Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Six minutes into the demon hour (witching hour, actually, but he got the name wrong, he always did...) he turned the night light off and closed his eyes. Outside the murky flicker of the candle he could hear the  demons scuttling. These demons being proper things of darkness, with long chitinous appendages, all pointed hooves and prehensile follicles. Dead eyes and doll face masks floating through the tiny vinyl bodies,  kind words wrapped around icicles; warm smiles and distant, fleeing and accusatory eyes.

Outside the candle light, they whispered to him, fed him stories of pleasant divorces, of easy sex with twirling, younger friends of friends. It helped him get by.

The stories the demons fed him weren't all real, there were the stories of dinosaur attacks and zombies that wanted to be friends, and these eased the loneliness of being sixteen. Even the divorce stories were a strange comfort: something solid to rage against, an action that had happened. Instead of the reality: the waiting. And, besides the solidity of something that had happened it was someone interacting with him.

"I want to argue." he whispered to the demons hiding just outside the quiet candle light. "I want to get in a fight and get a black eye. I want to loose a tooth."

The demons listened. The demons waited.

"Here, look," he said, unnecessarily. The boy cut a lock of his hair and fed it slowly into the tiny flame, which licked at the hair and farted crackling and smelled like scalded flesh.

The demons smiled in the darkness.

"I want someone to show me they love me." he said. "I want to see someone loving me, and enjoy it."

The demons' smiles grew toothy, jagged.

The boy sighed. Carefully carefully he pricked the thumb of his right hand with the sharpened tooth of a silver comb; he milked his blood, watched it dribble down the callow candle four times, and onto his bed sheets. "Here, it isn't, but this is my first born child." he said. "You can have its blood too, if I ever have children."

The candle cackled.