Even Demons Need Love

CW: Mildly explicit, some gore and violence

Zyra knelt in the shadow of the timber stairs. At this hour, no one would have seen her hiding just within reach of the front door. The wind blew, and a message traveled with it, “Nowwww.”

Creaking wood, a grunt, and footsteps told Zyra someone was awake. With one clawed hand, she pushed back from the edge of the stairs and crept towards the front door. “Do it,” she hissed.

“What are you doing?!” she heard an old woman cry on the second floor.

Muffled screams reached Zyra’s ears. The faint musicality of them reminded her of their first meet.

**

It had been the ultimate meet-cute. Zyra was coming to complain about a parking ticket; he was repairing the computers. Despite the sign that said to go to the next window, she walked straight up to him and unleashed a string of expletives. His face had been so adorable as he turned red with rage. She couldn’t even remember what calmed him down in the end, but it was an hour later when he was rising from her bed.

**

Zyra craned her neck to listen for the whimpers, the last dregs of a life eking out. She wondered how he looked as he strangled his mother, the insipid, overbearing slag. Her controlling ways had kept him imprisoned here with her for years. She imagined he reveled in the murder. He loved Zyra now, and she loved him. In her way.

Zyra stood at the door. She sensed the soul releasing it’s hold on the old woman above. Her mind connected to his, and she was filled with his thoughts of love and pleasure and unbridled hatred. She stripped down and used her power to open the door, transforming with each step into her true visage, complete with horns, tiny black wings, hooves, and a long whip-like tail. With each step on the stairs, she saw tiny dancing figures appear, chanting in their demonic language.

She entered the room, a black gown and veil covering her. Moonlight filled the room and announced her arrival. Consumed in his rage, he was tearing out chunks of skin with his teeth from the limp body of his mother. The blood painted darkness on his face and splattered across the bed and walls. She watched in delight as the room became covered and dripped from every corner. His body grew and soaked in the blood, turning him a rich vermilion.

“My love,” Zyra whispered.

He turned to look at her. His metamorphosis complete, he was even more perfect than she imagined he would be. “You’re so beautiful,” he gasped.

After a full year of dating, she had finally helped release him from his prison, and he was free to be the man – no, demon – he should have always been.

Their eyes linked. She felt the warmth of his unending love envelop her as the demon host pronounced them bonded for life.

Then Zyra let her imps watch them consummate their marriage.

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The Cellar Door – a micro

Daisy trembled as the tap, tap, tapping on the cellar door matched the fervent thumping of her heart. She took a swallow of wine to quiet her nerves, but an unexpected metallic taste made her retch.

“What do you want?” she cried.

The door breathed in and out.

“You,” it hissed.

The knob turned slow, deliberate. But when the door swung open, nothing was there.

Death’s Prank

“If you wanted to set your life on fire, there wasn’t a better combination. That‘s what I should have told him. The fool. The day had been long; I was in no mood for violent or rude people. And he was both,” I confess.

“Don’t you think you took it too far, Death?” Father Time asks. His palms rub his glorious beard; long strands fall to the floor with every stroke.

An array of clocks cover the expansive room from the floor to the walls and the ceiling. While a thick sheet of plexiglass protects them, the sound is far from muffled. Grandfather clocks chime, seconds, on the analog clocks, tick, and digital clocks hum. What might happen if I smash one? I make a mental note to carry my scythe next time they bring me here. Mother Earth knows, no punishment can rehabilitate me.

I snicker at his question, “I don’t! He totally had it coming.”

#

I thought about the fool. His jerk face made me so mad I wanted to punch it.

Earlier that evening, I sat on a bench outside the Fish ‘n Chips shop waiting for my order, when I heard him slap his wife. He stumbled out of his house and demanded, “Keep the door unlocked, ya slag, I won’t be long!”

I watched him kick a leashed dog on the footpath and push the owner out of his way.

#

Father Time, the old bugger, shoots me a disgusted look.

“I honestly don’t know why you’ve got your panties in a bunch. I didn’t reap him,” I say with a sigh.

#

The fool crossed the road and walked into the shop the same moment my order was ready. He snatched the wax paper package from the shopkeeper and threw a $10 note at him. I grabbed his arm and demanded he hands over my meal, but he spat at me as he pushed me away.

