The Demon Skrotoss // Flash Fiction // Completed
Updated: Feb 1
I congratulate you on your latest assignment. To be able to convert a strong, confident man like Neville Wilburton to a quivering, anxiety-ridden wreck will be a huge feather in your cap. He downstairs has taken a personal interest in this case, so I have taken it upon myself to assist you in this mighty endeavour.
Firstly, crude mechanisms won't work. To break a confident man, it is easier to use flattery than the blunt instrument of fear. Contrast, for example, the following whispers.
"You will break down in front of those two hundred people. You cannot do public speaking. You are pathetic. You are weak. You are broken."
"You have done so well; a lesser man would quail speaking in front of two hundred people. I don't know how you avoid the fear that they'll find you out as a fraud. I couldn't do it."
One is easily dismissed. He has done speeches before. He has won many victories in that regard. The other thought is insidious. It's a compliment, so he doesn't dismiss it, and it seeds a plethora of doubts which like ivy will over time tear down the most durable walls. Once his confidence is gone, it will be nigh on impossible to regain it, and we will have won another soul for him downstairs.
So be patient and remember a velvet glove does more damage than a mailed gauntlet.
The Arch Demon Felchin