The island is full of demons. The ones you can see are in many ways easier to deal with because they are outside of your head and you have some reason to think they aren’t you.
The whisperers are the worst. The demons who slide in as thoughts, and tell you that they are your own voice. The demons who say that you are just like them, that you come from the place all demons come from. You are made of demon. Your essence is monstrous. Everything you do is suspect.
The demons tell you not to trust yourself. Sometimes they are the voice of your mother, who was clear that she regretted your existence. She would have killed you if she could. She killed your brother. You are worthless, useless, a disappointment, she says.
Sometimes the demons remind you that you did not save your brother’s life. What good are you? What point is there in you even existing? You fail, and fail again. When it most matters, you fail.
Where does that magic come from? You don’t know. The demons in your head tell you that magic is tainted, dangerous, and theirs. You are theirs. You are just like them. Only you are weak and fearful. That’s why you couldn’t save Sophie Davies, why you had to disappoint your best friend and let him break his heart over his mother dying. You were too weak to save her. Too afraid to really use your power.
In your heart, you know you are evil and that if you aren’t very careful then you will do something awful. Poor Salamandra. Are you saying this to yourself now, or are the demons saying it to you? Poor you. Poor little you.
The one voice that never goes away. Oh, sure, you can lock me in a box, but I’m still in your head and you will always remember me as a little girl with big, tearful eyes, begging you for mercy. I’m here to make sure you never forget that you are the real monster.
I was you all along. I’m still you.
(Art by Dr Abbey, text by Nimue)