Here’s my most recent piece. Hope you like it.
The Demon That Followed us Home
You run into demons sometimes, in my profession. Vile little things made from bad feelings and bad negative energy. I considered them nothing more than a nuisance. Human women deal with pests like ants and mice. I, as a witch, had demons.
Until one followed my Isabelle home from school.
I didn’t even notice the dirty little thing at first. I was too busy looking at Isabelle’s torn bookbag. “What happened now?” I asked. “Got into a fight,” Isabelle said, “but look what I found, Mamma!”
She held it up, and I got a good look at it. It was all black fur and teeth, with two red, beady little eyes. And I could just swear I heard the damn thing purring.
“Oh, put that nasty thing down!” I cried, reaching in my bag for a wipe. “And what do you mean, you got into a fight? Isabelle, what kind of fifth grader gets into fights ever week?”
Isabelle muttered something that sounded like, “Not my fault,” and held the demon closer.
I sighed as we walked down the path to our cottage. Deciding to use this as a learning experience, I took up the seeing crystal I wear, and gave the demon a good looking over. “What you have there is a Koval Demon,” I said, “they’re created when someone is killed by somebody they trust.”
“Neat. I’m going to call him Bucky,” Isabelle said.
“No, you’re going to call it ‘that thing I put down and let run off before Mom had to waste all afternoon dispelling it’,” I replied.
“But Mom, he likes me,” she replied.
“It does not have a gender, it is a demon, not a puppy. Now put it down,” I snapped.
“Oh, fine,” she relented, and set the demon on the path. It whimpered, I swear it did.
We walked away from it, and I started to swab Isabelle’s hands with a wipe.
I don’t know why I thought it would be that easy to separate Isabelle from her little pet. Needless to say, it wasn’t. She’s just like me in that way, very strong willed. I love it when it’s not directed at me.
She managed to keep ‘Bucky’ out of my line of sight for a whole week before I found her playing fetch with it in the garden.
Fetch, with a demon! I wouldn’t have believed it. But there she was, tossing one of those pink rubber balls for that fussy little pile of bad energy to chase.
Well, I never like finding out she didn’t listen to me, you know? It just makes her think she can get away with it again. Deciding that I’d better but the fear of the Gods in her now, before her powers manifested, I grabbed my dispelling spray before I even went outside.
“What did I tell you about that thing?” I asked. Let me tell you, it did my heart no good at all to see her jump like that. And the way the demon hopped onto her shoulder? Awful! You’d have thought the nasty thing actually knew what was going on.
“Mamma, Bucky’s my friend!” Isabelle cried.
“No, it’s a pest, and it can make you sick,” I replied. “Now I gave you a chance, and you didn’t listen to me. Now, I’m going to have to dispell it.” I held up my bottle to spray it.
That’s when the stupid creature launched itself at my head! I screamed, and it dug its claws into my scalp, right at the hairline.
Images started to flash in my mind. I guess they must have been the demons memories, but I’ve honestly never heard of a witch being able to communicate with one. Maybe Isabelle and I are the first ones.
I saw the kids at school, human kids, teasing Isabelle. Using our proper title, the one I’ve got to tell her never to use in front of other people, like it’s a curse. I saw the little demon purring on Isabelle’s shoulder, drowning out their shouts. I even saw her singing to it at night, after I’d sent her to bed.
“Okay, okay!” I screamed. I gave Bucky just enough of a squirt to make him let go of my head. “So long as you don’t do that again to me or anybody else, you can stay.”
I held him by what I assumed was the back of his neck, and set him on the ground. He bounded right back to Isabelle, and hid behind her legs.
She hadn’t gotten into a fight all week, I suddenly realized.
“You’ll have to figure out what he eats,” I said, “because I’ve got no idea.”
“Okay, Mamma,” Isabelle said, nodding. She was eager to agree to anything at that point.
I let them go back to their game. How could I deny her one little friend in this world that wasn’t always going to be friendly towards people like us, even if he was a demon?
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