50 Halloween Stories: #6 ½
Half, because this is - wait for it - half a story! I wrote Part I, lost my mojo and then decided that the best way to move on is to put the first half up, thus forcing me to finish off the story. One thing to remember about these stories: they are all first drafts. Just keep that in mind.
AM I DEMON (a temporary title)
“Do you believe in demons?”
He asked this of her nonchalantly, as he cut a piece of cake and slid it onto her plate.
“Chocolate Ganache. Made it myself.”
He hovered over her and waited expectantly while she chewed, swallowed, licked her lips.
“It’s to die for,” she said and dug in for more.
“Hah, no, not the cake. I know that’s good. The demons. Do you believe in them?”
He pulled out the chair next to her, sat down and stared at her like a child waiting for the answer to his questions about Santa Claus.
“Ahh, yes and no.”
He pouted. “Oh come on, Diane. There’s no yes and no to this.”
“Of course there is, Roger. It’s not like saying ‘do you believe in ghosts?’ because ghosts either are or aren’t. People can rise from the dead in spirit form or they can’t. With demons, it’s harder to say. I think demons live inside some of us, as if the devil has lodged in the soul.”
“So you believe in the devil?”
“And you believe that he can manifest himself in humans?”
“And that makes a human a demon?”
“Right.” She wasn’t sure if that’s what she meant at all, but it seemed to satisfy Roger.
“So someone who, say, pushes their car into a lake with her two children strapped inside in order to please her boyfriend....is that a demon?”
“Ah, no. That’s a psychotic bitch.”
“Maybe, maybe not. Doesn’t that sound like something the devil would do?”
“The devil wouldn’t end up in jail.” She grabbed a napkin and wiped chocolate frosting off her lips. “Roger, I thought we came here to talk about our brother.”
“We are, in a way.” He stood and began to clear the dishes from the table. Diane absently wiped down the table in front of her with the chocolate-stained napkin. “You’re being vague, Roger. Can you just get to the point.”
Roger was already half way to the kitchen with the dirty dishes and cups. He yelled back over his shoulder, “I THINK CHARLES IS A DEMON!” as if he were dishing dirt about his favorite actress. Diane sighed. She knew that no matter how flippant Roger was about it and no matter how much she tried to dismiss the whole idea as ridiculous, she agreed with Roger. She had for some time, in fact, and was taken aback when Roger asked her the demon question earlier. For months now, she tried to tell herself that Charles was evil, demonic, a monster, but her conscience as well as her realist nature batted down that idea each time and she shoved it back into that corner of her mind where she kept thoughts that didn’t deserve daylight. But now, now that Roger had come out and said it, maybe she could release it.
“I think so, too,” she said quietly.
“Huh?” Roger came back into the dining room with two glasses of wine. “Say something, sis?”
Diane cleared her throat. “I said I think so, too. I think Charles may be a demon.” She nearly choked on that last world and Roger handed her the glass of Chardonnay. She gulped it down sloppily, wiped her lips with the back of her hand.
“Where is he?”
Roger stood up. “Follow me.”
to be continued