Natural Born Sinner

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


There is no sense in a compassionate demon. For Serenity, it is everyone else who is lacking sense, and she has made it her personal mission to teach her fellow demons that they are not slaves to
their baser urges. That there is more to life than unleashing their aggression in a wild and unchained frenzy. But convincing others of her way of thinking will prove difficult, when her way of
thinking is as fragile as a demon’s promise.

Submitted: December 21, 2017

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Submitted: December 21, 2017

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The classroom was a field of chaos. Young demons were yelling and fighting with one another, nothing was in its correct place, even the desks and chairs, and the teacher was doing absolutely nothing, sat at his desk, resting his head on his crossed arms, just wishing for the second these children would no longer be his responsibility.

Serenity stood at the front of the class, next to the apathetic teacher, and removed the hood of her black, wraith-like cloak with a sigh. Many would relish the thought of being in the same room as her, and it wasn’t too long ago that the teacher, Ignis, was one of those people. But it seemed he had grown tired of her stories as quickly as the children had. When she really thought about it, she couldn’t really blame him.

But she would keep telling them in the hope that they would eventually get the point.

Serenity clapped her hands twice, and the room fell silent. The tables and chairs and everything else levitated back to their rightful place, and the children took their seats like good little demons. Where some of the children were mauled and battered by others, they were now healed with Serenity’s magic, but she could just see in some of their eyes the ingrained feral predators that they were. The bloodlust.

Ignis finally looked up from his desk, and after a quick survey of the classroom, gave Serenity an emotionless look with those yellow, feline eyes of his. Serenity just smiled warmly at the dark green face of the single-horned demon, before looking back at the class.

“Okay,” Ignis said, his gruff voice deep and bellowing and as uncaring as he looked, “today we have a special guest. Again. She’s going to tell you all a story. Again. So sit still and shut up while you listen to whatever crap it is she wants you to learn.”

The nerve. To think that he would talk to her like that. The two of them didn’t really have any boundaries to overstep, but still. There were limits to how far he could push, and he was getting there.

“How fortunate they are to have a terrible teacher like you,” Serenity quietly said to Ignis.

He ignored her as he sat back in his chair, and proceeded to stare intently at his desk, with his usual sullen look. Serenity didn’t dwell too much on him, although she couldn’t deny that she wanted to. Instead, she turned to the class and breathed in deep.

“So, as you all know, I’m Serenity—”

“Princess Serenity,” a young, pointy eared and tusked boy at the back said, under his breath.

Serenity cleared her throat, with a smile. “Yes, I suppose so. But let’s forgo the titles here, shall we?” She took in the unfamiliar face amongst the sea of familiarity. “But I don’t believe we’ve met. What’s your name?”

The boy clicked his tongue and shook his head, staring at his desk. He pushed back in his chair and stood up. “Why do you keep coming here?” he asked, as he made his way to the door.

“I’m sorry?”

He tried the door, but barely a fraction of Serenity’s magic kept it locked tight. The more he failed, the harder he tried, and the more irritated he got. He gave up with a kick to the door.

“What is your problem?” he said.

“Draven,” Ignis started, but Serenity held up a hand. He so rarely acted like he cared about things, that Serenity felt a little bad cutting him off, but this was her moment.

“It appears it is you who has the problem with me, young demon. Draven.” Serenity regarded him with steady eyes. She could guess any number of reasons why one would take issue with her, but few would be so vocal about it, unless they were young and stupid, and the boy certainly had the young part down. “I suggest you chastise that part of your mind that’s compelling you to—”

“You just go to schools preaching crap,” Draven said, nailing down the stupid part, too, “instead of doing anything. You and your sisters get into fights all the time, and you destroy our towns during it. What’s the point of you, besides lording your power over us?”

Such a young demon, his eyes locked Serenity’s with such malice that if he were older and wiser, she would have had great trouble restraining herself from destroying him.

