The Demon & The Damsel (Chapter III)

Chapter II

The Demon & The Damsel (Chapter III) by Valerie Parente

The Demon moved along in his life
collecting souls and locking them in a chest
hidden away in the basement of the kingdom
where there was nothing but darkness.
Every now and again
a new girl would wander into these depths
it was so easy for the Demon to lure her
with a false sense of nurturance.
That was the problem with Daphne
the Demon thought way back to when
he never had to battle for her mind
yet she became so deeply obsessed.
That’s the thing about damsels
they always find themselves in distress
then when they meet a Demon
who offers a fake sense of solace
using the curse of a Devil
it’s so easy to feel blessed.
But Daphne made it hard to be imprisoned
because she fell in love with the fallen angel
and the Demon couldn’t accept
that she was determined to heal his wounds
as if his narcissism could be bandaged.
She called out all his sins
thinking she could better his image,
after two years He had enough,
she was too smart and too fresh,
there was an imbalance of power
and no damsel should be so confident.
To this day He stands by his decision
to banish Daphne from castle Nefaria.
He could have physically killed her
but psychological damage felt best.
If the Demon hadn’t exiled Daphne
he was sure she never would have left
because somewhere along the line
this damsel got it in her head
that she needed the Demon to love her
otherwise she might as well be dead.

Today Daphne had her eyes set on redemption
to make all of her pain feel worth it
because finding beauty in the ugly
gave her maddened mind purpose.
After leaving the convent of Sun followers
it was time to enter the Anafranile forest.
Daphne stood before the tallest of trees
looking like birch towers nature dressed,
unable to see the tops or the leaves,
she swore those trees were endless.
A haunting tune filled these woods
sung by horse-sized birds with ebony plumage.
Their chirps sounded like piano keys,
a kind of lullaby before bed.
As Daphne took a step into the grayscale jungle
she felt her eyes grow wet,
something about the song stirred her soul
it reminded her that she was only human.
She remembered her toxic relationship,
like a blazing fire, she only saw red
when she thought of the creature she loved
and all that time she spent.
To the bird’s ballad she saw memories,
the past felt like pure death,
and it wouldn’t be so painful
if she lacked emotional intellect.

Ever since Daphne was a small child
she had a bad habit of collecting feelings
holding onto moods for dear life
as if emotions were a religion to believe in.
To the nice boys she was too intense
so it’s no surprise she fell for a demon.
She was only 25 but her mind felt like 100
experiencing lifetimes-worth of bleeding.
At every inception of her love
she felt the obsessive nature creep in.
When she first entered the Demon’s domain
she felt safe beyond reason
despite the moat of lava surrounding Nefaria
and storm clouds that were never leaving
Daphne attached herself to the darkness
determined to cast beauty on the region.

to be continued…

– Valerie Parente (8-7-2020)

The Demon & The Damsel (Chapter II)

Chapter I

The Demon & The Damsel (Chapter II) by Valerie Parente

A convent full of the Sun God’s followers
invited Daphne to stay the night
all women devoted to positivity.
they lived their lives by the sunlight.
Before going to sleep on a firm mattress
Daphne questioned the place she lied
with her leather-bound notebook in hand
she grabbed a quill and started to write
“Why do they worship the Sun?”
she begged her pen for insight.
And just like clockwork, the world listened
and a conventual came to say goodnight.
The damsel asked her this question
and the Sun’s follower sat by her side
“We believe you can go to bed upset
but you must reset your mind by daylight.
No amount of pain is forever
like our Sun, it sets then it will rise
so if you’re having a bad day
allow yourself an emotional right
but when tomorrow comes
it’s time to move on and try
to see the good in the new day,
to see the smiles that arise.
And I know it sounds difficult
but I’m living proof of this way of life.
I lost my family to violent pillagers
and I let myself be sad for awhile
but I felt the Sun above speak to me,
she said my family was sick and tired
of watching down from heaven
while I wasted so much time.
The Sun told me my loved ones are always with me
in every single ray the Sun shines
and ever since that day
I feel warm, even under a cloudy sky.”
The damsel thought of the Demon
and all the brainwashing she had to fight
like when he told her she owes it to her pain
to identify heavily with every tear she cried,
that to let go of the negativity
would be an insult to God’s mind.
But today, in front of this conventual
Daphne knew the Demon was full of lies.

