I decided that I need a ticking clock in this story. It's set over a four week period, actually a moon cycle. The goddess Inanna set the timeline and the challenge at the beginning of the book. Then I dropped her completely.
Last evening, I was staring at the ceiling, thinking hard about how to utilize Inanna and heighten the tension as the story advances. I'd just finished reading the latest Artemmis Fowl - The Lost Colony, in which the intrepid hero attempted to dismantle a bomb while the space/time continuum collapsed around him. That's a bit extreme for my story (extreme says the woman whose hero is fighting a demon on almost every page). Sunlight refracted through the window to play in the corner of the room. It was very pretty. Somehow it made me think of Alex's soul (I blame Harry Potter for that one).
The more I thought of it, the stronger the image grew of Alex's soul trapped in a clear sphere by Inanna and suspended in the corner of the room where he could watch its transformation. Once it reachs a certain stage, the demon will own his soul. I've been playing with it and really like the possibilities.
Originally it was a golden bird whose colours would fade, feathers drop and body shrink to a dried-out shell. But Alex is a creature of the water. He's not really a fish, he glides along the top rather than beneath the surface. I thought of a sea mammal but have yet to find the right one. I'm thinking something with long, colourful, fancy fins.
What kind of fish should his soul look like? If not a fish, which mammal is more at home in the sea than on the water? Giant river otters, while playful, are not dynamic enough in appearance for the visual I intended. It's not aquatic enough. Hmmm, maybe TFFKP could stand-in as Alex's soul. Tropical frogs are eye-popping in colour, especially the poisonous ones.