Silence filled the room as the princess and the young demon stared dead into each other’s eyes. His laden with hatred, hers filled with warmth. He was looking at Serenity as if her and her family were all filth, and within that gaze, Serenity could not help but grin. It was sly, and lasted for just a moment, before being replaced with her usual kindness.

“My sisters are reckless creatures, I will agree, but I am not like them, and I hope to be the voice of common demon.”

Draven rolled his eyes, trying for the door again. “You should just burn,” he said, so quietly he must have believed only he heard it.

The army, the royals, everyone.

Serenity didn’t make a habit of reading minds, but with such loathing flowing through him, she couldn’t help herself. It was a task and a half to keep her face from showing that dark amusement.

Ignis shot up, ready to stop his delinquent student, but Serenity extended her arm out to him. She didn’t need his help, and things were getting interesting. Straying wildly off course by miles, right from the very beginning, but interesting.

“Let me tell you a story about obedience and integrity,” Serenity said.

“Pass,” Draven said, but as he tried the door more, he finally stood frozen.

She could feel Ignis’ hard stare out the corner of her eye, but she paid him no mind, as she started.

“Once upon a time, there was young red demon, with pitch black eyes, a single pointed horn, and a long twisting tail. She lived in a big house in the coldest depths of Hell where few demons dared to dwell, but everyday she would journey into the safer, hotter places to play with as many of the little demons as she could.”

“Like you!” Clove, a tiny young fire imp, made entirely of flames, said. Rather than sitting, she was hovering above her seat, her wings constantly, rapidly beating in the air.

Serenity smiled a wide grin at her. “What a coincidence, but I’m afraid I’m not that young,” she said, with a small laugh. Serenity walked around the front of the desk and sat up on it. “Well, this particular demon played with all sorts; the imps and the nymphs and even the goblins. But while she had fun playing with the younger demons, many of the older ones thought her strange.”

Serenity waited a short moment for someone to ask why, but was met with silence. That was probably wishful thinking. She imagined they all thought such a demon was weird, too.

“A demon who didn’t fight with other demons but played with them instead? Such a demon wouldn’t make sense, right? Impossible.”

There were nods from a few of the children, and in her current mood, that was a dangerous gesture on their part.

“That’s what the older demons thought. But when this young girl, who valued friendship with her fellow demons over violence, was being judged and criticised, she didn’t care. She carried on being the same as always. But then her father caught wind of her friendly antics. One of the most powerful and menacing demons in all of Hell.”

Serenity gave Draven a long silent look, her smile never fading.

“What do you think he did to deal with his soft and weak daughter?” she asked.

Draven was still frozen in place, powerless under the weight of Serenity’s magic. She eyed him intently, moving on only when the fire in his eyes was snuffed out, and replaced with cold hard fear.

“Sweet Draven, I’m asking you,” Serenity said sweetly, smiled sweetly, and chuckled sweetly in a way that put no one in the room at ease.

He averted his gaze, turning it to the floor. “I… I don’t…”

“Without even talking to her, he had her banished.” There was a distinct bite to her voice, and she knew it, but there was nothing she could do about it now.

“Seren—” Ignis started.

“Banished to the Earth realm,” she repeated. “She was a girl no older than any of you, not even past her first century, and she was sent away without even being told why or for how long. And do you want to know the worst part? He had her powers sealed. He threw her away to Earth to live as prey. And hunted relentlessly, she was. Like no young demon should ever have to endure. Priests wanted to exorcise her; brave and foolish heroes wanted to fight her; angels wanted her destroyed. Day in and day out she had to run for her life. For centuries upon centuries she was never left in peace. What else could such a young and naïve demon do?”

“Fight,” Draven said.

Serenity couldn’t hide her distaste. She remained smiling, but it was much duller, and far less forgiving. “And that’s why we’re fated for doom. Where demons see conflict, the idea of running never comes to mind. It’s either fight or die fighting.”

“For glory and honor. But a princess like you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”

Serenity knew her reputation for kindness. She knew how soft she could be. She knew she had the capacity for more patience than any other demon in Hell.

