive.
I have gone to war with my demons four times in my life.  Each time nearly cost me my life; but the demons did not win.  When each war ended I was rewarded with years of peace.  In the back of my mind I always knew they would be back, without warning, to declare a war for my soul once again.
These wars can last for years, with many small battles.  There are always scars from these battles, most are temporary, fading away, never to be seen again, letting me know what they can do.  A few have been permanent.
I have a mark on my left temple that can be seen when my core temperature becomes hotter than normal or when I get angry.  When I get angry heat comes off of me in waves, attempting to calm myself down.  I tell people it’s a birth mark, and in a way it is, but in reality it’s my first battle scar.
The problem with fighting all the time is you begin to get good at it.  The more you fight, the more you survive, the more you learn.  To steal a line from someone who taught me a lot as a child, “I’m good at what I do and what I do isn’t very nice.”
When you’re fighting a being who is a thousand times more powerful than you and with eons of experience, they do not meet many challenges and will get bored.
On my seventh birthday my first war began.  I posed no threat as I had zero training.  I had been shielded up until this point so I did not even know there was a need to fight.
The war was short, lasting four months.  Having no strength to resist, the darkness took over me.  I was in pain and had no idea what to do.  I wanted to ask my mom about it but I had no idea how to.  My demons made sure that I couldn’t.  Like the lions who could not eat Daniel, my mouth was closed shut.
As I climbed a tree I’ve climbed numerous times throughout that summer, tears flowed uncontrollably.  Thoughts of no one would miss me, the world would be better off without me, and my family might miss for a little while but I would be one less burden for them.
Once I reached the top I sat there.  My demons three kept telling me to do it.  My family didn’t want me anyways, I was worthless and they only kept me because no one else would take me.  I kept telling them to shut up but they wouldn’t listen.
They kept hitting me and hitting me, beating me into submission.  My little mind couldn’t take it anymore as I edged closer to falling.  A sharp pain began to throb where my mark is now.  They knew I was inches away and wanted to escape so they could witness it.
As the third one departed a moment of clarity flashed before my eyes, knocking the wind out of me, causing me to sit back on the branch.  I was no longer being suffocated.  I could finally breathe deeply.  They had lost.
Before they left I heard the same dark voice as before whispering harshly in my ear.
“You’re not a challenge.  You will be ours, it’s just a matter of time.”