Our promising lives are full of empty promises
Temptations falling and calling you home again
Well I’m sorry if we’ve let you down
Hear me now –Framing Hanley
“What?!” Two surprisingly strong knees lifted me up and kicked me off. I felt her small shoes against my leg for a while until she moved back to see me in full view. She stared at me with her glass covered, dark cocoa eyes, her bottom lip quivering in what I assumed was anger. Her black framed glasses slid down her nose and she pushed them back with her small and short fingers. She was rather tiny but exquisitely beautiful. Even with her hipster glasses, although I doubt she was trying to make a fashion statement. Her appearance gave the impression that she needs to be protected, that she is purely made of innocence. Both appearances were proven wrong in a matter of minutes. Never judge a book, hey.
“Ten years? Just ten?!” She shouted at me. “That’s not long enough, demon!”
“Damon.” I corrected her.
“Demon!” she hissed through her teeth.
“What did you think you think was going to happen? Ten years is the standard deal. You can be glad I gave you a decade to live after the little stunt you pulled.” I said as I casually walked towards her.
“Is there a way I can get twenty years more? Dying at the age of 53 isn’t half as bad as dying at 33.” I could hear the plea in her voice.
“If you can give me something else in return, we could arrange something.” My tone was quite suggestive and she caught the hint immediately.
“No. Mainly for the fact that I’m not “pure” in the spiritual world.” Her air quotes and her wrinkled nose made me smile.
“Virginity is a big currency in our land. So you, my dear, will have to think of something else to offer or you’ll have to get over it, live with it and then die because of it. For now let’s act civil and get out of here before the storm comes.” I held my hand out to her, kindly extending the trues I had to live with for 6 hours and 66 days.
“666…” I remarked.
A shy smile appeared on her face as she decided to take my hand. “Help me up. And I was trying to be poetic with the numbers.”
She stood up straight, dusting herself off with her free hand. Even with the clouds approaching, her light brown braid shimmered.
“I’m sorry I kicked you. And you can let go of my hand now.” She said softly as she tugged her hand away from mine.
I grabbed her moving hand and pressed it to my lips again. I was going to have fun with this pain of a woman.
“You’re being weird again.” She blushed as she pulled her hand away. “I should get going. It’s getting dark and I think you were right about the storm.” She said in though as she signalled to the clouds forming.
“We.” I stated, staring at her pink lips.
She removed her eyes from the sky and locked them on mine, her face filled with questions.
“We should get going. You asked me to be your demon for the time being, which means I can’t go back to hell or stay somewhere else. And I have to be within a certain radius of you. So I’m your problem now.”
“Fine.” She smiled sweetly. “You can take the couch.”
Lighting lit up the black sky. Alexis fumbled with her keys for a while and finally managed to open the small house we were standing at. The droplets were still stuck in her hair, some rolling off onto her neck and chest. She switched on the light and revealed what she defined as home. The living room was tiny, and the open plan kitchen didn’t make it feel bigger. A dark grey couch faced a smallish flat screen TV which was propped upon a small wooden stand which seemed to contain DVD’s and a DVD player and some form of gaming console. Against the wall was a big, dark wooden book case filled with books. Stephen King, Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, some psychology books and…
“You sure have a lot of books about serial killers.” I remarked as I silently counted about 23. Some of them seemed to have sticky notes sticking out.
“I have a few. But only because I find them so fascinating. Hopefully I get to meet a few when I’m done with my degree.” She said casually as if she had a human being in her apartment. The fact that she “forgets” I’m a demon worries me a little.
“I’m assuming it’s a degree in psychology?” I looked over at her only to see her nod and smile.
She was standing tip toe at her cupboard trying to get something out. “Would you like something warm to drink? Do demons even drink and eat?” She asked curiously as she pulled out two black mugs.
“Anything that contains coffee. I despise tea.”
“Me too.” I heard her smile again.
“And yes demons do indulge in everything humans do when we are here. And I’m glad you remembered that I am in fact a demon. I was starting to worry.” I said smugly as I took a seat on the barstool at her countertop. She looked at me and shook her head as she started to work with her rather fancy coffee machine.
“You aren’t so bad. Or so mean. Or so evil. Well at least that’s what I’ve noticed so far.” She said as she poured some coffee into the mugs. She took sugar and something else out of the other cupboard and threw it into the mug as well. I stared at her in silence as she frothed some milk and added it to the black mugs.
