Demons

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     The mind is a powerful thing. When faced with overwhelming odds and difficult scenarios, the mind comes up with solutions one would normally never think of. Our minds work tirelessly to sustain our physical beings, devising ideas to better our financial situations, and innovate things simply to make our lives easier. Our mind has the ability to lead us to success, but as with everything good, there is a dark side as well. Our minds have the capability to destroy us, to succumb to our demons by mere thought. Many factors play into the destruction of a mind, some I was now seeing in front of me.

     The leader of the human village was a tall man with a greying beard. His eyebrows were thick and set in a perpetual frown. He looked at me with disdain as I approached him and could see Demetria now sitting on a wooden bench near a small shack. Thankfully, he was human. I really had no more patience for any jinn masquerading as humans. Before I could speak, the leader held up his hand and finally spoke.

     "How dare you interfere in the matter of the gods?" The man asked with a growl.

     "How dare you put up an innocent as a sacrifice in order to save yourself?" I replied in anger. 

     "You know NOTHING, stranger. It was agreed upon for the betterment of society!" The leader deflected.

      "Did you ask Demetria? Did she agree or was she chosen because you did not wish to sacrifice your own children?" I asked in retaliation.

     "You may have doomed us all, stranger. A simple sacrifice would have guaranteed our crops, our safety, and our weather. Agathon, bring your girl," the leader called out.

     "Right away, Eugenios," Agathon nodded and made his way towards Demetria.

     "I have warned you before and I will warn you one last time. Do not touch her. She is under my protection," I whispered menacingly.

     "Will you battle the gods on our behalf, stranger, or will you abandon us and let us suffer for your stupidity?" Eugenios asked. 

     "How long have these gods threatened you? How many have died because you all were ignorant? How many have challenged these gods before me?" I asked and looked at Eugenios angrily. 

     "They have sacrificed hundreds. Always women. It has gotten to the point that no one prays for daughters anymore," Demetria whispered. "No one has challenged the gods before because they are violent and fulfill their promises of destruction. They set fire to our crops years ago because we delayed a sacrifice. They have threatened us since before I was born."

     "And none of you thought that your children's lives are worth something?" I asked in disbelief. "How many children have you sacrificed, Eugenios, or are the sacrifices only for those not related to the leader?"

     Eugenios looked at me in anger, but kept his mouth shut. Demetria frowned and took off her shoe before tossing it at Eugenios, hitting him squarely in the face. There was an outcry from the rest of the villagers once Demetria pulled of her second shoe and tossed it at the man again.

     "How dare you?! I am this village's leader!" Eugenios roared in disbelief.

     "Do NOT speak to me that way. How dare I? No, how dare you offer ME as a sacrifice while YOU send your daughters away to live with your family members in other villages?!" Demetria bellowed before clutching her chest with a wince.

     "I do not know what is worse, the fact that you are openly hypocritical or the fact that you wished to harm this woman for pointing out your hypocrisies," I whispered and turned my attention to Demetria. "Are you alright?"

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