All is darkness. I am cold and alone, on a bare stone floor as before. My adversary, the aggressor, is none but myself. And I am alone. I'm back in the cavern again. I am on the ground, he is standing tall in his rags, all sackcloth and ashes, pacing back and forth on the cold stone floor, cackling as he tears pages from a battered old leather diary. My diary.
"Oh look, here's a fun excerpt!"
He reads an excerpt from my diary to me, one of my low points, about how I feel I'm slowly making my way through every person on the planet, alienating each one, and this makes me sad, because there are a lot of people, and its going to take me a long time to isolate myself from each one, personally.
"A tad dramatic, wouldn't you say? Oh wait, you DID say!", followed by a burst of maniacal laughter.
I shift my weight around, waiting for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. There is no visible source of light, and yet I'm able to 'see' him/me.
"Why do you look like me? Who are you?", I ask again.
"Isn't it obvious? I am the God of HELLFIRE, and I bring you.. naah, just kidding. I AM you. Well, a part of you anyway. I'm the one who cautions you against risk, the little voice in your head that keeps you from killing yourself every time, the part of you that hates everything else. Sad but true!"
As he speaks, he becomes more animated, and conversely, I feel weaker. He seems to be drawing the strength right out of me, feeding his own frail frame, appearing taller, more imposing with each word.
"You've been digging yourself into this hole for a long time, my man. I'm just here to liven up the atmosphere!", so saying, he grabs me by the neck, and I'm dragged towards the lip of what I now see is a deep chasm, powerless to resist.
"You're gonna fall for a loooong time, boy. Are you sure you want to do this? The risks are high in this game, and the dice are loaded aaaall the way down!"
I've always been scared of heights. Enjoying my fear, he stands over me, and recites from another page..
"The heights by mediocre men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, but they, whilst their companions slept, soiled their underpants in their fright! Aahahahaha! Derivative, to be sure, but how apt! A visionary sir, truly!"
And just then, I realize what's happening here. If he is me, then I am him. And this is all just a sick fucking game in my head. But there's only one way to find out.
As he's about to speak again, I interrupt loudly from the floor, "Oi! That's MY diary you're reading from, and I've had high times as well as low. Turn the page, fucker. I'm not all about the gloom and doom. There's self-absorbed misery, and there's flashes of light and brightness." He's visibly taken aback by this sudden change in my demeanor, and I take advantage of his hesitation.
"You might be one aspect of me, but I have more than just one face. I wear several masks, and you're only my least favorite. You think you're in control of the situation, but you've got it all upside down. You think you can scare me by dangling me over this precipice, this black hole in my psyche that I've been running away from? I'm willing to bet that you're more afraid of this than I am." Saying this, I leap off the floor towards him, and grabbing him in a strange, awkward hug, I push us both over the edge and into the darkness.