So, it surprised her more than anyone when Draven erupted in a blaze of red, hot hellfire, screaming at the top of his rapidly melting lungs. The class became chaos, but as Serenity looked on, unable to wipe the dark smile from her face, she clicked her fingers, and the class were back to their well-behaved selves, despite the flaming lump at the back of the room, that had quickly stopped struggling, leaving the scent of burning rich in the air. She licked her lips, her heart thundering in her chest at the thrill of burning the inconsiderate brat alive.

She took in the horror-stricken faces of the class, with a warm smile, and a slight tilt of her head. “So, where was I?”

“You mean before burning one of my students?” Ignis said.

Serenity cleared her throat to cover up the giggle that wanted to come. Ah… Here came the bloodlust. Once it began bubbling up, it was a pain to keep it tamed. Just that comment alone made her want to clutch Ignis by the throat and choke the life out of him. Just the children’s shock-frozen faces made her want to see just how much she could make them squirm.

“S-s-so, at first she ran, but she couldn’t keep that up forever.” Serenity shut her eyes tight, trying to shut out the rabid beast. “She had realised that after only just a few years. This young girl, no older than any of you, decided that if people wanted to hunt her, while all she wanted to do was bide her time, then she would hunt them back. She just wanted to be left alone, but if she wasn’t allowed that on Earth, then she would strike before her enemies could.”

Serenity took a deep breath, and opened her eyes to the silent class. “Who were her enemies? Good question. Humans and angels and their hybrid filthy abominations. Even after being abandoned and unfairly punished, she never for a second considered her fellow demons her enemies. But even then, even as she unleashed herself upon small villages, and lone travellers, she kept reminding herself that she wasn’t bloodthirsty.” She let out a breathy chuckle gazing down at the floor. “Even as she tore into people with her fangs and claws, savouring the taste of flesh and blood, she told herself she wasn’t just a beast who lived to hurt.”

“Sounds like dumb kid to me,” Ignis said.

“It’s funny,” Serenity said, “over her many centuries away from her home she met many a demon, and a lot of them were just as rabid as she was trying not to be. So, she tried teaching them to tame their beastly desires, so that it didn’t control them. Even with centuries of trying, she could barely control her own. The slightest thing would set her off if she wasn’t careful, and she hated how her time on Earth had changed her in this way. But despite the nature of demons, she had made friends with the many she had crossed, and with them by her side she found the will to endure her own bloodlust, and help them control theirs.” Serenity turned to Ignis, a genuine smile spreading on her face while he just looked back at her with poorly contained annoyance. “You’ll find that with friends you could do things you never would have been able to do on your own.”

“I would regret ever being friends with someone so—”

“Iggy,” Serenity said, so glad to have him as a distraction from herself, “watch yourself. I’m not above burning demons alive.”

“Do not call me that.” Completely unfazed. “Kids,” he said, turning to his class, while Serenity glued her eyes to him, “what do you think of the idiocy of a kind demon?”

Silence, and Serenity didn’t need to look at them to know they were sitting still, behaving themselves, and being the good demons she wanted them to be. He shook his head with a roll of his eyes.

“Would you look at that,” she said, smug, “Good little demons. Maybe the future of Hell isn’t so doomed after all.”

“With a princess like you?”

“What’s wrong with a princess like me?”

“Where do I begin?”

The two stared long and hard at one another, Ignis not breaking his apathy, Serenity not breaking her amusement.

“This young demon left Hell a sheltered little princess, but returned a cunning young adult. It even amused her when she wondered how her Father would react if he knew what she was getting up to in the Earth realm.” She winked at Ignis. It made him look away and clearly force himself to not smile.

“Innocent my butt.”

“I never said I was innocent,” she said with a laugh.

“I presume we’re done pretending you’re talking about a fictional girl then?”

“Ah…”

There were plenty of silences, but this was the first that made her feel awkward. She could feel the eyes of the students on her, and the question brewing behind them. It wasn’t exactly a secret she was keeping, but nor was it something she planned on telling to kids as a children’s story. For a moment, she forgot why she had even started telling it in the first place, but as she turned to the class, and saw the empty seat in the back, she remembered.

