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A Demon's Day

by Leigh Ann Tuttle about a year ago in supernatural / fiction
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The Apocalypse is over. Now what?

“Please! It was my mother’s! It’s all I have left!” The screams, that were once like music to my ears, now grated nerves I didn’t know I had. I used to enjoy the feeling of bones cracking beneath the heel of my shoe, much like how I was crushing the young woman’s hand now. Blood poured from the opening my stiletto had made and swirled in dry red dirt. It should have been exhilarating. Should have.

“Nox. Why do humans treasure such . . . trinkets.” I dangled the heart shaped locket in the air, watching it twinkle in the burning sun.

“Give it back!” She squirmed, opening the wound more. To my amazement she ignored her obvious pain and reached for the necklace once more. A pointless act since I held it just above her finger tips.

“For Hell’s sake Delora. It’s still screaming. Give the necklace back and let it go or just kill it and shut it up. I’m getting a headache.” Nox held his head in his hands. His clawed fingers scratched his scalp through pitch black hair, removing and tossing several maggots to the side.

Nodding, I grabbed the girl by the neck, lifting her off the ground and cutting off her air supply. “You should have worried more about your life than this useless trash. Maybe you would have lived a few hours more.”

“Damn you.” The girl croaked her last words as her legs shook and she scratched at my hand in vain.

“Too late sweetheart.” With a crack of bones and cartilage, her neck snapped and her movement stopped.

“About time. Let’s go. I’m bored.” Nox stood from his crouched position and looked at me with his slitted ruby eyes.”

The body hit the ground with a thud and a cloud of dust. “We didn't get bored before the apocalypse. And since when do we get headaches?”

“Since you started getting so chatty.”

“I’m not joking Noxanthanan.” I shoved the locket in my pocket and glared at my companion. He rolled his eyes at the use of his full name but I continued anyway. “It’s too easy. The torture, death and the hellfire. Blah blah blah. Oh! What wouldn’t I give for a good demonic possession. Remember when we could make them do whatever we wanted and make all their precious family think they were crazy?” My body shivered in response to the memory and I smiled, my bright red lips stretching to my ears. The familiar feeling of anticipation gave me chills.

“Look at you grinning like a schoolgirl, a psychotic one. Not that school girls exist anymore," he said, his laughter bellowing like a wolf's howl. “I do miss watching them freak out when we messed with their reflections in the mirror. Hmmmm . . .”. Nox closed his eyes and licked his lips with a pointed tongue. He pointed at one of the male humans chained to a rusted light pole. With a click of Nox’s finger the man’s skin started to rot and fall to the ground. He screamed and fell to his knees trying to hold his face together. With another snap the human was back to normal, crying but whole again. Nox sighed. “You’re right. It’s not the same.” He shook his head and then perked up at the sight of a restaurant up the road. “Oh well. Nothing like decaying flesh to stir up the appetite. Let’s eat.”

Just as Hell on Earth was still Earth, the Golden Oak diner was still a diner, just with a more suitable menu for our unique tastes. The smell of fear wafted through the cracked glass of the front door beckoning us in. It was a dilapidated building, with peeling pink wallpaper and torn leather booths. End of the world décor was trending amongst demon kind. Or it would be, if trending was still a thing. I plopped down in one of the booths and propped my feet on the splintered table. Nox waved over a cowering blonde woman and stretched out on the seat across from me.

“I’ll have torture and agony. Make it juicy love.”

With tears in her eyes she asked, “And how would you like that served sir?”

Nox waved his arms in front of her, like he was going to do a magic trick but instead of flowers he pulled a bouquet of fire from his sleeve. Each flame shifted and molded itself into the shape of a rose. His lips pulled back over his sharpened teeth in a horrifying smile. She was prey and he was the rabid beast. “By fire.”

She turned to look at me, with her pale blue eyes wide with terror. Tears were running down her dirty face and I knew it was an unspoken plea. Humans always held out for that final hope that someone would help them. That a hero would show up from the most unexpected places to save them from their unspeakable predicament. I would indeed be an unexpected hero but she was barking up the wrong proverbial tree. I’m no hero.

“A woman never refuses flowers from a handsome gentleman.” I tipped my head towards Nox and waved at her to get on with it.

I watched that hope die as she looked down at the bouquet and reached out her trembling hand to take her gift. The roses erupted into a pillar of fire, devouring her like a hungry animal. Nox tipped his head back and breathed in deep, taking in her screams and pain. Feeding on her suffering. Then the fire stopped and the girl looked to me, she’d been reset and ready for the next order.

“Anything for you Miss?” She was compliant now. Knowing no help was coming. Not from us anyway. I thought about the woman I'd killed not an hour earlier and without me realizing it my hand was over my pocket. I traced the hard outline of the heart pendant inside with my fingers. Frowning, I shook my head.

"No. I'm Good." I had suddenly lost my appetite.

Nox was more chipper after our lunch and almost skipped as we walked down a broken highway. I stopped at an abandoned faded blue Volvo and looked through the window, sometimes people would hide in them but it was empty save for a torn stuffed doll resting on the seat. I pulled back, an unfamiliar unpleasantness resting in my gut, and my reflection appeared in its place. Yellow eyes surrounded by a halo of fire red hair stared back at me. There was a yearning in them but what was left to yearn for?

“I can’t believe you didn’t eat. Her fear was particularly tasty," Nox said, smacking his lips with a loud pop.

“Not hungry. Hey, how long has it been since we won the war? A decade? Millenium?”

“A week.”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s been a week.” He looked at his hands folding each finger down one by one. “Yep. Today is day seven.”

Only a week but it felt like an eternity. I pulled out the necklace from my pocket and held it in my callused hand. It looked small and fragile now. Much like it's owner, who’d been desperate enough to risk everlasting death to get it back. Not even an afterlife awaited her anymore but this thing had meant something more. We started the war because we had wanted everything. Heaven, Hell and Earth. It was to be our playground, complete with endless human toys to play with and feed upon. All she had wanted was her necklace. A simple little piece of metal, cheap even by human standards, with it’s fake amethyst and broken lock, but she had been willing to die for it. And die she did, with nothing in return. We had gotten everything. I looked around me at the demons walking their humans, Nox picking through his hair in an aimless stupor, my own lost looking reflection and came to a realization. We won a war . . . and got nothing in return.

supernaturalfiction

About the author

Leigh Ann Tuttle

An aspiring writer waiting for the right story.

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