The House of Demons

Riley Ries
Jackson High School
Grade 11

I met Heth in the first grade. We transferred schools to be closer to my grandmother who was dying, but I think it was me who needed help. Heth kept me from speaking and making friends. He told me if I said one wrong thing, then everyone would hate me. He told me the only reason my teachers could tolerate me was because I kept quiet. I could never focus because of his whispers.

His brother, Dhuna, moved in when my grandmother died the year after. Dhuna wasn’t as loud as his brother, but he still loved messing with me. When I washed my hands, I had to wash each individual finger, starting with the thumb on my left and ending with the pinky on my right. When I got home, I had to put my bag in the far right corner of my room, and my shoes came off the minute I stepped inside.

Dhuna and Heth lived in harmony for about five years. Then, in sixth grade, my father left us, and a shadowy figure came knocking on the door. The two brothers let her in with ease, but then, slowly, they disappeared into the basement as Lola took over.

Lola was nice; she helped me clear my mind and only let Heth and Dhuna up every once in a while. But her niceness came with a price. I never had any energy with her around, and I lost all interest in the things I once loved. But we bonded over sad music, and she taught me it’s OK to spend as much time in my room as I wanted, because it was mine, and it was the only thing I had that would never change.

Sometimes, Lola would invite some of her friends over. Some would stay longer than others. I hated most of them. Especially Morana. Morana would tell me I wasn’t worth the life I was given. She’d party all night with Heth and Dhuna, having them yell at the top of their lungs every little thought they had been holding back. The only reason I didn't give in to her was because of Lola. Lola stole any motivation I had to end it all; she knew if I did, then the four of them would go, as well.

Life went by slowly, but I made it work. By the beginning of freshman year, Lola was only living in my house during the winter, and Heth and Dhuna weren’t nearly as loud, because Morana had left.

But then spring of 2020 came, and my world came crashing down on top of me. Lola and Morana came back. Heth and Dhuna were louder than ever. And I couldn’t talk to anyone to shut them up. Not only that, but I found out this whole time, there was a boy who had been living in the attic.

Lelio had slowly been encouraging everyone to be louder so I couldn’t concentrate on important tasks. He was the reason I couldn’t sit for more than five minutes at a time. The only time he would ever shut up was when I would focus on random things he enjoyed doing. Like one time, I built an entire shelf in one day. The problem was, because he shut up, I forgot to eat and go to the bathroom that whole time. The same thing happened when I got paints and canvases for my birthday; my mom didn’t see me for two full days that time. To be honest, I think Morana helped him with that one.

I will say, it was nice to know he was there, and I guess it wasn’t nearly as bad as I make it seem. I had a loving mom. I was able to make a lot of friends, despite Heth. And I was always healthy because of Dhuna.

When I graduated, it got better.

I went to college for acting, which Lelio had introduced me to. I met a man that year named Samuel. He pushed back all the demons that had taken over my house, and when he learned about the demons, he convinced me to sit down and talk to him about it. I told him when I met everyone and how they just forced themselves into my life. And he told me that at one point in his life, he’d met every one of them, plus some. He then told me how he had gotten rid of them and had forced them out.

Slowly, Heth and Dhuna and Lola and Morana disappeared. Lelio still stayed, but I think Lelio had actually been there before me, and Samuel told me that was OK.

The thing is, everyone struggles with demons in their house. Some have to deal more than others, and others only see them every once in a while. But here’s the thing: It’s your house, and they aren’t paying rent. You’re the landlord, and if they want to trash the house, then kick them out. It might be hard, but with some help from the professionals, you will find you are more powerful than those measly demons.