I locked another one of them in the cage. It was starting to get quite full. Their shadowy bodies moved among each other. It was hard to tell them apart in the darkness. Their thin, red eyes that were barely more than slits in their skulls watched my every move. I sighed and put the key in my pocket. It couldn't go on like this, but for now it couldn't be helped.
I moved to the other end of the room, where my computer was standing. Piles of books and clothes, used and clean, were lying all over the floor and my desk. The pale light from the computer was cast eerily on the bare walls. I sat down heavily in my chair. The document on the computer was still empty. Not a single word had been written. It had been like that for hours.
The demons in the cage behind me started to move about. I looked nervously and slightly frustrated over my shoulder. It only seemed to work them up. I turned my back to them and covered my ears so I couldn't hear them nor see them. But it was already too late. They had caught my attention and they knew it. The document remained empty, just like my mind. Or it would be wrong to say my mind was empty. It was simply rid of all relevant thoughts. In my mind was the maelstrom of thoughts. The storm of ideas. The flood of emotions, guesses and estimates. I shook my head, pushed the chair away from the desk and got up. It was no use. I walked aimlessly around in my room for a while. My eyes fell on the piles of books and clothes. I needed to clean up that mess sooner or later. The mere idea seemed impossible. I shrugged. It was going to be later. Even if the piles grew from day to day, it was going to be later. Not now. Tomorrow, maybe.
My eyes wandered on. The walls were so empty and bare. So lonely and sad. I could paint them, I thought. Or hang pictures on them. Anything to brighten the mood a bit. I placed my palm on the cold surface. I didn't like them like this. But what if I wouldn't like a new look either. What if the change would be a waste of time, or worse. I removed my hand. I would decide later.
My mother's voice cut through the silence. She asked me how I was doing.
I wanted to reply that I was doing fine, but my mouth was too slow. The words were stuck in my throat, as my brain quickly processed the question. Am I fine? I opened my eyes wide.
'Fine,' I muttered, and took a step away from the door, afraid that it would suddenly open and my mother would step inside. She mustn't see me.
In the cage the black demons were starting to get excited. They bared their long, white fangs writhing and wriggling around each other. I cast a nervous glance toward them. The cage creaked and I could almost see the bars come to terms. I had spent so much time collecting and trapping the demons. They had to stay in their cage. Had to stay in their darkness. They mustn't break free.
Fearfully, I hurried to the cage. I tried to hold it, tried to stop the demons from breaking it apart. It was hopeless. There were more of them than me, not to mention much bigger and growing before my eyes. They fed of my fear. I could feel how they stuffed their mouths with my terror. Their bodies pressed against the walls and ceiling in the cage. They shook and the lock was barely keeping the door closed any more.
In a matter of seconds the lock broke and the door to the cage swung open, knocking me over. Like one mass, the demons piled out of the cage. One giant body that had fought to escape their captivity. I curled up on the floor, guarding my head with my hands. A thousand sharp claws scratched my skin and cold bodies rubbed against mine, absorbing my last energy. I wanted to scream but I was too scared. What if my mother heard me?
The demons attacked like waves; just as it seemed to be over, they crashed over me again and drowned me in my despair. I don't know how long it lasted or how long I was lying on the floor, expecting the next attack. When I finally dared to look up the room was as empty as it always had been. The cage was empty and the door hung lazily on it's hinges. There were no traces of the demons. But I could feel them. I could feel their presence like cold fingers on my shoulders, their eyes piercing me. They were hiding and waiting. Waiting for the moment I expected them the least, then attack. I ran the tips of my fingers over the door frame to the cage. It had taken forever to catch them and all my energy to suppress them. All that work. Wasted.
I went back to my computer and dropped heavily into my chair. The document was still empty, but not my mind. The demons were out there. They were my worries, my problems and my nightmares. I hid my face in my hands and sighed. The circle had repeated itself.