I see them, hiding in their human shells. They may fool the world. But they don’t fool me.
They walk around among us, pretending to be normal and human and good. But secretly, they’re wretched creatures, robbing the world of its goodness as they spread death and decay.
I’ve always seen them, since I was a boy. I knew it was a gift, but not everyone saw it that way. When I was 8, I tried to ‘cleanse’ my aunt with fire, hoping it would reveal her true form. She wound up in the hospital, and I was sent away to a juvenile home for a few years. It taught me to be more discreet.
Throughout high school, I endured the misery of being labeled a ‘freak’. It was a ploy by the demons to cut me off from society. It worked, of course, and I didn’t make any friends. Not even with the other ‘weird’ kids.
I couldn’t sit idle for long, though. After graduation, I went to college and promptly dropped out to pursue a different path in life. I was going to be a demon hunter. If I was the only one that saw them, then that meant I was the only one that could stop them.
I had to start small. Root out the demons in my every day life, in my neighborhood. I had to send a message to the others. That I was onto them. It would make me a target, of course, but that was my burden to bear.
I spent many months working out my plan, gathering and fashioning the weapons that would help me dispatch the creatures. When everything was ready, I made my move.
There were plenty of demons to choose from. My old high school tormentors, or perhaps my neighbors, who willingly annoyed me in a bid to drive me over the edge. The less interaction I had with normal people, the more power the demons would have over me. It didn’t help that childhood had turned me into a shut-in, incapable of speaking to anyone except to try and tell them the truth, a truth they never believed.
I decided to track down my old bullies. With careful research, I discovered where they were spreading their evil in the present. I memorized their schedules and their routines, looking for the points where they were isolated. Armed with this knowledge, I struck. Over weeks, I went to different parts of the country, rooting out the old demons of my childhood, and killed them. Destroying their human bodies rendered them powerless in this world, and it was easy to squash them before they escaped.
As expected, the news of my deeds spread. It took them less time than I had thought to catch on to me. Guess I got sloppy. The authorities came down on me hard, branded me some sort of serial killer and locked me away.
The trial was a sham, as many of the witnesses and experts were demons themselves. Of course they incriminated me and used their dark influence to sway the jury, convincing them that I was insane. I’m surprised they didn’t indict me as a cold-blooded murderer and push for capital punishment. Then again, maybe it’s not so surprising. They want me to suffer. They want me to doubt my sanity, my purpose. They want me to watch them win.
Even at the asylum, I’m a laughing stock among the guards. ‘Demon Boy’, they’ve nicknamed me. Hilarious. I know what’s coming, though. The demons won’t bother to hide any longer. They know I’m on to them and that I’m powerless. They’ll show their real faces now. I shake my head at the guards pityingly. The fools. They laugh and walk away, leaving me alone. I lay down on the cot in my cell, silence and darkness my only companions. As I close my eyes, the screaming starts.
One of the guards smashes into the plexiglass door of the cell, splattering blood all over it. A gaunt, skeletal creature walks up behind him, impaling him on its claws and tearing him in half. It looks at me, eyes burning with flame, and smiles. The end has begun.