Erik Shuttleworth

 When I was seventeen we moved into a house of note, in the sophisticated backwoods of a “better part” of Arkansas. The elegant wood walls held the light of windows from heaven. The skylights, as they were, bathed the living room with sufficient light to hide the darkness beneath the floor. Moving from that room into the kitchen, with its regal appointments and then, into the upstairs master bedroom and Jacuzzi-clad bathroom finished the illuminated journey.

Yet, the way downward was the path of note. There was carpet and dark and damp. First, on the right, was the door to the furnace room, with a massive, devouring cavern of iron teeth, waiting for its daily dose of wooden sacrifices. Then, a smaller bedroom, bathroom and a final, darker corner sleeping area. It was here I slept the years of my college life, rather than a dormitory appointment. The demon of the house was a more familiar roommate, a more intimate associate to my pain.

Paralyzed with terror my limbs froze during the night hours as the masked intruder approached my body and wrapped its cold, blackly shrouded hands around my neck. Time and time again I opened my eyes to see the night realm held in place as the black mass undulated towards me, carrying its undisclosed intentions. There was even a day the presence moved freely during the light hours, a daring feat for the ruler of the darkness. It did not desire companionship, or conversation, only to rip the flesh of my soul. And I obliged with the scarred offering of a self inflicted injury to my body. Herein are my credentials for pages you will read.