Demons Call Twice
Dungeon Master, who rarely leaves these dwellings, is attending a week-long Satanic conference in a secret location somewhere out in the desert. That’s about all his followers will ever know about it, except that the Dutchman’s wife reported that one morning he was gone, and the 12 Benign Demons had left an equal number of business cards on her bedside table, so they had presumably taken DM through the westbound tunnels.
Now that he is gone, his followers are feeling in a sense relieved but also kind of upset that this omnipresent figure is no longer around to suppress and observe them, to feed or quell their fears and anxieties at his pleasure. They gather in the largest cave, the one adjacent to where Dungeon Master lives with the Dutchman’s wife, and talk for the first time about what brought them here.
One thing they all have in common is an urge to seek deeper still. No longer interested in progress, they had begun venturing into the dark forest of hopelessness, as if taking its superiority for granted. Once begun, this decline of mind and spirit does not stop, there is no shortage of those black elements, whether brought about by an inherent depth or the absence of light, of whiteness.
Dutchman's wife explains
The demon spoke to me one afternoon, then turned around on its head: “See yourself, look in the mirror for a soul long gone, having leaped past the threshold to the other world.”
Which is when I must protest against these “otherworldly creatures,” which I dislike and resent for being so full of fake hopes and promises.
Next thing, I stood in the middle of a tunnel with no light in sight. “Bare with me,” I prayed. “Give me something to look at, or I shall surely succumb to the forces of nothing.” All I wanted was leave or die, but instead I had been captured into an everlasting suspense-filled moment, bewildered and clueless about my destiny.
Picture yourself stuck in an elevator during the holidays. Then close your eyes, sit down on the floor, the lights are out. Now you are scared and hungry. Suddenly, the elevator starts moving downwards at rapid speed. I open my eyes, try with my hands to cling onto the rail above my head, my arms shivering. No, I’m in the tunnel still, except I’m sitting on this vehicle that transports coal from the mountain to the sea. Then there must be hope after all, or so I reckon, a coal tram surely has some purpose.
This black sticky thing had made my mouth dry, lips swollen almost, as I cried out for help. These cries went unheard for the longest time, the coal tram picking up speed, the yellow tunnel lamps coming sooner and sooner. There used to be like half an hour between them, now it was only a minute. Boy, this must be a long tunnel, I was thinking, when suddenly I heard a loud noise behind me, turned around, and saw a train approaching.
“Take my hand, come with me to the light, and I’ll set you free,” the demon said to me gently, speaking for the second time.
This time I could not resist.