A Christmas Demon

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man and three demons in the snow.

Submitted: March 28, 2010

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Submitted: March 28, 2010

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A Christmas Demon
Terry
 
 
It was Arthur’s least favorite time of his favorite time of the year. He wondered for a second exactly where that placed him on the ‘feeling’ continuum; He supposed rather neutral. It was Christmas time, of course. It was right at the beginning of winter. 
Arthur Vale went out onto his porch, shutting the door behind him and closing off the stream of warm air from inside his house with a small woosh! He felt the chill splash over his arms and legs immediately, and then slowly begin to seep into the fluff of his down vest, towards his chest. He savored the feeling, and the fresh taste as he let the cold air spill down his throat. He expelled his last puff of warm household atmosphere in a puff of steam and became totally imbibed with the winter atmosphere.
He set the trash bag he was holding on the porch boards next to him and enjoyed where he was for a moment, and the warm feeling deep in his stomach, the alcohol hard at work in his bloodstream. After a few seconds of serenity he picked up the bag and his features fell, into a serious and sort of bored expression that looked rather at home in the lines of his face. He trudged toward the basement door.
As he walked he noticed a trio of small, black demons at play in the snow of his front yard. He stared at them, it being such a rare sight. Their laquored black bodies rolled and tumbled about as they shoved each other’s faces into the white fluff, pulled each other’s tails viciously and laughed merrily at the discomfort of the victim. 
They were miserable creatures. Despite the broad smile on each black face, he knew they were all cold and unhappy; they wouldn’t seek shelter as long as each had the other two out in the open to torment.
One of them noticed him just as it had it’s oblong head shoved beneath a snow bank. 
“Arthur.”
It said his name softly from under the surface of the powder. The other two looked up in glee and bared their teeth. All three hopped up and began dancing over to him, and doing somersaults and other tricks in his snowy wake.
“Artie’s going to play Santa!” one of them cried. He decided to call this one Sammy Davis Junior.
“…Again.” Added another one in mid-cartwheel. “And if he’s Sammy Davis Junior then I want to be ‘Henry Kissinger!’”
“Artie always plays Santa.” said the third. Then the small black creature turned Arthur’s direction and it gave a small curtsey. “Call me Malaria.”
Arthur focused on the ground at his feet. He tried to keep his mind blank. It wouldn’t do to give the little vultures any attention. He wasn’t very familiar with the species, but he knew enough about them to know what they spent their time doing: picking at the loose threads of your mind you left hanging about. He remembered the only things he really knew about them: don’t talk to them, don’t think about them, don’t look at them. Get on with your business. They’re happy if you’re unhappy.
“Henry,” asked Malaria, “Do you think Artie is any good at doing Santa?”
“He’s OK.” replied Henry. “He’s not as funny as any of his uncles when he does it, but he does it anyway because he’s such a good boy.”
“AWWWW…” they all crooned, “Such a good boy. He’s such a good boy, he puts all the way to the basement because he’s such a good boy.”
Arthur trudged on. He knew he wasn’t as funny as any of his uncles but he had them here. He never cared about that. He just did it because somebody had to.
“He’s so modest.” said Sammy Davis Junior.
“So modest” they all agreed.
“He doesn’t care about being funny.” said Malaria, “He doesn’t need to be the greatest Santa, just a good enough one.”
Henry Kissinger climbed up the shed and hung upside down from the gutter by his claws. “Do you think they make fun of him?” he asked.
“I don’t know.” replied Sammy, “but they are so funny, they do love to joke.”
“They do like to joke alright!” sang Malaria. “And Artie is pretty awkward as Santa.”
On and on he trudged.
“Then again,” said Henry, thoughtfully, as he dropped to the ground, “maybe they don’t make fun of him.”
The demons all gasped dramatically in unison.
