Beating the Monster

Bang!

The door shook on its hinges and I blinked.  Maybe if I ignore it, it will just go away.  Wishful thinking, I know, but maybe-BANG! BANG!

This time the frame around the door bent, hinges whining in protest of the pressure.  Fear, alive and terrible, climbs from my heart, racing to my mind.  If it reaches my mind, I’ll be lost.

No.  I won’t let it get there.  This time I’ll fight, but I won’t have to do it alone.

BANG!

The door buckles and then explodes.  Shards and splinters fly out and I duck to avoid a particularly large sliver.  A few pieces scrape my arms, but I ignore the stinging because of the thing in the doorway.

He is grotesque.  And huge.  His eyes are red, and saliva drips from his lips.

“I am fear…I am terror…” He doesn’t move his lips, but his voice fills my mind.  I cover my ears with my hands and sink to my knees.  The voice is crushing.

When I finally look up, the monster is striding towards me, a confident grin twisting his lips.  He thinks he’s won, but unfortunately for him, I am a fighter.

I jump up, fake a punch with my left hand and swing hard with my right.  My arm goes numb as my knuckles connect with his face, and the monster snarls, startled.  He was not expecting this.

He reaches for me, but I twist away and place a well-aimed kick to his hip.  He stumbles, but with surprising agility pivots and grabs my by the throat.

His nails bite into the skin at my neck, and I struggle to breath.  He leans in close. “It’s no use fighting.  I can feel your fear.  You are no match for me.”

The horrible sound of his voice echoes in my mind, and I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to block him out.  I claw at his wrists, and while I feel his grip slacken, he doesn’t let me go.

But at least I am fighting.

My foot connects with his kneecap, and he growls in frustration. My knee connects with his stomach, and he snarls, squeezing my neck harder. I think I can feel blood trickling down my neck, but I am too distracted by the change to care.

The monster feels the change, and his red eyes dart around, searching for what it is.

“You didn’t think I would be stupid enough to face you alone, did you?” I rasp, trying to sound confident.

He bares his teeth and roughly shoves me to the ground.  When I scramble to my feet, I see he has part of the door in his hands.  He lunges at me then, door swinging down towards my heart.

I close my eyes, confident that he won’t be able to touch me.

The frustrated howl of the monster lets me know that I am right.  I open my eyes and grin.  The monster is swinging the door at me, but an invisible shield now separates us.  He can’t touch me.

Something catches my eye, and I turn to find whispy figures standing next to me.  They remind me of my friends and family in a way.  “Who are you?”

A misty figure looks at me and smiles wide.  “We’re the prayers!  Those who love you would not let you do this alone.”

A second figure places transparent hands on my arm, and strength floods my body.  Fills my mind.  Calms my heart.  The figure glares at the monster.  “Now we can destroy this monster! He is weakening already!”

I look at the monster, and as his blood eyes look at me and my army, he shrinks.  His muscles deflate, and he moans.  A misty prayer hands me a metallic sword.  “Finish him.”

I grip the sword so tightly my knuckles turn white.  My invisible shield extends beyond me as I walk, and the monster backpedals.  “Too long have you tormented my mind,” I spit fiercely.  “Too long have you held me back.”

The monster snarls and lunges for me, and I bring up my sword, jumping to meet him.

His body slides heavily onto the point and the weight of him is crushing, but I hold my ground.  His hot, sulphur breath waifs over my face, but I don’t care because I’ve done it.  I’ve killed the monster.  He takes a final, shuddering breath, and then vanishes, taking all his fear, anguish, and terror with him.

My shield shimmers in approval, and my misty prayers rejoice.  There was a struggle , of course there was.  But I won.  The monster is beaten and I have won.

Mischief Managed

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Spirit verses the Flesh

shore

You enter the courts, ready to bring your praise. Normally you’d stop to take everything in, the beauty of this place. But today, today all that stands before you is nothing compared to the One who sits before you, rightfully on His throne. He, who has been waiting patiently for you to come into His presence, who has been guiding each step faithfully, listening with such love and devotion to His child—sometimes ready, sometimes resisting, desires you to see Him and continue, to come rest in this place.
His throne is magnificent—nothing compared to Him. His light overwhelms the throne, his love pulses through the floors, his presence brings waves of peace. You stand at the shore. You hesitate. How? Where to dive in? You feel it, you want it, but what is holding you back?

“If you dive in, there’s no returning.” You say to yourself. No. That’s not you. You turn to look and are confused. It is you, your body, your Flesh. Yet you stand here at the threshold of the King.
Your Flesh leans in at your shoulder—no, not your shoulder. You don’t have one. You are the Spirit, not contained by limitation of the body. Flesh whispers, “You are comfortable here at the shore. Can’t you just gaze at how beautiful this scene is? The Lord is before you. He sees you and smiles upon you. He loves you. You can feel it from here. This will do just fine.”
You shake your head because somehow that does not seem right. “That’s not enough. He’s given me more than just sight.”
You suddenly remember all the times you’ve stood here, some invisible wall keeping you here. All this time it was your own Flesh resisting, not understanding the plunge was not about Death and Chains but about Life and Freedom. His Power is so much more than just hearing a song and feeling better or being comfortable or seeing beauty on this earth. His power is all that and more.
“For so long I have spent too much time focusing on you, Flesh, and missing the most beautiful thing to ever happen to me. Flesh, you do not define me. For a time we may behave as One, but when you fail, I will live on. Will I live on separated forever from the King, or will I accept this invitation to be in His presence, a friend to the King, an honored position? I can do this now. Why wait?”
Your Flesh, who once stole your identity, says nothing. Any argument against this will not win.
This shore, you understand now, is a step—not an end to the path. You, the Spirit, can go beyond into His Most Holy Place, His presence.
“Flesh, you control me no longer.”

