She doesn’t hide her demon heart because she fears being hunted as a demon; she hides it because she will never share it with anyone.
She had always wanted a warm heart; now her heart could melt iron. She’d always wanted a kind heart, and her heart is kinder than a human one. It might cook you alive, but it would never claim to be doing so for your benefit. We’re told to want a heart which shares, a heart which loves, a heart which is strong and passionate. This heart is all of those things; perhaps you do not want what it shares, and no-one ought love the things that it loves, but those things are beside the point.
When she had a human heart, she never could figure it out. Who can?
But she knows, very much, what is in her demon heart.
Her demon heart is vicious. It pumps, not blood, but distilled brutality. That heart, too, is passionate, but it’s very often a cold passion, the passion of someone who looks at you to decide which pieces to remove first, to make you last the longest before you die. And if that passion becomes hot, it’s heat that will damage. It’s not a heart that warms you when you’re chilled; it’s a heart which will give you a third-degree burn if it comes near you.
She speaks softly. She seldom shows aggression. What strength she has is not there to impress you. If you don’t look deeply enough to see it, the results are your own (rapidly) damned fault.
Her Demon heart is rarely angry – perhaps a few times a year. Demons are not in a constant fury; that’s simply a projection on the part of humans. Anger is often both wasteful and self-indulgent; and Demons have purpose in life. There’s a War for Reality going on, after all. It makes her calm; it makes her cold; it makes her able to do things she might never have done before she’d concluded this particular deal.
No, she hasn’t sold her soul. Demons need believers as much as anyone. A captive soul may not believe in anything but the eternity of its jail. That’s not much use.
Don’t worry; you’re probably useful somewhere. At least, you’re probably safe enough, unless you get in the way of what she needs to make happen, and she happens to be near some spot that’s convenient for disposing of your remains.
It’s her Demon heart which thinks certain music is tinny and flat if it’s not accompanied by sounds of hurt.
It’s her Demon heart which knows that a glint of fear in the eyes is sweeter than moonlight.
It’s her Demon heart which knows best that common, but oft-ignored, truth: that to build, you sometimes must tear apart.
Life ought not, need not, be randomized pain. But random pain is good for the Other Side; some forms of Divinity are best fed by a cowed populace, and studies have shown that intermittent and uncertain reward and punishment is more effective than the predictability of consistency. If righteous action always led to righteous reward, life would be without challenge. The fruits of success are pleasant, but the souls which sway other souls are full of ambition. They want to get somewhere and do something. If everything simply fell into your lap because you prayed the right way and followed one set of rules, humans would (again) rebel against the sterility of perfection. Humans are restless, stubborn, stupid enough to harm themselves seeking to break new ground, brilliant enough to make strong foundations in that ground.
A random world runs the risk of being lost; a perfect world is lost. This is why we hear of Angels helping, but we seldom experience it.
One side is betting that serendipity is good marketing. The other is out to tear things down in the hopes that humans are stubborn enough to build new things.
She is the forest fire that (sometimes) devours the whole forest but (often) creates the rich soil needed for new growth. That’s the Girl With The Demon Heart.
Listen to her chest, and you’ll hear a normal beating sound, as if it were an ordinary human organ keeping her alive. But there is another sound, too low to hear, but one which she might share with you, if need be: the arrhythmic, remorseless song of joy that is her Demon heart.
My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities, put on events, and make stories come into being. I also tweet a lot over @darklordjournal.