My entire body jolts rigid as I gasp for as much air as I can gather.
I’m… ok, I’m on the couch downstairs. Well no, I’m on the floor next to the couch downstairs, but that’s a very recent development. It looks like the sun’s starting to come up - how long was I out? I can just baaaarely make out talking from the other room. ‘Well, I should probably listen in, right?’ I mean, I, uh… yeah, yeah I really should, huh.
I less creeped up to the door as I did almost drunkenly stumble directly into it - not all my motor functions seem to be back yet. Tactical Stealth Action this was not. “What even was that Sarah? What in the world went through your mind to do that?” I guess when you summon a fucking… whatever that was in your bedroom, that warrents the serious dad convo. “We could have talked about it, prepared for this. You know I would support you in anything you decided, but there’s a reason the church is supposed to be contacted to oversee…”
And then the other voice in the room went from a silent rumble to a blood curdling scream. I could feel every tendon in my body tensing up from it. Oh goh… oh good g… fuck, oh my fucking, it’s… it’s that monster! It’s, the one Sarah… Sarah and the mon… I need too… ‘I need to breathe, and I need to leave. Now.’ I can’t stay here in this demon’s den!
I peel out as fast as I can. I’m sure that I could have quietly snuck out the door just as I’m sure that I could have stayed and fixed everyone a nice breakfast for hosting me overnight. Possible, but it ain’t happening here. I need to put as much distance between me and whatever the fuck that was. I need to get home! I nee…
Oh. Oh that’s right. I don’t have a home anymore, do I? I… oh god above, I don’t have anywhere to run. Why didn’t I listen to Ma? Hellspawn… we really are hellspawn, aren’t we? That creature… that monster is, is, is ‘going to catch up to us if we don’t get that cute little ass in the car right fucking now. I must have someone else to turn to, right?’ I… Joey. Joey!
The tires screeching is probably the second worst thing I’ve heard the past five minutes being awake. But it means I’m on the move. I have a plan now. Joey is going to be able to tell me everything, right? He’s going to know what to do, he’s going to know what happened.
It only takes a hot minute to get to his cul de sac and from there his home. I’m still a frantic panting mess when I jam my finger over and over into the doorbell. It only takes a moment for him to rip open the door, bleary eyed and cranky. ‘Even so, it’s incredible what a cutie you are, huh? All my friends are just so adorable!’
“Uh, thanks for the complement miss. Maybe not at 5 in the morning…”
Heat immediately springs to my face. “Oh god above, did I say that out loud? I don’t even know why I thought it…”
He burst out laughing? Ok then. “Oh my fucking god Liam, amazing costume! You totally got me with the voice dude, I didn’t even recognise ya!” The voice? I look down and oh. Still dressed like this, huh?
“You think my voice is? Nevermind, Joey! Joey, I’m sorry it’s so early but… some real terrible shit has been going down today and I, oh my god, I just…” I can’t hold it in anymore. Big wet tears come streaking down my face, a soft wail from my throat. I must have just rivers of eyeliner going everywhere from all the sobbing I’ve been doing.
“Oh christ, Liam? What happened buddy? Hey hey, I’m here for you!” He walks up and gives a firm hug, and I just collapse into the arms of yet another person. “Shh, hey man, come on in, I’ll get you some water, just talk to me.” He guides me to the couch, gives me another squeeze, picks something back up from the doorway, and goes to get me that water. ‘Such a gentleman, Joey. Really knows how to make someone feel special.’ I guzzle the cool water he gives me like pure mana. I guess all that crying really dehydrates you.
“So Liam, tell me what happened. Last I heard you were going to that stupid bonfire with Sarah, right? Did someone fuck with you over your costume? Who are you supposed to be, anyways?”
“That’s really not important right now… you can’t tell? I’m Veronica Sawyer! I only made you watch that movie, like, seven times now right?”
“Oh yeah, that terrible Mean Girls rip off you love, I see it now! Like a sexy evil version of her!”
“Jesus Joey, you have the worst taste. And no, I’ll let you know I give off nothing but good girl energy, cha!” He just rolls his eyes. ‘I do believe I had some important thing to talk about here. I can always flirt later~’ Whoa brain, what are you on today? But right, I’m glad he could make me feel better but I came here for a reason. “Joey, hey, so. Everything turned to shit real fast last night. I came home drunk and didn’t realize I was in my costume… I, I admitted to them...”
“And let me guess, the folks started up on their ‘demon son’ shit again? They haven’t started hitting you again, right?”
