Seven Demons

Part 1/7

By: Alexander Grim

There once was a young man who believed that everything he said was correct and all that he had accomplished was far greater than the feats of those around him. Everyone who knew this young man knew the truth and tried to help him face reality. This proved to be an impossible feat and soon people grew tired of dealing with his arrogance.

His name was Arthur Pride and he lived in a cozy white house surrounded by a modestly standard picket fence. He lived alone, as no one could stand to bear his presence long enough to try and hash a relationship with him. His overbearing ego caused many to steer clear of him at all costs.

Arthur worked at the local book store, assistant manager and well versed salesman. The one area in which his overwhelming sense of self worth played well for him. The store quickly rose to the top of the local market and many readers would seek his advice when making their purchases.

One moderately warm afternoon, an elderly gentleman walked into the store looking to purchase the latest, large print edition, mystery novel by his favorite author. This was a request that displeased Arthur greatly because he held the firm belief that the written word should only be printed in one size and those who aren't able to read it shouldn't have the privilege to enjoy it.

“Sir, I have a novel that you will love if you read mystery but unfortunately, it isn't available in 'large print'.” Arthur hissed the words as if trying to dispel a poison from his body.

“I see. Well, if I may, what do you have in large print. I am an older man and greatly enjoy reading. It is a shame that my vision became fuzzy due to the war years ago.” The old man sighs discouragingly, “I was told to talk to Arthur Pride, that he is the best in the business. Is he around?”

“That is I.” Arthur crossed his arms and let a smug smile embrace his face.

“Is that so?” The gentleman looked Arthur up and down, as if to size up his competition, “What makes you the best?”

“Well, old man, I am the best. Ask anyone around, they will tell you that I am the best. I am the best at my job, best at, well, everything that I do.” His smile increases with every convoluted word that pours from his mouth.

The old man smiles at Arthur's reaction, “If this is so true, than why is it that no one wants to be around you? If you are truly the best at everything than surely you have plenty of friends and more money than anyone could ever use. If this is true, then why do you work here instead of owning your own company?”

“I....I...” Arthur's face goes blank, “I don't know.....”

“See son, it just goes to show that no one knows everything nor will ever be better than anyone else. If you can figure that out and come to grips with reality, you will be just fine. You have potential.”

With that, the old man walks out of the store and into the setting sun.