Cold sweats. Shivering. Convulsions, Jack could not bear it. It was 3:00 in the morning at his Pennsylvania apartment, and he awoke to a spirit looming over him. This figure had distorted features, gazing at him with wide eyes and a grin that wrapped his face beyond what could be visibly seen.  It had returned as it did every night at this hour. He had defeated this entity many times before with help from his other half, but this time was different.

 The creature sought to consume him by the means of his own vices. The creature knew of the pleasures that Jack had tasted, wanting nothing less than to watch him succumb. “Eat your heart out” it said. Jack closed his eyes, fighting to be immersed by its will. He knew all too well the consequences if he gave in.

 He tossed and turned in the night as the creature beckoned him “Eat your heart out,” it said. Jack needed only to focus, it would get easier as he turned him down, in that, he was certain. Jack could feel the heat and humidity under his blanket now, congregating against him. Unbearable he thought.  Had the spirit employed the very temperature? Were they under his command? Jack could not say for certain, but without a doubt the next-door neighbor who often stomped around to keep him from sleeping worked in tandem with the creature. A conspiracy.

Jack could endure this temptation no longer; the forces at work had met their goal.

 Jack tossed his blankets aside and stood at the foot of his bed staring straight into the creature’s eyes. There was now more grin than face on the creature.

 Jack walked right through it feeling nothing but preemptive regret. There was no turning back. It was as if Jack’s body had its own autonomy, each step preceding the last progressing towards one goal. Out of his bedroom, through his living room and into the kitchen. He had arrived. The box was standing in its usual position, containing a frigid that contrasted the flash of heat he experienced earlier under his covers. He reached for the box and opened it.

 Even in his deepest machinations he could not have known it would have such an appearance. Laying his eyes upon it, restraint was no longer possible. He reached out and consumed it instantly. It was more buttery than sweet, he dared not let a morsel fall to the ground. His nostrils were filled to the brim with the smooth vanilla taste of the dessert he ingested. His wife had saved that cake for her lunch the next day, “She’s going to be furious when she finds out,” he muttered.

Herman Macklin originates from Lancaster Pennsylvania (Amish town USA). Pursuing a writing career. “If I fail as a writer, there is nothing else.”