“Fuck off, cu-”

Before he could finish the detestable word, I blew dust into his face and sent him stumbling across the street. He was oblivious to the minor changes around him. He walked to his house and turned the knob only to find it locked.

#

A giant grandfather clock appears in front of me. Father Time opens the lower door. He pushes the bob, and the pendulum clangs so loud it echoes through my whole body.

“Do your worst,” I shrug, as I recall the rest.

#

The fool banged on the door, screaming obscenities, until it opened, revealing a large, tattooed man. “Who the fuck are you? Where is my wife?” he yelled.

“This is my girlfriend’s house. Kindly remove yourself from her property,” the tattooed man demanded.

A woman walked to the door. Her eyes grew wide as she recognized him; then she burst into hysterics, “You‘re a bit late. Only took you five years to bring home dinner.”

#

I hold my stomach and let out an boisterous laugh. “See? It was funny because she had already moved on and forgotten the trauma of him disappearing.”

Father Time’s nostrils flare. “I gave you access to time so you could do your job and be in multiple places at once, not pull pranks on unsuspecting innocents.”

He ushers me inside the clock. I lower myself down the hole in the bottom and take a final look at Father Time’s angry face.

“Twenty Earth years, Death. Let’s see how you like that.”

I indulge in one final laugh as he slams the door, “Totally worth it!”

 

 

Image: Source


The Ward

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TW: Child Separation

“She missed the bus,” Mary said. Her feet dangled off the side of the child’s chair. The heel of her little black shoe tapped the linoleum as it threatened to slip off her foot. She drew a big yellow circle in the centre of a blank page.

“Has your mommy missed the bus before?” Lynne asked, crouched down to Mary’s level. Her wireframe glasses sat loosely on the tip of her nose. After a couple of hours of giving the small girl cola and chocolates, toys and TV, which she refused fervently, it was the crayon set that seemed to pull her out of her shell. Lynne imagined her grey hair would look unkempt by now.

“Mama… My mama doesn’t like that word.”

“What word? Mommy?” Lynne narrowed her brow.

“Mm-hmm,” she answered. She shaded the yellow circle with fast thrusts. “My mama missed the bus because I was bad.”

“Has she done this before?”

“Uh-huh.”

She picked up a purple crayon and drew a face on the sun. One of her shoes dropped on the floor. Mary shifted her weight and crossed her leg to sit it under her bottom.

“Tell me why you think you were bad?”

“Cuz I was,” she shrugged.

Lynne patted the girl’s hand, and Mary dropped the crayon onto the table. With the most matter-of-fact tone, Mary started talking.

Mama likes her juice. I don’t. Her juice smells funny. Sometimes Mama is really fun to be around when she has her juice. But sometimes she’s mean. Sometimes I get in trouble for being bad.

Mama throws my toys away when I’m bad. But when she isn’t looking, I dig them out of the trash. She doesn’t know it, but I hide them. I have a secret place that I put them.

My pink sparkle magic wand was in her chair yesterday. I forgot it. It was supposed to turn the chair into a big throne so Mama could be a queen. But it didn’t. And she sat down. She snapped it in half with her butt.

She slapped my hand and called me a naughty girl. Then she threw my wand away.

But it was my favorite! So I took it out of the trash when Mama was on the toilet. I took it to my room to fix it but she finished too soon so I stuck it under my mattress.

Only she saw the star sticking out.

She made me sit in the corner, took all my toys and threw them in the trash.

“So see? I was bad. And Mama is punishing me,” Mary said.

Lynne looked at the little girl and wanted to give her a hug. “Your mother isn’t punishing you,” she wanted to say. “She passed out on the couch. You were lost and roaming the streets until uniforms came to pick you up. You poor dear.”

“What if I told you that someone new, someone better could be your mama?” Lynne asked.

Mary furrowed her brow, “No. My mama is my mama.”

“What if your new mama would let you have all the magic wands you wanted?”

“No!” Mary said, slapping Lynne in the face before running to a corner of the room.

Lynne stroked her cheek before walking out of the room. She locked the door and rested against it with a heavy sigh.

“That didn’t go so well,” her supervisor, Greg, said.

“I know I was too heavy-handed in the end there.”

“No easy way to do it. She’s a ward of the State now through no fault of her own.”

“Wish there was some way to tell her that,” Lynne said as her shoulders sagged. 

 

Image: Source