Read the entire story before you judge. Like every morning when she awakes to an empty home she feels alone and as if the world has somehow forgotten that she too is human. That life has denied her a sliver of happiness. She has spent years convincing herself that she is better off alone where no one can hurt her. Illogical reasoning convinces her that safety and solitude are somehow synonymous. Over the years she has found that every human connection she makes leads to disappointment. She stands in silent contemplation while focusing past her own reflection in the mirror. So many fears, memories, and regrets of past mistakes guide the tempting voices of the demons that reside on either of her shoulders. Both of them seductively whisper in her ears directions that supposedly lead to peace. She has learned from their past deceptions that they seldom can be trusted. Still her heart aches for direction, comfort, and compassionate understanding that will help unite her demons and her consciousness into one coherent thought. Names have been given to her demons who also have genders. Tom who stands on her right shoulder has fangs for teeth, knives for fingernails, and deception for a voice. Tom spends much of his existence clawing through her protective skin that has been weathered by years of pain. No matter how thick skinned she becomes, Tom's claws always manage to shred through her defenses where his teeth then feast on the shattered remnants of her heart. He only pauses from his feast long enough to remind her of how worthless, ugly, and undeserving she is to even have air in her lungs. Linda who resides on her left shoulder has no hands, mouth, or discernable voice that can be seen through the mask that has disguises her true intentions. Quietly Linda sits and her only actions are a confirming nod to the degradation that Tom is perpetually spewing. Although Linda's actions are forever silent, she is often the loudest demon. This woman who feels so alone closes her eyes and covers her ears with her hands in an attempt to block out the influences of her demons. Unfortunately their attacks are coordinated and the second her eyes close to blind herself to her mirrors reflection, her heart is being poked and prodded with sharp sticks. She then sits on the floor hugging herself trying desperately to comfort her heart as salted tears moisten her lips. Although the only sounds in the room are her own quivering lips and the steady dripping sound of a leaking faucet, there's a deafening roar pounding away in her ears. Over, and over, and over, she hears her father's voice reverberate through the room until even the sound of her beating heart is drown out by his unwanted opinions of her. She convinces herself that she's going insane, and the persuasion of her demons are enormously verse in there deception. She seeks out any means of bringing stability and realism to her thoughts. Sometimes her fists pound away at the tile floor until the porous grout that binds the porcelain together has been stained like maraschino cherries. She has had little worries about the long term damage that she causes to her knuckles because in her opinion her hands have only been used as a toy for her dads sick pleasure. She would cut them off if she had the courage. She would remove them like a diseased limb that infects her body with filth. One time recently she grew tired of trying to break the floor with her bruised hands. She stood up and peered back into the mirror but this time she didn't see herself. She saw a distant reflection of her dad's image. Instinctively she screamed fearing what he was going to do with her. Her fists raised in a defensive posture but she saw him raising his fists to her ready to pound away at her self worth. Her head dodged downward as his fists swung toward her face. It was then she realized that it wasn't his fits that she saw, it was her own fists that that struck the mirror shattering it into a hundred razor sharp shards that feel down around her bare feet. Her natural instinct told her to remain still so that she wouldn't cut her feet, but her need for realism compelled her to slide her feet as she sat back down. She felt the burn of the shards as the bottom of her foot spilled out more stain to color the floor. She must have sat there for an hour until the small puddle of blood had congealed. Her fingers moved across the edge of one of the many shards. It was at this moment Linda the demon on her left shoulder told her to grab the shard and use it. Linda whispered so quietly, "just end it, let the world go. Spill your life on the floor and bring your pain to an end". Tom on her other shoulder reminded her of how much better the world would be after her veins ran dry. He didn't whisper, he yelled. He screamed, "DO IT, NO ONE LOVES YOU. NO ONE HAS EVER LOVED YOU. NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE YOU. YOU DON'T DESERVE TO BE LOVED". Her hands shook as she picked up one of the shards and rested it on her wrist. Flashes of memories washed through her mind. She felt, smelled, and heard him as he tortured her existence. He used his callused hands to violate her innocence as he poured anti-inhibitions down her throat so that she wouldn't care what was happening to her. One demon kept promising her peace, while the other kept showing her the pain she has felt throughout her life. She could no longer ignore their influences on her. She looked down over the edge into the depth of her own defeated self-preservation. She imagined a drum roll and a chorus line being led by a promise of peace and a promise of unrelenting pain. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and prepared for the skin splitting sensation. She expected a burning sensation, but she didn't feel heat. She expected a stinging numbness, but it was soft and delicate. She was relieved, but confused. She opened her eyes expecting to see a large puddle of maraschino red, but she realized the shard that was in her hand was now lying on the floor. Her wrist that was suppose to be spilling her life was intact and her only friend, her cat named Toy was rubbing its fur against her demons desired target. A profound sense of purpose possessed her. No one would be left to take care of the only true companion she had ever known. The only friend who she knew would never hurt her and the only friend who truly depended on her. Toy climbed into her lap and whipped away her tears with her furry face. This woman stood up and washed the blood from her bruised knuckles and then shared a can of tuna with her only friend. Her lips made a silent promise to herself that she would try not to listen to the memories of her mom Linda, and her father Tom anymore. She then sat down with her cat on one side of her lap and her computer on the other side and typed out a short story in hope that others will somehow understand her.