The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 9

by Mark Figueroa | Featured Art by A Forgotten Pen at @theforgottenpen

Chapter 9: Election Day for the sane.



WHAM! “Wraaaaaaaurrrgh!”

“Oh god! Fuuu—”


My skull’s crumbling!

“Graaaahr!” the demon roars. It thrashes about, slamming my head like a caveman cracking a rock.


It yanks my heads back up.


It yanks my head back up.


It yanks my head back up.

Tears roll down my cheeks and fill my ears.

It slams me again, shrieking and roaring as it dangles my limp body like a ragdoll. It’s three fingers squeeze my face tighter and tighter until my cheekbones shatter.

Warmth oozes from my eyes, ears, nose and mouth. It spreads through my hair, saturating my scalp, burning my face as it travels down my chin. My skull bashing against the ground drowns muffles my screams.

“Arrghrwaaaawrgh!” the creature lifts my head higher and higher, then slams me face first into the darkness.


Its knee crushes my chest, snapping and popping my ribs. My left shoulder snaps.

“G—Ga—Aiven!” I wail. “M-m-make it stop! P—P—plea—please!”


“Make it stop!” I scream again. My shrieks are confined to my mind.

This is…How I…

“Ehm…ry!” echoes a deep, monstrous voice. It’s the darkness. It’s him. The world vibrates violently. My body convulses. I can’t hear anything anymore. Am I hallucinating? Am I… dead?

“Emery!” the mighty voice shouts over the demon’s roars.

Pressure builds inside my chest. I’m going to explode. My sternum collapses under the creature’s knee, but it doesn’t hurt. A cool sensation spreads through me like the first sip of a cold beverage. It feels like—It feels like I’m recharging. “Holy shit!” I shriek. Red light traces my body, and I see the creature’s hand get sucked into my chest! It’s melting into my soul.

“Give me. Life… Give yourself. Freedom,” the darkness bellows.

My convulsions become more violent. I throw up into my mouth, swallowing, spitting, and exhaling everything I ate this morning simultaneously.

The ethereal creature that attacked me howls; the darkness inside of me, Aemon, is consuming it. It’s thrashing again! Its claws smashing against my face, slashing my eyes and nose, but I feel nothing.

I projectile vomit upward. It splatters on my face and burns my nostrils when I inhale. My ribs snap together. The red light surrounding my body becomes brighter.

A long, hazy hand sticks out of my chest and latches on to the monster’s face. “GIVE ME!” It demands, yanking the rest of the behemoth into me.

It glares at me, afraid, angry and confused. Its yellow eyes look human.

I inhale. A jolt of power courses through me. It wraps around my body like warm water. This energy—It isn’t mine. It’s dark and insidious. But… it feels good.

The warmth oozing from the back of my head burrows back into the wounds. It spreads through each wrinkle in my brain, wriggling its way to the center of my reality.

“Aemon…” my lips tremble under the weight of its name.

“You will call me by name!” the voice demands, absorbing the rest of the monster.

I sit up, coughing and trembling. “Ae—Aemon-n!” I shriek again.

“GOD!” a voice bellows.

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