Friday, October 7, 2011

The Demon Next Door (Part 3 of 3)

DJ isn’t panicked. In fact, he’s smiling. “But your lies, Erica, were exactly what I was hoping for. Have I mentioned how happy I am that you stopped by?”

The ringtone stops abruptly. And that’s when it sinks in that DJ’s moved between me and the only way out of this sterile kitchen.

I’m trapped.


I take a step back, stumble, and when I reach for the back of a chair to catch myself, my rosary and the bag of salt I was holding fly from my pockets. DJ’s eyes flick to the items on the floor.

“See,” I say, in a last ditch effort, “religious. Like, Bible thumping, Jesus humping religious.” I swallow, lick my lips, and try to breathe. 

DJ lunges toward me. I fall to the floor and grab the rosary and I slam it against his cheek.

And nothing happens.

The fire in his eyes flares, but it calms just as fast. He gets up and offers me a hand. “Really, Erica? There’s just no need for this.”

“Stay back!” I make a cross with my fingers. DJ smiles, laughs in that way that Dad sometimes does when I’ve stuffed too many marsh mallows in my mouth. “I mean it!” I reach in my pocket and throw the crumpled violet at him. It lands unimpressively next to his shiny shoes.

He laughs louder as he turns his back to me. I jump to my feet and arm myself with the last weapon in my arsenal—my lucky pencil.

DJ spins back around, holding something in his hands, and I jam my pencil in his right eye as hard as I can.  He drops what he’s holding and his skin turns gray and smokey again. He lets out a triple octave death scream that no human boy could ever pull off. I knew that pencil was a good idea.

While he’s fighting with the pencil stuck in his eyeball, I make a mad dash for the white door. “Andrea!” I don’t know how I’ll get us both out of here, but I have to try. I can’t leave her here with Demon Boy.

Too strong, too perfect arms wrap around me. DJ’s skin is burning hot. Can other people feel this? I pull hard on the knob and the white door swings open, nearly dropping me on top of him. “Andrea!” She’s not there. Her purse is lying on a steel table in the center of an otherwise empty room. “Andrea?”

“I told you she wasn’t here. I didn’t lie about that.” DJ stands and pulls me to him. This time I don’t fight.  “Now,” he says, handing me a big gold cup like the ones they use in movies with barbarians or something, “drink this. It will make you feel better.”

I’m not drinking that, but I don’t really have many options. I put the cup to my mouth and pretend to swallow.

“I usually go for the meek ones. The ones that need the most attention.” He strokes my hair. “They tend to be full of lies and deceit. I couldn’t get Andrea to lie about anything. She’s an open book. But you? And I didn’t even have to try.”

“So that’s it? I just lie to you and you get to eat my soul or whatever?”

“Mmm,” he says, amused. “How are you feeling? Care for another swallow?” He lifts the cup. 

I’m not much of a runner, I stopped using my inhaler about the time I got my braces off, but my house isn’t far. The Internet said something about demons not being able to come where they haven’t been invited. Or was that vampires? I wish Andrea were here. She would know. But then again, her knowledge of vampires comes from Twilight, and they sparkled. I don’t think real vampires sparkle.


“Um. I think I should—” I shove him away and the cup sloshes, spilling dark red stuff all over the clean floor and my sneakers, and I run. Out the door, across the lawn and into the foyer of my own house. DJ doesn’t follow me.


“That night was the last night I saw the demons next door.”

The man in the white coat across from me scratches down some notes in his yellow notepad. This room is cold and empty, save for the skinny table between us, and everything is white.

“Mmm,” he says. The flames in his eyes reflect off his glasses and it’s hard not to stare. His horns are filed though. Maybe it’s more professional. Like being clean shaven. “And you’re sure what you’ve told me today is the truth, Erica?”

“Yes, doctor.”

I dare not tell a lie.

Thanks for reading! We come back next week with an untangle by Natalie!
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