That night the damsel dreamt of the Devil,
something she hadn’t done since she escaped
that castle she once called home
the Demon’s royal hellscape.
The nightmare shook her to her core
but in the slumber she remained
determined to speak to the dark lord
to understand why he was made.
“You took everything from me,”
her teeth gritted in pure pain.
The Demon’s wings billowed out
and in a thunderous rage
a storm spouted form his spine
swirling tornadoes in vain.
But why is Daphne at fault
when the Demon is the one to blame?
All she ever did was try to see the love
as the fallen angel made mistake after mistake.
Turns out this was Daphne’s greatest crime
because there is nothing a toxic man hates
more than the girl who points out
every sliver and shred of his toxic traits.
Suddenly the Demon reached out
grabbed the damsel by the waste
and he grew ten stories high
with razor sharp teeth in a mouth agape
He was about to make a meal out of her
so she wriggled like a snake
trying to break free…
then she remembered she could wake.

The sun shined through the stained glass
painting a rainbow across the bedroom.
Daphne smiled as she sat up straight
remembering the Sun follower’s #1 rule.
Her night had been rough
but sure enough the morning ensued.
Today was a new day
and it was time to gather the troops.
Daphne left the convent feeling strong
like her soul had grown immune
and when she finally returns to the Demon
she’d be ready to see him through,
make her way to the bloody fountain,
reach into the scarlet pool,
and handpick every last soul
that the Devil once imprisoned for fuel.

to be continued…

Chapter III

– Valerie Parente (8-4-2020)

The Demon & The Damsel (Chapter I)

Intro

The Demon & The Damsel (Chapter I) by Valerie Parente

For three moons and three suns
the damsel set her sights on a legion
while she wandered through the forest
she daydreamed of knights to kill the demon.
Once she reached the outskirts of a village
she noticed a woman heavy breathing,
the color in her eyes, a milky gray,
and a coy look like she was scheming.
A psychic, you might call her
with a cluster of crystals used for readings.
Suddenly the damsel realized
she didn’t have a plan to reel in
an army that could help her
execute the dream she’s been dreaming.
The damsel approached the psychic sternly
“Hello Daphne,” the psychic greeted.
She knew the damsel’s name without a hint.
Daphne embraced the destined meeting
knowing the stars always had a divine plan,
“My lady, have you eaten?”
Daphne offered a loaf from her pocket,
“Can you trade your wisdom for some feeding?”
“Oh bless your heart,” The psychic laughed,
“Your bargaining is not needed;
I’ve been waiting for us to cross paths
to keep you safe from bleeding.
The crystals whispered to the stars
and told me what you believe in,
about your goal to liberate the damned
to harness justice and get even.”

Daphne took a deep breath,
she knew this woman was her only hope,
“I was obsessed with a demon once,”
the damsel’s voice shook and it choked.
The psychic smiled but it was sweet,
“Dear, I already know.
Do you know his real name?”
Daphne shook her head, no.
“That’s because he has none,”
the psychic cackled like a crow.
“Your first mistake, when you met,
was you humanized his soul
but the truth is that the Demon
feels no remorse in his bones
he was made to be cruel
because there is a deep hole
far in his cavernous chest
where a heart was supposed to go.”
Suddenly Daphne remembered,
she gasped, “I should’ve known,”
because when she was just a child
her favorite books always told
of the ways of the underworld
how the Devil creates sick trolls
all heartless and nameless
simply bred just to invoke
a type of pain from the depths of hell
in each kingdom they overthrow
put on this God forsaken planet
to destroy every last bit of hope.  

“Now what you must do,” the psychic advised,
“Is gather the broken-hearted,
those are the ones with a third eye
blessed by what was once painful
they are the soldiers you need by your side.”
Daphne listened intently,
“But how do I convince them to fight?”
The psychic woman spoke calmly,
“Just say what feels right,
you will know in the moment
the stars will be your guide.”

to be continued…
Chapter II

– Valerie Parente (8-1-2020)

The Demon & The Damsel (Intro)

The Demon & The Damsel (Intro) by Valerie Parente

The demon thought to himself
“My work here is done,
I’ve messed the damsel up enough,
imprinted myself in her brain,
and all that’s left is to run.
I don’t even have to explain
to this weaker link that I led on,
I got as far as one could
without ever having to touch,
got my ego stroked everyday
and now it’s on to the next one.
With this silver in hand
and this green on my thumb
I’ll plant a new disaster
then continue to play dumb.
My heart won’t skip a beat
over the mental web I have spun
so much trauma and destruction
until she started to catch on.
It’s gonna take years for that bitch
to undo the pain I’ve caused
and I’ve never felt more important
than when I destroyed her for fun
’cause now she can’t breathe
but I don’t think of her breath once.”

