Demon in the Waiting Room

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

After a heavy night of drinking, a medium encounters a malevolent spirit...

 

No more than 15 minutes after Benny had locked up his bar for the night, Raven was on the bathroom floor, curled over the toilet, squeezing out an evening’s worth of stomach burning whiskey shots and a handful of sugar-coated mixed drinks.

Since they had met nearly two months ago, Benny had seen this self-destructive routine practically every night. But this time, something was wrong. Normally, Raven would come home, pass out, wake up an hour or so later and puke with ease and go back to bed. But there was no routine tonight, just painful purging.

At each extraction, Raven’s entire body convulsed like a centipede, purging, gagging and heaving, followed by a rumbling cough that ignited into spitting; more coughing and more heaving until his throat was raw. Raven’s shirtless torso resembled a tube of toothpaste being squeezed until it was almost flat in the middle. As Benny watched this horrendous act, he became suspicious that there were other forces at work. When it was all over, Benny, terrified for his friend’s health, rushed to Raven’s side to help him to bed: the living room couch. As Benny struggled to transfer him to the far side of the living room, Raven’s head slumped and his legs dropped like lead. Benny readjusted the leverage on his own crippled legs and strained to keep his friend upright and forward moving. As a bartender and owner, he had seen countless shades of drunkenness, but Raven’s was particularly unique, the only one he was reluctant to cut off. The alcohol, Benny had learned shortly after taking Raven in, keeps the literal demons away.

Eyes shut and tuned to a spinning bliss, Raven’s subconscious returned to that comfy couch in the doctor’s office just down the hall from his protective steel gate. But when he opened his eyes, Raven was overcome by a single level of darkness. The room had no dimensions, not even a window for the moon nor a thin glow creeping under the door from the hall. Nothing. Something was not right.

The room should have been bright and warm and peaceful, just as Raven’s subconscious had designed it. But instead, it was cold and dark and full of hate. There should have been no sounds, just peaceful room tone. Instead, a gurgly hiss gave the darkness its only depth. As the hissing got louder, Raven quickly sat upright and touched his face; his hands were clammy and his face was cold. The room was freezing. Raven tried to calm himself and attempted to map out the perspective of the room, but it was the red eyes that came from the hiss that made his heart pound. The eyes only appeared briefly from behind the doctor’s desk, and quickly they were gone. The hiss was rhythmic, fading in and out like labored breathing. This was followed by a rapid tapping which sounded like long fingernails on the surface of a wooden desk.

The scratching and tapping was followed by a deep growl, one that suggested whatever was making the noise was creeping closer. Raven stilled his shudder breath and resisted against the terrifying images his mind’s eye created in the inky blackness. His imagination painted a crude silhouette of a demon-like creature with wide red eyes and yellow drool dripping from its teeth as it crawled over the wooden desk. Raven felt his heartbeat pound in the side of his neck. The demon’s claws were similar to a hawk’s sharp talons and its skin resembled blackish brown bark. It crawled with its legs and arms spread far apart like a beetle with long jagged limbs. Its nails continued to click against the wooden desk’s smooth surface and it hissed like an angry cat.

CLICK CLANK.

CLICK CLANK.

HISSSS!

CLICK CLANK.

CLICK CLANK.

Instinctively, Raven leaned as far back as he could, but he could still feel the creature’s cold energy closing in on him. Suddenly, three feet from his face, Raven saw a pair of red eyes. He could barely see them in the complete darkness, but the hissing told him they belonged to the same creature. As the creature’s red eyes glided within a foot of Raven’s face, he began to wonder who this bastard was.

“Who the fuck are you?” Raven shouted, his voice slurred, but his tone was harsh to maintain his dominance over the entity. Few spirits got past the metal gate, and when they did, it meant they were especially pissed off and neglected. “I am Sonneillon, the demon of hate!” The creature growled in a deep, hoarse voice. “I feed on the flesh of the living! Cower before me and feed me your soul!”

Raven froze. The cold air made his body shiver, but he did not let his breath crack the air with the sound of fear. The darkness lingered. Even though his mind drew up the image of a nasty creature with horns and peeling flesh and the adrenaline in his blood made him tremble, he refused to believe there was a demon lurking before him. “Demons don’t exist,” Raven reminded himself as his jaw trembled. He gritted his teeth and leaned forward. “NO!” Raven screamed. The red eyes widened and blinked. “You are no demon! You are just a coward hiding in the darkness! I am not afraid of a coward! SHOW YOURSELF!!”

Suddenly, Raven felt his chest become heavy. His lungs seized and stopped taking in air. The red eyes were directly in his face. The creature Raven’s mind had drawn was now perched on his chest, claws digging into his soft belly. Still, Raven had the strength for a single retort. “LEAVE ME COWARD OF DARKNESS, FOR I AM A CHILD OF GOD!”

