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When the Demons Come to Play...

By Lenora Altom

By Lindsey AltomPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - March 2024
When the Demons Come to Play...
Photo by Vitaliy Shevchenko on Unsplash

Who do you think you're fooling? I know you're here and I know that you were invited although not by me. You follow me through the hallway whilst you and your friends cling to the walls like unwanted spiders. You make no sound but I can feel your heaviness. I reach the door to my and my husband's bedroom and hesitate. The tension in the air is so thick I could cut it with a knife. He lies just behind this door, sleeping as usual. Lately, if he's not sleeping then he's working or drinking or something else entirely. I keep trying to help him but I keep getting the feeling that he may be too far gone. I keep getting this sinking feeling that he likes the darkness. I'm scared he's the one who asked you here.

We're yelling again. There's my baby girl in the corner covering her ears and looking to the ceiling. Can she see you? I don't have time to think about it as you yell and berate me and all I can think about is how to stop this and how can I help you understand. It's a pull and tug, a give and take. You care and give then you take and cut with your words.

Your words are like a knife stab to my heart. Sometimes I wish you would take an actual dagger to my heart. Would that make you feel better love? Would that release your pain? Give it to me, give it all to me.

We sway and toss on a never-ending stormy sea...

Broken beer bottles shatter on the floor...

The remnants of last night's activities are on your card table in the shed.

You think I don't know what I'm looking at and you tell me it's all just THC but I know better; I know it's weed.

I also know there's more there than that.

On my knees, I say, "Please stop! Please just come and spend time with us. I beg you!"

You smirk and laugh in my face.

One night as we argue I look and for a split second your beautiful hazel eyes turn pitch black as black as the night sky and then they turn back.

Suddenly, my feelings are validated in a way I didn't want them to be. I suddenly know that not only are you here but you've possessed him as well.

Demon that was a dark box that I did not feel equipped to deal with in any way.

And then one night the demons found me too.

They didn't possess me but they poisoned my mind.

He weakened me with their help and then they came in to pounce.

I lay cold, naked, wet after a bath, and helpless on the floor of my bathroom. I was drowning in my depression and began searching the bathroom for anything with which to kill myself or cause myself harm.

Then, I thought of my little girl, my teenage son, and my two stepsons. What would happen to them if I died? I couldn't bear to think of the pain I'd cause them so I got up off the floor and slowly one by one told my demons to leave.

One, I see water dripping from my hair to the floor.

Two, I feel cold.

Three, I hear my child snoring in the next room.

Fourth, I taste the salt from my tears on my tongue.

Fifth, I smell soap in the air.

I knew what I had to do.

Shortly after that night, the man who used to be my husband told me that I was just the dirt under his shoe essentially and worse than his toxic mother and mine combined and I knew in that last defining moment that I had to leave. I couldn't help him and I certainly couldn't expel these demons. The demons had played a fine game of chess and it was time for me to accept my defeat and win the game by leaving for you never win when the demons come to play.

By Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash

traumapanic attacksdepressionCONTENT WARNINGanxietyaddiction

About the Creator

Lindsey Altom

For me, writing runs in the blood. I've wrote songs, poems and short stories ever since I was a little girl. I mostly like to write about my life experiences mixed with a little fiction or just things that come off the top of my head! :)

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  1. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (8)

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  • Denise E Lindquist27 days ago

    Congratulations on top story 🎉🎉🎉

  • Hi we are featuring your excellent Top Story in our Community Adventure Thread in The Vocal Social Society on Facebook and would love for you to join us there

  • Anna about a month ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

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  • LASZLO SLEZAKabout a month ago

    Congratulations work.

  • Carol Townendabout a month ago

    This is a very assertive poem, and you have done well to write it. Remember, always be proud to be you, and never let anyone treat you less than what you deserve to be treated like.

  • AngelBeeabout a month ago


  • Alisha Wilkins2 months ago

    Sometimes dealing with the demons means putting them down on paper, recognizing their presence, and then kicking their A! You're a strong woman. You have strong beautiful children. (To me they will always be little!). This pain, this depression, and this anger won't last forever. It's just a really hard pill to not make yourself the enemy. Love you, sis.

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