The damsel sat down before the fire pit
noticing how the flames were as red as a rose.
She was ready to transcribe the trauma
from her journey three months ago,
that time she tried to tame a demon
while letting him keep his throne.
She writes on the parchment
“Thank you for being an asshole,
thank you for bringing out the worst in me
so that the best had room to grow,”
because now she’s finally free
from the demon who sold her soul,
cashed her in for someone better
that provided a bigger ego stroke.
“I called out all his Dark Arts,”
she scrawled in cursive rows,
“But I’m the one whose exiled
because my brain didn’t let go,
they want to burn me like a witch
then reap the embers that glow,
because what is more dangerous…
secretly wreaking havoc for the Devil
or being the big-mouth girl who knows?”

The damsel looked up at the stars
remembering the castle the demon owned
and with a flicker of her wrists
she drew a map of that hellhole.
The wise girl laughed to herself
knowing one day his antics would turn cold
because what this demon didn’t realize
was that she could turn pain into gold
making spells out of pure emotion
when mixed with the magic in her bones
and with the words on this parchment
she’d guide an army of her own
to the hellscapes she escaped from
to liberate every possessed soul.

to be continued
Chapter I

– Valerie Parente (7-30-2020)


Sad Truth

Sad Truth by Valerie Parente

“What did I do to deserve such disrespect?”

“You loved someone who doesn’t even love themself.”

– Valerie Parente (12-9-2019)

Boys

Baby BlueBoys by Valerie Parente

The teacher turned to the schoolgirls, “And what do we say when boys break our hearts?”

The girls raised their hands, “They get rid of our writer’s block.”

 

 

 

 

 

– Valerie Parente (12-8-2019)

Divinity

"You Are Divine" by Valerie Parente

“Dear child,” the being of light proclaimed, “For too long you have been wrapping your identity around victimhood. You are not a victim. You are Divine. You are strong. You are powerful. You are made of the most powerful forces in the universe and that is why you are conscious. Remember your roots. Remember your power. And you will do this through knowledge. Educate yourself. Enrich your life with experience. And depend on no one to save you. Lonely? Teach yourself. When it hurts, listen to the lessons. When it feels good, bask in your essence. When your ego deeply yearns for something please remember that you are not your ego and the things that matter in the grand scheme of life transcend your ego’s instincts and one day in a timeless realm you will feel this deeper than you ever imagined possible. You have learned all of this before you were born, your flesh suit has simply forgotten. All the answers are prevalent to your Divine essence. Activate the soul inside. The answers glow inside your self. Look to yourself, and nobody else. You are Divine.”

– Valerie Parente (7-18-2019)

Intention

Intention by Valerie Parente

He was sick. Nose stuffed. Ears blocked. Miserable on the couch. His only movement came from his fatigued thumb gently scrolling through the phone.

“Open the door” came a text from his close friend.

His eyes burned. He hesitantly typed, “Door’s unlocked”

The floorboards creaked as the girl walked into the loft with a bright smile and a piping hot container clasped between her hands.

“I got you your favorite soup from downtown. Maybe it’ll make you feel better.”

He didn’t get up. He didn’t thank her. “Why did you do that?”

In that split second her eyes shifted from glowing to deeply hurt.

She didn’t shut down. She didn’t back track. She said what needed to be said. “What is wrong with you?” Those piercing words sounded more like they were begging for an answer than asking a simple question.

“I- I just don’t know why you’d waste your time-”

“Don’t pretend you have my best interest in mind,” she snapped. You never would have guessed that this was the same sweet and giddy girl that just came skating into the loft.

He knew he had a problem. He knew this was his problem but his mind was trying so hard to categorize this as her problem. His thoughts cranked away, trying to rationalize the panic coursing through his veins in a way that didn’t pin the blame on him.

The problem wasn’t that she did something nice for him. The problem was that she paid attention to what his favorite soup was. The problem was that she went out of her way to drive to his favorite take-out restaurant and then in another direction to his loft. The problem was that she thought, in her time alone, that doing something for him would be a worthy use of her energy. The problem was that she thought of him.

Before he could translate his thoughts into verbal daggers she called him out.

“How miserable it must be to be you,” she shook her head in disbelief, “How little do you think of yourself that you feel the need to stop or shame anybody for caring about you? Not just doing a nice favor for you… but really caring for you. Understanding you. Just because you don’t see your own value doesn’t mean I have to stop caring. You hate yourself so you project all of that onto me and I am so sick of it.” Her mouth quivered in contrast to how strong and stern her tone was.