The creature froze. The fingernails loosened their grasp on Raven’s soft skin and he felt the weight ease off his chest cavity. With a loud, more human-like growl, the creature cowered away. Suddenly, the bright white lights returned and illuminated the room the way it should have been: a dull doctor’s office with a wooden desk, a chair and a couch. Raven could hear the creature hiding under the desk, its breath reduced to heavy panting.

Looking over the desk, Raven found a pair of painful red eyes, which belonged to a boy of about 17, but his unusual fashion caused Raven to do a double take. The boy’s black dyed hair was sopping wet and dripping over his eyes. Some of the dye was even fading out, disclosing patches of dark brown. All his clothes were black and soaking wet. He had a lip ring, two earrings in one ear and a studded nose ring. Even his pants had nickel-plated rings down each side. His long fingernails were painted black, although some of the paint was scratched and worn. Rings of black eyeliner seeped out of his eye sockets and past his bloodshot hazel eyes.

“That’s what I thought,” Raven said, glaring at the kid. “Who are you and why are you trying to fuck with my head?”

“I thought I could scare you.”

Raven laughed. “By telling me you’re a demon? Kid, I don’t believe in demons, no matter how many times you pissed off dead people try to convince me with your manipulation of energy. Now what do you need? Because I need to sleep.”

“I just need your help. My name’s Jason.”

“Well why the fuck should I help you, Jason? You’ve been fucking with me all night. Do you know what it feels like to cough up vomit until your throat is dry? I expect to throw up almost every night, but not like that!”

Standing vulnerable without the shadows to deceit, Jason looked like a typical, shy kid experimenting with his identity. He lowered his head as Raven screamed at him; his long hair concealed the shame in his eyes.

“I’m sorry I hurt you,” Jason said. “But I’ve been waiting in that room for a long time for someone to help me. I never made it to 18, and I don’t remember ever drinking alcohol. I just need your help.”

Raven hated dealing with attention whores and Jason was no exception, but the boy’s sympathy was sincere. Still, the makeup dripping down the kid’s face and the many many piercings made Jason appear macabre.

“Are you a Satanist?”

“No.”

“Pagan?”

“I’m Goth, but I believe in God and shit like that.”

“Right. What do you need help with?”

“I want to tell my family I’m sorry.”

“How did you die?” Jason lowered his head.

“A few months before it happened, I sliced open my wrists.” He rolled up his sleeves and held up his arms, so Raven could see the crisscross of long scars up and down his forearms where he had hesitated. One large cut near his wrist was laced with stitches and dark red with infection. “One time I cut myself so bad, that I passed out right away. My mom found me and rushed me to the hospital. The first time, they thought I had done it by accident. But this time,” he pointed to the stitching. “They made sure I never cut myself again. “All my life, I had always been angry at everyone around me and the world. I hated my parents, my teachers, authority. I hated my father for going to prison. I blamed everybody for the way I felt and the way I was. But now that I’m dead and I had to see my mom look down at my casket, I can only be mad at myself. I thought being alive was so lonely, but being dead and seeing all of the people I once knew live on…”

“…it’s hell,” Raven said.

“There are no demons or devils, but it’s the worst hell you can possibly imagine,” Jason explained. “I didn’t die by cutting my wrists. My mom and my therapist made certain of that. I spent a month in a mental ward and another three weeks out of school so my mom could watch me, and my therapist could ask me a million questions. But I had to find another way. One that couldn’t be stopped by them. So I jumped off the Thomas Street Bridge. I did it at night, when I could sneak out of the house and no one could stop me. “But it worked so well, that they never found my body. The casket my mom mourned over, was empty. She had them bury an empty casket so she’d be at peace. But she’s not.”

Jason looked up at Raven with his greenish red eyes. In those eyes, Raven saw an intensity of sadness, but he also felt a fury of anger. It rose off Jason’s body like hot steam.

“They’ll never find your body,” Raven said. “Even if they dredge the river, you’ve been gone too long. The Thomas Street Bridge was torn down 10 years ago. Even if they went looking for your bones, they’d be scattered-.”

“I know. My body’s long gone. I just want you to do one thing for me.”

“What’s that?” “Tell my mom what happened.” Jason said. “And make sure she gets into heaven.”

Raven’s stomach churned. “I’ll do that.” As Raven laid back onto the couch, Jason smiled a painful but relieved smile and showed himself out the door. As he drifted to sleep, Raven heard the metal gate open and close, the chains jingling against the bars. The last thing he heard was the fat padlock clicking securely into place.

† † †

 

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this Raven James story, please consider checking out my full length novel, DROWNING DEMONS and leave a review!

 

DROWNING DEMONS: https://www.amazon.com/Drowning-Demons-Raven-James-Novel/dp/B083XX497N


Submitted: January 13, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Ben Wydeven. All rights reserved.

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