A demon sits on my shoulder. Its claws dig into my skin and merge with my body. We are impossible to separate; it is with me everywhere I go. I cannot escape it.

The monster has a name; Dermatillomania. The word is cold and surgical, but the beast itself is anything but. It is grotesque, with raw, peeling skin and a scarred body. It is insane, stopping at nothing until I submit to its will. It will torment me if I resist, so what choice do I have but to cave in to its demands?

Dermatillomania bullies me. It points out the imperfections on my soft, young skin, it leans down and whispers in my ear until the tiny blemishes seem like glaring scars. I feel the twisted grin spreading across its face as I claw at the offending scab, turning it into a bleeding hole. The beast has what it wanted, and it congratulates me on my efforts as I sit back and wonder what the hell I've just done to myself.

On a good day, Dermatillomania is invisible to all but me. I can stand with my friends, and nobody is aware of the disgusting creature standing only a foot away. On a good day, I can get on with my life and—for a while at least—forget about the monster on my shoulder.

Then there are the bad days. There are the days when the thing that I live with is blindingly obvious to all. These are the days when it hurts to write because my fingers are so sore, when I can't even smile because if I do my lips will split and the taste of blood will be in my mouth. Dermatillomania even has control over my emotions.

Luckily, though, I don't have bad days very often now. I have learnt to hide the scars and the peeling and the bleeding. I have even started to tame the creature, but it's not easy and I don't think I will ever be completely free. Dermatillomania is, after all, a monster.


A/N: My God, I haven't posted anything to this account in, like, forever. I am sorry. T_T And now that I'm editing this in the Document Manager it just looks pathetic. It doesn't even need a scrolly thing. :S I'm not entirely happy with this piece, but I can't place my finger on what's wrong. Feedback would be very much appreciated. 3