He didn’t know what to say. He couldn’t figure out a rebuttal fast enough.

“I am NOT your punching bag!” she cried out with a voice so strained you could hear the exhaustion in her vocal chords.

He rubbed his fingertips on his bloodshot eyes up to his temples. Why was he like this? Hurting her feelings was never his intention. His intention… well… what was his intention? He didn’t know.

Her eyes were wet but she didn’t break eye contact. “I’m not going to apologize for having emotions just because you can’t handle your own! I am entitled to feel things when I’m around you. I’m not going to let your self-hatred stop me. I’m sorry but that’s not a war you’re going to win.”

He panicked, “I- I’m sorry-”

“I don’t want to hear ‘I’m sorry’!” she was crying now. “I want you to get professional help! I need you to! I need you to be okay! I need you to accept yourself! I need you to take care of yourself! I need you to understand your worth! And in order to get to that point you’re going to need to cry and hurt and feel a whole bunch of uncomfortable feelings and I need you to know that it’s going to get better… and I need you to believe me when I say that! Because if you don’t get to a healthy point then you’re going to lose… and if you can’t handle someone having emotions around you then you’re going to wind up alone.”

Alone.

That.

That was his intention.

A dominating part of him was trying to push people away. Not just any people. The people who care… really care. The people who get inside his head. The closer they were to understanding him when he couldn’t even understand himself meant the harder he needed to push. And she understood him and she got in his head and she saw all his flaws but still cared. That’s why this girl was getting the brunt of his insecurity-spawned and fear-born frustration. An unconscious facet of his brain was trying with full force to wind up alone… because being alone would be easier than handling the emotions that come to the surface when you have a real connection with someone.

– Valerie Parente (4-22-2019)

Sage of Tarkus

Sage of Tarkus by Valerie Parente

The heartaches of war that plagued the land of Segaduses left many civilians absent of faith. Lost. Looking for a reason to live again.

Determined to receive some sort of direction from a beacon of wisdom, a damsel from Segaduses traveled thirty miles by knight and steed to arrive at a cabin deep in the woods of Tarkus, home of the most acclaimed sage in all of the land. She had been on a journey for the past three years, searching for an answer to all of her sorrow. This girl with the mint green eyes convinced herself that the cure to her faithless haze could be found by falling in love. Her journey, for the past three years, was none other than a quest for a beloved hero whom could fill her life with purpose and interpersonal connection.

The gown worn by the damsel of Segaduses billowed like a blossoming tulip as she seated herself across the sage.

“I’ve been expecting you, dear,” the pale old woman stirred her chalice, making a burgundy whirlpool of the most fragrant truth serum. As the aroma wafted into stuffy cottage the damsel’s nostrils were filled and the knowledge she had denied deep in the core of her brain was activated.

With a confident nod the sage pointed to the knight on the stallion, outside of the cabin, whom had brought the Segaduses maiden so far along her journey.

“He is the one,” the strong-minded sage determined. “The man on the stallion is the man you will wed.”

For a fleeting second the damsel’s brow furrowed, then quickly vanished. Suddenly with a panic the enlightened yet shocked girl hastily shook her head, as if to rattle away the wisdom of the perceptive woman before her. “Oh no, no… he can’t be. I’ve known him for three years… he’s, he’s always been there in the background. If he were the one I would have known.”

“Dear,” the sage’s raspy voice lowered to a tender lull, “Knowledge does not require your conscious consent. Sometimes our subconscious knows at first sight, but our mind does not realize that what we felt was knowledge until years have passed.”

It took the frazzled girl a moment to respond. Her mint green eyes shivered as she struggled to make sense of the sage’s wisdom. How could it be? How could she have wanted something so badly but have never realized it was right before her eyes?

Adamant that the sage of Tarkus must have made a mistake, the damsel allowed her stubborn mind to wonder aloud, “But how can he be my hero if he does not have my most coveted traits?”

“Well what are you looking for in a hero, my dear?” the sage asked.

“A hero who has the same interests as I do.”

“So he is a reflection?”

“A hero who loves me unconditionally.”

“So he is a father?”

“A hero who knows how I feel before I say it.”

“So he is omniscient?”

Having given up, the damsel sunk deeper into her seat.

“Dear, what your heartbreak longs for is not a partner. What you are describing is not an equal. You are describing a God.”

Having given up, the Segaduses girl fell deeper into her subconscious, realizing the knowledge her depressed mind had repressed for so long.

"Damsel" by Valerie Parente

– Valerie Parente (11-23-2017)