Diabolus in Dissimulo

“A good man leads a good life,” said the devil to his demons.  “Hide in his heart; hide in his soul and his spirit.  Don’t let him know you are there.  Observe me.”

Charlie walked for what seemed like miles, along the grassy trails of lush mountains.  His flower was in his heart and he laughed aloud as he peered calmly towards a golden sun.  Many flowers lived within Charlie, they loved him and he was well.  The days were full of peace and clarity and his future was seemingly certain.  He walked his favorite trails, keeping his flowers close by, enjoying them each time he smiled or felt warmth.

One day Charlie was walking familiar grounds, but noticed something beautiful… more beautiful than anything he had ever seen.  It was a flower of such perfection, such fragrance.  So taken by its splendor, he failed to realize it took from the beauty of the garden he held so dearly in his heart.  He took the superb flower and placed it within his garden among those who loved him.

Every day, Charlie went on his hikes and indulged his new flower.  His love for it grew and grew and grew into such a fervent passion.  However even though the flower was sweet and beautiful, it did not love him back.  His affection for the rest of his garden waned as he sought the love of his new beauty.  Something within him lamented, though he was not sure what.  How could he give any less than everything to such a flower?  Charlie did not notice his garden wilting, he was sure that offering his love to his new companion was a good thing.

Before long, his old flowers had abandoned him and he was left with the solemn beauty of his most recent addition.  It did not love him, though he loved it dearly.  Walking old trails, Charlie looked up at the same golden sun, but he did not smile nor did he feel warmth nor did he laugh aloud.  Something within Charlie hungered, he was not satisfied… and yet he could never seek out a flower to put next to his love for in his eyes nothing was as beautiful.  It did not love him…. And he withered as did his garden so long ago.

Charlie stopped walking his trails, as they brought him no warmth. His eyes found no significance in the things they once adored.  When all but his beauty was lost, it left him too.  It never loved him as he loved it, and Charlie was broken.

“A good man leads a good life,” said the devil to his demons. “Hide in his heart; hide in his soul and his spirit.  Don’t let him know you are there.”

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