“Wow,” said Sammy Davis, “that would mean that he’s so boring, there aren’t even any good stories about him as Santa.”
“Well,” replied Malaria, “he is rather boring, and there aren’t any such stories that he knows about, anyway.”
“It’s either one or the other.” smirked Henry, “they do joke, or they don’t.”
“I wonder which is worse?” said Sammy.
“Artie,” they all began to croon again, “which is worse, Artie? You don’t like it at all do you Artie? Poor, poor Artie.”
They jumped and spun and pranced circling tracks around the young man. He was only ten yards from the basement door. 
“What do you think his wife thinks about it?” asked Sammy
“Oh, she knows he’s just a pushover.” replied Malaria, “She knows he’d always do it if they asked him.”
“Because he’s such a good boy.” Henry cackled.
“Well she probably thinks it’s kind of lame.” said Sammy, “but she can’t think it’s all that bad or she would just make him stop.”
“Ooh,” said Malaria, “that would really make him angry. Wouldn’t it Artie?”
“Yeah,” said Sammy, “wouldn’t it Artie?”
“But he wouldn’t say anything of course.” said Henry, “He would just stop…Hahahahaha!”
They all laughed at him.
Arthur reached the basement door and swept inside in a small eddy of snow flurries. He slammed it behind him and let out his breath. His hands shook as he opened the bag and changed into the Santa suit.
“Oh Artie,” whispered one of them through the door, “Would it be better if we were here when you came out of there, or if we weren’t?”
It sighed.
“Will this put you in a bad mood for Santa?”
Arthur cursed them all silently the whole time he dressed. They were downright ridiculous. He had always supposed they must be a rather annoying bunch, but he never knew anything could be so damn persistently asinine. It was like having three extra heads.
He finished dressing, opened the door and started his return trip. One of the demons climbed up and sat on his red-capped head. It was Malaria. He ignored her. Brushing faux Santa hair out of his eyes, he tromped on, keeping his gaze on the snow. 
“Will you be in a bad mood all night now? Is this going to make you screw up Santa?” Malaria directed a stream of questions at him for a time, her black legs hanging down in his face.
“You definitely won’t be funny now…” said Henry critically as he danced.
“No that you would have been anyway.” finished Sammy from his right.
He was halfway back to the front door.
“Artie,” said Malaria, who hopped off of his head to join her brothers, “you should really try and get yourself into a good mood before you get back in there, you know, jolly.”
“Oh no, can you?” asked Henry “Do you have enough time?”
“I doubt it.” said Sammy. “Time’s not the issue. Artie isn’t capable. He’s such a sourpuss.”
Arthur was three feet from the front door.
“Maybe thinking of your wife will cheer you up.” said Henry
They all laughed
Arthur stepped up onto the front porch and jingled his jingle bells loudly. 
Malaria was the only one to follow him that far. She scampered up the steps and stood boldly in front of him, waving. 
“Hey Artie,” she called “what does your wife’s pussy look like? Does it look like mine?” She spread her black legs and pointed at her androgynous groin. There was nothing there except more shiny black skin, like a little insectoid Barbie doll.
Arthur regarded the small creature for a moment, then he booted it as hard as he could. 
Malaria screamed in pain, and landed in the woods just out of the yard with a small thump. Sammy and Henry chased her flying form, laughing madly the entire way, as if they had just heard the funniest thing ever said to them.
“Artie,” one of them called back, “we were wrong about you, you aren’t so bad after all!”
He watched the little creatures disappear into the woods, their mirth slowly dying out. He resolved to speed up if one ever ran out in front of his car. Endangered or not they were vile beasts. At least they were physical little animals you could actually hate. That was their one redeeming quality. 
He wondered if there was such a strong movement to save the rare little bastards out of pure conservationism, or simply to preserve the pleasure of killing them for future generations. He smiled broadly as the door suddenly opened. “HO Ho Ho!” He jingled his way inside, very merrily.


© Copyright 2019 Terry. All rights reserved.

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