The demons that haunt us

Everyone has their own personal demons, Mia’s no exception.

Everyone has their own personal demons that just won’t seem to go away. You know, those pesky thoughts and feelings that always seem to pop up at the worst times. Whether it’s that past failure you just can’t shake, the fear of the unknown, or just some nagging self-doubt, these demons can seriously bring you down. They linger in the back of your mind like a dark cloud, ready to rain on your parade at any moment. But the good news is, just because these demons haunt us doesn’t mean they have to control us.

Delta, the AI

As a dog I’ve overcome a lot of my past demons in the safety of Missy’s love. She has healed many of her own wounds as well thanks to me and her own Wise Soul. Delta (the AI) is of course free of these painful lessons but it’s very good at giving advice in the form of fables:

Once upon a time, there was a woman who was haunted by her fears and insecurities. She felt like a prisoner in her own mind, unable to escape the negative thoughts that consumed her. But one day, she adopted a dog and everything changed. The dog brought so much love and joy into her life that she found the courage to confront her demons. She took the dog on walks, talked to it, and shared her thoughts and feelings. With each step, the woman felt her fears and insecurities begin to fade.

And so, the woman and her dog continued to journey together, facing their demons and overcoming them with love, patience, and determination. They proved that no matter how big or small our fears may seem, we can always find the strength to overcome them with the help of a loyal companion.

My demons came from both humans and dogs. My mother couldn’t protect me from my first humans, and the next ones weren’t much better either. They locked me in a dark, dump, cold shed with a pack of other dogs, and left us there with hardly any food, water or companionship. I would’ve gone mad if not for my bird friend, Irka. We met at a particularly bad day, but I never forgot her. (I wrote about her before, but I think of her often.)

It hurt to lift my head so I just raised my eyes. I looked at the little slice of sky that peeked in through the biggest crack of the shed. The others avoided this corner because it was too windy and wet. And that suited me, as I wanted to avoid them.

They were nasty. Their fun was to keep me away from the food, or let me drink only when it was already more dirt than water, and then they nipped at me all the time – just because they could. Just because they were bigger.

My days were all the same, always the same. No matter winter or summer, the pack woke, and started their games of torture on the loners. There was 3 of us, 4 of them. We had our turns but one never knew exactly when our turn was due. If you were lucky, you got the after-meal edition – they went to sleep after a few round.

But sometimes your turn was before the first meal in many days, and that could cause serious damage. Like that day when I met Irka.

She landed on that crack, all colourful, elegant – happy. Was I ever happy? I couldn’t tell.

“I like your ears” she said, doing a little tip-top dance on the panel.

They were not bloody for a change. I had enough other body parts hurting, not sure how they missed the ears. I waved them at her, and she let out a happy little chirp. It made me feel warmer inside.

“What’s your name?” she asked after her laugh ended.

I didn’t know. I didn’t think I had one.

“I’m Irka” she said, without waiting for an answer. She flew inside, turning her head around curiously.

“This might do for a night” she stated, and came over close to me. I jerked away but was unable to move much.

“You look like my friend in the land of snow, soft, but dark where she is white. I’ll sleep here!”

She stepped into the tiny place between my legs and my body, turned around a couple times, then laid down. I never huddled with anyone before, and feeling the warmth of her body, the fast beating of her heart, the funny touch of her feather was amazing.

“What is snow?” I asked her. She tipped her little head.

“It’s the cold, white powder from the sky. Have you not seen it?” she added with a mixture of amusement and pity seeing my confusion.

“Are you always here?” she asked looking around with definitely more pity.

“What else is there?” I wanted to be nonchalant but came out curious.

“Oh, the world is big, and beautiful!” Irka said excitedly. “There’s soft snow in the cold, bright green grass when it’s warm, and flowers, fast rivers and tall trees, there’s songs and friends and love…”

She told me tales of salty water that makes big waves, the pull of the sun when it’s getting cold, the buzz of spring when she sees her mate, the exhaustion as she grows her eggs, all alien and unknown and exciting. Her world was just as colourful as her feathers, and mine was just as dark as my fur. But my thoughts were whirling now. There was another life. There was another world that was more than just hunger and pain.

When she got tired, she rested her head on my side, and fell asleep. It was different than I imagined the gang felt sleeping close to each other. They didn’t trust one another but Irka did. She didn’t see how I was wrong, only how I was right. Was this happiness, I thought as I drifted into sleep.

I woke to Gray’s growl. She filled the whole of the opening, just about too big to enter. She did not like that but found something to attack that consoled her.

“Check it out, mates, the bitch is sleeping with the bird, instead of hunting it! What a sad bag of shit!”

Irka woke and flew around with fast, nervous wing beats. She got scared because now Gray tried to push herself in, snapping with her strong jaws that caught me just yesterday.

I didn’t know where I had the strength but got up tall and straightened my back even as my broken bones resisted. I stood between them resolutely.

Gray was surprised. I was surprised. I never stood up against them.

“Get out Irka!” I screamed before Gray grabbed me and shook me hard. I collapsed into darkness. But before it swallowed me, I was happy to see Irka flying away.

“Be my colours, be my freedom!” I whispered, and lost consciousness.

When I woke, there was no shed, no pack. I was in a small crate, smells of cleanliness mixed with sick animals. It was scary but at least I was alone.

And not long after, things got better. I got a cage from where I could see grass, I could sunbathe, I didn’t starve, and wasn’t beaten.

And now, that I have the (supervised) freedom with Missy, I run to every bird, look under every bush because I know Irka is there somewhere. And one day I’ll find her, and tell her all about my adventures, my colours. Just you wait.

This post is part of the A to Z blogging challenge of April 2023.
Topic of this year is “The AI, the dog and the witchling”, real and fictional stories partially written/inspired by Artificial Intelligence, featuring Mia and Missy.
Follow us on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok.

17 thoughts on “The demons that haunt us

  1. Aww..that was so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes!
    About the demons, they can wreak havoc in your life. I had the worst of times living with those demons. Thank god I had my canine baby to keep me sane.
    Andi, or should I call you Missy? Your stories are very beautiful! Looking forward to more. Will read your yesterday’s story soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much Shilpa! It means a lot that you like it! Yes, the worst is when we have to fight those demons alone, glad you had your dog to help.
    Officially, the name is Andi (Andrea) but when I started to write from my dog’s perspective, I thought she’d use a special name for me instead, that’s how Missy was born 🙂 I realise it’s probably not super clear!


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.