“They… Ma, she kicked me out of the house. She told me I wasn’t her, her son… that I should be dead…” My eyes started to blur again, but only just so. Joey gives me another big hug, slapping my back a few times like guys always do. “I didn’t know what to do after that. I just, needed to get the fuck out of there. Soon the panic started to set in, and I figured that I needed to go back to Sarah’s. Her dad started saying something about a ritual, and I was too out of it to question anything.” His sympathetic look suddenly curdled. “I, uh, I walked in on her and she was doing some black magic shit, and there were, these shadowy clawed arms… what? Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Fuck you liam, this isn’t funny. I get a prank or two, but that was some really shitty lead in. I thought my best friend was in fucking trouble! You’re a sick person, dude.” What? He... doesn’t believe me? “Here, take your dumb fucking hammer and go if you’re just gonna be an asshole, I’m going back to bed.” He throws my mallet at me… I guess I brought it with me? I do like to clutch things when I’m so torn…
“Listen, Joey. I promise you, I’m not fucking lying about anything! You have to believe me, there was, I think she was communing with some kind of monster. Summoning maybe? I could hear it fucking screaming this morning! It must still be here, Jo. We gotta…”
“What do we gotta do. Go to her house so she can jump out and go “boo” and I get to feel like the dipshit who thought his best friend was attacked by his chud parents and needed some real help? You’re a real piece of fuckin’ work, Liam. I never thought you would stoop low enough to act just like they do.”
I froze at that. I’m, like my parents? “Joey! Joey please! I promise, I promise I’m not lying! I lost everything last night, I can’t lose you too!”
“Stop the hysterics, you’ve ruined enough of your makeup. You’re gonna scratch your eye if you cry those contacts out of place.”
“Contac… Joey what the fuck are you talking about, I’m wearing my glasses, you know I can’t stand things going in my eyes! Why does that matter!”
He huffed off back to the kitchen, probably to get his own drink. “So what, did you just wake up this morning with glowing red fucking eyes then, mr demon worshiper?”
What the fuck?
I scramble over to the living room mirror as fast as I can, pressing my nose directly up against the glass. It’s true that my makeup is streaked in about every possible direction it could, my hair is about as wild as it’s ever been. A little bit of soot and I could have passed as ending Veronica… save for my apparently violently orange and red irises. It was like my eyes had caught fire.
“What the fuck happened to me… Joey, my eyes weren’t like this last night! I, something… Oh god above, did they do something to me too?” I shut my eyes tight and started sobbing right there, pressed into the mirror. I could hear Joey’s footsteps coming behind me. “Joey, oh my god. I’m losing my mind here! I don’t know who I can trust!” He presses up against me, grabbing my arm tight. Is he coming to his senses that I wouldn’t lie about this? Another embrace? I really need another now… I can feel his hot breath against my neck…
And then a shattering noise from the direction of the kitchen. My eyes spring open just as a tongue presses against my cheek, licking up to my ear. In the mirror I can see Joey shaking like a leaf, glass and water strewn about the floor around him. Behind me I saw…
Angels in the good book aren’t really winged humans, but weird monsters of many eyes and many parts. It would then be a pretty good guess that demons wouldn’t just be red skinned humans with big horns. But I can totally see where the idea the idea came from - the brilliant red musculature was gorgeous. But there were so, so many more colors too. The flashes of white where the bone peeked out across her face. The sickly yellow fats across her chest and her hips. Yes, the onix horns and the fingers that dripped of ichor. The brilliant blues of her exposed veins. Her raven hair, matted where it touched her wet raw flesh. The pinks and grays of her guts just starting to spill from her belly. The body beneath the skin was a brilliant canvas and she wouldn’t hide a single red inch of it.
I thought I was screaming as loud as I possibly could before she sank her teeth into my shoulder, but pain truly was the great motivator.
I buck and convulse and she falls to the floor behind me, and I double over towards the couch. The abomination seems to not be phase, but slowly crawls over the coffee table, rolling it’s neck as it stands up. I… I can’t think, there’s no air coming to my lungs, my shoulder is screaming in pain, the blasphem is sauntering towards me, I can’t even think….
‘Scarlet, darling. Fucking go.’
I pick up my mallet and I break it off in it’s stupid fucking face.
She twists back and falls to the ground, and Joey nearly rips my arm out of its socket pulling me out the door. The creature snaps its neck back up towards me, and gives out the best screech it possibly can with half its jaw torn from it’s skull. I’ve broken out into a full sprint by the time she’s back on her feet and snarling, with Joey loudly cursing by my side. We’re barely a block away before Sarah and her dad pull up to us, roll down the windows and simply bark “Get in.” Joey and I are in the back seat in a nanosecond.