The periwinkle skin of the demon was visually jarring compared to the sharp horns on his head, and the foul cigar butt planted permanently in a corner of his mouth. His watery yellow eyes looked at me with unbridled malice.
“What you never realized, and now will be unable to forget” Doubt said. “Is that people really don’t like what you write and compose. You thought they did, the small encouraging comments here. The occasional plaudit there. You thought the small amount of positive attention you gave people and their work was appreciated. Or even wanted.”
His tone was positively gleeful as he continued.
“Now you know its a lie. Now you know what they really think of you. I just showed you *his* true feelings. You know that he’s just the tip of the iceberg. You know it in the deepest part of your heart. He’s the rule, not the exception. Those small nice things and mentions you receive.” He belched a cloud of cigar smoke. I choked in response as it hit my nostrils, eyes and mouth. “All were acts of pity.”
Doubt hopped off of the computer desk, which had groaned but not broken under his weight. He strolled toward the apartment door, out of my field of vision. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak. I had no answer for him. I did not see, but guessed from the sound of his voice that he turned his head to face me one more time.
His tone changed to saccharine sweet.
“Now my work here is done. See if you write anything ever again. See if you comment or promote anyone’s work ever again.”
I didn’t look at him. I didn’t answer. I just stared at the computer screen. A hot tear rolled down my left cheek as I heard the sound of the door open, and close, shut.