It begins as a cool draft, an otherwise innocent misstep of a careless soul. Then it seeps in under the floorboards and slithers through the room–an invisible guest. It brushes its icy fingers leaving no one untouched, no one immune to its chill.
Then it draws a long, silent breath. The laughter is the first to die. Sucked out of the room, and forever silenced by its hungry lungs.
And in the joyless rooms, the mighty beast grows, until he is a like an overhanging cloud…a dense fog. Then he breathes again, capturing the oxygen–the very air you breathe–as it if it were storing it in jars for curious study and contemplation.
And then it leaves you choking, and gasping for breath. Weak, dizzy and nauseous, you crumble into an exhausted heap.
But the beast is far from done.
It is now mighty with the strength of human weakness and it rises, rises higher, colder.
Until it owns the room.
Until it owns you.
And it runs your life
And it makes you serve it.
You plead with it. You plead for mercy. You plead for life. You plead repentance for sins you didn’t commit. You plead to do its bidding, for a moment’s rest.
Then it wraps its bony, icy fingers around your neck. Round and round. And it whispers cold and breathy on your ear. And then it takes you under.
Oh, Beast, thy name is Selfishness. When will you let me be?