“It’s kind of like a vanilla cappuccino concoction. It’s my favourite, especially with the vanilla pods.”
I took a sip and took in the flavour of her skin, her mouth. Without the coffee flavour, of course. She had the taste of soft vanilla. “It’s delicious.” I said as I licked my lips remembering the steamy session we shared at the crossroads. She intrigued me so that I just had to have more of her. I always welcomed Lust and Greed when they came knocking. They were like family by now.
“I’m going to sit on the couch if you want to join.”
It sounded more like a hint than a real question.
I nodded, took my cup of Alexis with and made myself comfortable on the right side of my so called “bed”.
“Is this the make out couch?” I winked at her shaking head.
“It’s your bed, weirdo.” I heard a small laugh before I heard her gasp when the room went completely black.
The last lighting strike was bright and shocking, the thunder that followed was roaring and close.
“Alexis?” I called with what I realised was concern. I shook my head at myself.
No reply. I couldn’t even hear her breathing.
“Alexis!” I called again.
“I’m here. I just got a f… find where I put the candles.”
She tried to save herself from saying the word “fright” but I could hear in her breathing that she wasn’t too comfortable with the dark.
“I found the candles.” She said with momentary relief. “But I can’t seem to find the matches or lighter.” I heard slight panic in her voice as she rumbled through drawers.
“You won’t need them. Just bring the candles over here. I’ll help you.”
I heard her movement stop and a few small steps forward before she froze.
“Alexis, just follow my voice. I’m here, nothing will happen to you. There are worse things to fear than the dark.”
“Like what?” She asked as she propped the candles on the coffee table.
“Like me.” I said as I flicked my fingers above the wick and set it on fire. Five more times and we had a dim light in the room.
She stared at me in awe as she sat on the left side, leaving a seat open between us.
“I have more magic tricks. Some I’ll show you later.” Her mouth finally closed, for a second.
“How did you become a demon? Did you murder a whole village or eat children or did you join a cult? What’s the tale of Damon?” She took a sip of herself and looked at me seriously, waiting for an answer.
“If you must know, I was orphaned at the age of 5. My sister who was 3 was abandoned with me. We never knew our father and my mother just dropped us off at the orphanage one day. I think we cut into her busy schedule of boozing and banging with young boys.
“I never left my sister’s side. She was the only family I had and I loved her so much. We never got adopted, because no family wanted the both of us. It was either the one or the other, but we refused to leave each other’s side. Truth be told we didn’t have a horrible life. We went to school, we had friends, and we did silly little jobs for a bit of money so we could indulge in the entertainment of our youth. We outgrew the idea of having a family. Besides as soon as my 18th birthday would arrive, I’d find a good job, a nicer place to live and I would take care of her. At least that was the idea.
“Nine days before my 18th birthday, Danielle was walking home from school by herself, because I had to go to work. Six hours later I received a phone call asking me to identify a body. When I got to the morgue, I saw my little sister lying naked covered with her dried blood. Her face, her arms, her legs, her stomach were bruised. As I stood there, staring in disbelief, they told me of how she had been beaten, raped and beaten again until she died. The cause of death was internal bleeding. Not just from the beating, but her vaginal walls were torn beyond belief, making them suspect that he might have raped her with inanimate objects as well.”
I paused to take a sip of my coffee, seeing Alexis sitting with her knees to her chest, her arms wrapped around her legs. The candlelight seemed to show tears forming in her widened eyes. She was barely breathing, caught in the emotion of my story.
“I did some research of my own, summoned a cross roads demon and asked him to reveal the killer of my sister and his whereabouts. He gave me everything I needed to know and after searching for two years I tracked him down. Long story short, I killed him in the most tormenting ways you can imagine and then eight years later my soul was taken. I had to do some pretty bad things in Hell to become the level of demon I am now. But basically that’s how the tale of Damon was formed.”
We sat in silence for a while, until I saw her mouth open to say something.
“There’s no need for condolences, questions or comments.” I interrupted her coldly. “It was a very long time ago. So long ago it needn’t be spoken of.”
She hugged her knees tightly, looking down, only moving her hand when she needed to push up her glasses.
The laughing thunder was the only noise I heard.