She could have gone on for hours with the stories she had to tell of her younger days with Ignis.

“Princess Serenity,” Clove, the little imp said, “Are you the girl?”

She supposed it wasn’t hard to figure out, but she was sure these children were not that bright.

“When her father saw her again,” Serenity continued, “he knew her friendly, harmless aura was no more, and it pleased him greatly. She no longer had the eyes of a kindhearted child and the smile of an angel, but instead had the eyes of a predator and a poisonous smile.”

This, of all things, got Ignis to chuckle, and Serenity joined him. “That’s the most accurate thing I’ve heard all day.”

“So, her father welcomed her back with open arms… figuratively. But buried deep down she still had her kind heart. She still cared for her fellow demons, and she still tried teach them how to tame and control that anger and hatred that was hardwired into all of them. Because she believed that united, demons could achieve anything they set their minds to, but the only way they could do that was if they stopped mindlessly hating everyone and everything.

“But try as she might to maintain her composure as a friendly, kind demon, there were those who thought they could take advantage of her. There were those who mistook her kindness for naïvety, and when she came across those kinds of demons, the side of her that grew during her time on Earth would take hold, and she would take great pleasure in carrying out cruel and merciless punishments. She never showed this side to anyone but those who angered her, because she didn’t want fear to influence how people treated her.” Despite how much she loved the feeling, Serenity thought to herself.

“I… guess the moral of the story is to treat your fellow demons as you would want to be treated, because you never know when one might come along who would melt you in a blaze of hellfire for being loud and rude.”

“But you’re the girl, right?” Clove pushed.

With her story done, Serenity put on her warm smile again, forcing the beast back into the deepest corners of her mind. “Dear, I can assure you that’s not the case.”

“But—”

“I’m afraid we’ve run out of time today. If you like, we can continue this tomorrow. Dismissed.” They had plenty of time left, but on Serenity’s words, they all got up from their seats and left the classroom in a wonderful orderly fashion.

As the last of the children left, stepping over the burnt lump by the door, Serenity pinched the bridge of her nose. “I was meant to tell them a wholesome story of love and friendship.”

“I liked this better,” Ignis said.

To this, Serenity chuckled. She realised the absurdity of teaching kindness to demons, but she also realised the potential of a realm of demons united together, rather than tearing at each other’s throats. Why was it such a difficult concept for them to understand?

“Well,” she said swinging her legs over the desk to Ignis’ side, “at least we got to reminisce about the good old days.”

“There was nothing good about any of my days with you in them.”

Serenity cupped her chin in her hands, as all traces of her innocent smile faded and made way for one that was as mischievous as she could get. “Really? There was nothing good about having a lonely young princess, who pined for demonic affection, all to yourself?”

“No.”

Serenity’s face lit up with glee. “Would you like me to tell you some of my best moments with you?”

He ignored her, pretending to look through the papers on his desk.

“The forest we escaped into, the one standing hut in one of the villages we destroyed together, every single night we spent under the stars together.”

Ignis slammed his hand down on his desk, shutting his eyes and furrowing his brows, whilst there was nothing that could wipe off Serenity’s stupid grin.

“How the hell did you get a title like Serenity the Angel?”

“I don’t know.” She shrugged. “I certainly wasn’t angelic in that forest, in the hut and during all those nights we spent together, was I? What is it you used to call me?”

Ignis shook his head at her, a slight smile flitting across his face. “You’re probably the most two-faced demon I know.”

“Are you pretending you don’t like it?” she said, holding out her hand as she inspected her claws.

Ignis was a demon of few words, and as he gave Serenity a long, judgmental stare, he said nothing. He just got up from his chair, and headed for the door, and Serenity hopped down from the desk, and fell into step beside her friend, laughing at one of the few people in Hell who knew her not as Serenity the Angel, but as the naïve young demon, awakened in the Earth realm. The Natural Born Sinner.


© Copyright 2019 Laurence Pratt. All rights reserved.

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