Fighting the Monster

It was almost time.  The wedding party was gathered in the back of the church waiting for the few latecomers to be seated.  She shifted in her heels, annoyed that her feet hurt already, and ran her hands down the front of her black dress.  It was her friends wedding day, so most of the attention would be on the bride, but with her blond mermaid curls and beautiful face, she knew she would hold a few stares.

Saliva pooled in her jaws.  “No.”

“No?” The monster peeled himself from where he was coiled around her insides.

“NO.  Not today.”

The monster raised an eyebrow, a malicious grin distorting his face.  “Yes.”

Before she could react, the monster clutched her heart in a fist, squeezing until she gasped, and beat it against her ribs before shoving the now frantically pounding organ into her throat.  With his other hand, the monster pinched her nerves and veins tight, causing her limbs to go numb and shake.

The girl trembled, praying for relief, but the sound of her heart banging within drowned out her thoughts.

He was overwhelming.

She was overwhelmed.

The monster smiled, relishing in her fear and discomfort.  Her panic was a drug to him.  And it was so, so strong.

Moving sluggishly, she dropped something just to have an excuse to dip her head and get blood to her brain.  

The monster looked up to where her heart was lodged in her throat, and swung a few punches at it.  He knew the uncomfortable banging of her heart unnerved her the most.

Her body was betraying her.

He licked his lips.

He loved it.

She swallowed, still praying, still hoping for strength.  Praying for relief.

And it came.

It came sure and fast and strong, and the monsters smile slipped.

What was this?

A warrior slid through her veins.

The monster hesitated only for a moment. He could fight this warrior.  He pushed against the warrior and was abruptly shoved back.

Now he panicked.

The girl felt the relief from the warrior.  She blinked back tears (can’t ruin the makeup), and whispered her thanks to the heavens.  The warrior was man made, but her confidence was from The Father.

The monster turned frantically, eyes crazed.  Where to go?  The warrior was destroying everything!  The warrior and her confidence.

The warrior reached her mind, and slammed the monsters poison away.  He moved down and caressed her heart as he dislodged it from her throat.  He pried apart her nerves and veins, and felt her relief as feeling returned to her limbs.

The monster was whimpering, watching his masterpiece of destruction fall apart.  He tried to punch through, and overcome with anger he rolled and raged against the warrior.

She could feel him.  She stood at the front of the church, and she could feel the monster.  He was raging; furious at being contained.  A smile twisted her lips though.  As angry as he was, the monster was defeated.  The warrior was helping her.

The warrior looked at the monster finally, and sneered.  He had felt the panic in the girl, and he hated the monster for affecting her so.   The monster lunged at him, fangs dripping, eyes wild, and the warrior threw out his hand.

The monster slammed into a shield.  His snout pressed against the barrier, and he dug his talons against the surface, searching for a chink.  He found nothing to grip onto, and he fell away with a howl, rolling and thrashing beneath the shield.  

The warrior smiled now as he looked down at the monster.  His work was done.  He saved the girl.  He heard her then, and he placed a hand on her heart to steady himself.  She was speaking to him!  He moved to be closer to her mind, and as he passed her heart, he whispered soothing words to it, for the organ still beat fast.  It was bruised by the monster, but not broken.

He reached her mind and could finally make out her words.

“Thank you.”

“You did not need me, you know.”

The girl blinked.  “Of course I did.”

The warrior observed her mind, her willpower, and smiled, shaking his head slightly.  “No.  The monster was destructive, yes, but you are not so weak that he would beat you.”

“I..”  She turned her thoughts inward.  The warrior could almost see her looking at him.  “I am strong.”  She sounded surprised.

“You are.  You did not need me, but I was happy to help make the fight easier.”

The girl considered this.  She could still feel the monster writhing beneath the barrier, but she found she pitied him.  He was a sad monster if he found joy in wreaking others.

He was weak.

He was beaten.

He was nothing.

The girl smiled then.  A real smile.  “Thank you for the warrior, Lord.” her insides murmured, smiling.  

The warrior patted her cheek then, and easily slid down her neck.  As he climbed carefully down her ribs, he considered the monster below.  He was a weak thing.  The girl had seen true.

The girl turned her attention to the back of the church, a true, carefree smile breaking from her as her beautiful friend came down the aisle.  

And the warrior.  He stood over the monster.  Protecting her.  Pitying him.

He stayed until he was called away, and it gave him great joy that the girl did not notice when he left.

 

Mischief Managed