Featured Review on this writing by Joe Stuart

So Many Options

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: BoMoWriCha Prompts
Written for a writing challenge at the BoMoWriCha Prompt House.

Submitted: October 24, 2018

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Submitted: October 24, 2018

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So Many Options

These seances are a demon-send. Most people believe that it is all mumbo-jumbo and take no notice of the safety measures. Who cares about keeping the circle by holding hands? Who even thinks it matters should they leave the safe area and head off to the other side of the room.

Ouija boards provide another easy option, but some other demon got that. Me, I get the spiritualist and her gathered hopefuls. At least this time she’ll make contact, just not with who she planned.

There she is, head bowed, and there are four others gathered around the table with her. All their hands are clasped together and they have their eyes closed, but I can feel the scepticism and doubt rolling off them in a thick purple cloud.

Who to pick? I’ll have a little game with her, the one who believes that she is in control. I let myself drift inside her, give her a few visions of hell and damnation, then move on out again once she is thoroughly shaken up. She knows that she has let ‘something’ through but she has not got a clue who or what.

There’s the old guy, the one who wants to make contact with his dearly deceased wife. There are two women, timid-looking; one has lost a son, the other a husband, and then there is a girl who wants to connect with her dearly departed dog. It’s a tough choice; I should go with the old guy, or one of the women, but I’m a demon, don’t do what I should so I speed on over to the girl and ‘possess’ her.

Gail! Her name is Gail and the dog she wanted to talk to was called Digga. I learn that the instant I enter her being. Her head lifts up and they can all see me looking out from her eyes. Not a major demon, just a beginner and no one would have heard of my name, Hylosophus. I’m more than enough to instill a bit of terror in them, though.

Look at the man, hand on his chest and backing out, his mouth opening and closing as he steps backwards. “Stop playing it up,” I say in my rasping voice that emerges from the girl’s mouth. “You’ve got a good few years in you left.”

Ah, that’s slightly satisfying. He grabs the door handle and makes his escape. I could pursue him but it’s going to be way more fun to torment the gathered women, who are now clustered close together. Perfect for spewing out my tarry black vomit, making them scream; then, with a flick of my mind she is up on the ceiling, the girl I’m possessing, crawling above them like some giant spider.

Do something, Doreen,” screeches one of them.

Ah, Doreen, you thought you knew what you were playing with, didn’t you. She steps forward, just one pace, mind you; looks at me from the corner of her eye and says in a weak and squeaky voice, “Be gone!”

Oh, this is laughable, so that’s what I do. I bet Gail never had such a gravely laugh before. And now she’s on the floor, slithering towards them and hissing like a snake. I can even make her tongue flicker out way further than she could.

Haha! Look at them as they scrabble their way up on to the chairs, the table! Do they really think that will give them any protection from Hylosophus? The girl is up there with them too and I order her to let out a hair-raising roar, right in Doreen’s face.

Woof!”

Woof? I never told her to go ‘woof’! Roar, girl! I bend her backwards, double, to teach her a lesson. A misjudgement on my part as she tumbles down on to the floor and starts walking around on all fours, panting like a thirsty....dog!

Stop it!’ I roar in her head. I have possessed you and you are under my control. I am a DEMON not a dog.

What does she do? Whimpers like a scolded puppy. Could she have made contact with her dearly departed Digga, or is she just stronger than me. Nonsense! She can’t be stronger than me, she’s little more than a child.

When she flipped from the table she brought down a bowl of snacks. Demons don’t eat food; they feed on souls, on evil. But there she is, still on her hands and knees, making her way over to the spilled food and putting her head down to it, eating it up.

This is too much. I’ll choke her. That will teach her to defy me. And so I start constricting her throat, making it harder and harder for her to breathe. I can hear her gasping, struggling, fighting against my grip and then she coughs.

I’m flying out of her straight towards an open window. No problem. I’ll find someone else to possess!

Instead I find myself spiralling downwards in to ever hotter temperatures, choked up and sent straight back to Hell. I failed as a demon so it’s back to school for me. If I wasn’t already burning up, all the other residents would clearly see my excruciating embarrassment.

 

(870 words)


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