rough draft of The Demon of Petty Disturbances
by K. Kylyra Ameringer
Dick Digger surveyed himself in the mirror. His black suit had looked too new when he'd bought it, so he'd spent the last forty-eight hours carefully wearing it in; trying to crumple out the newness and imbue the fabric with years of experience he did not possess. He thought it finally had achieved that just-right nonchalant look he'd been trying so hard to cultivate. His lank hair managed to cover most of the recent acne outbreak on his forehead, but that persistent pimple by the corner of his nose just couldn't be hidden, healed or halted from being an eyesore.
It had been a year since he'd left that mind-drain they called school, and his tiny one room cold water flat was the culmination of his hard work in the real world.
Just wait until they see me today, he thought. No one will believe it's Dick Digger. He winced as he mentally rapped himself on the knuckles. I'm Richard Digger, he corrected himself, I'm Richard now.
Mel was having a small get-together tonight to celebrate passing her exams. Dick applied a pimple cream to that persistent bump by the corner of his nose and thought about the first time they'd met.
He still remembered the schoolyard clearly. The ground dropped away sharply at the far edge of the yard and formed a small gully deep enough to hide truant students. Dick liked to go there and smoke a fag between classes; sometimes he'd cut the whole day and listen to the sounds of the school continuing on around him. No one had ever found him there to hassle him; Bill Johnson and his laughing buddies were a world away.
The day he'd met Mel hadn't been a good one. It was early afternoon when he threw himself into this hiding place, an almost full pack of fags in his pocket. He'd forgotten about a maths quiz and knew he'd done poorly. To make matters worse, Bill Johnson had tripped him up in the cafeteria and sent him sprawling in front of the whole school. Well, not the whole school, he thought, but enough of them that everyone will hear about it by next period. At that time, everyone to Dick meant Elizabeth MacKenzie. She was in his afternoon history class.
His mood was black as he lit another smoke. He couldn't make himself go back to class. Elizabeth would know about the cafeteria. She'd smirk at him and think he was a jerk. She and Gina Farley would whisper about it and giggle behind their hands. They'd ...
His thoughts were interrupted as a foot came smashing down on his hand. "Hey!" he shouted.
"OhmygoshI'msorryIdidn'tseeyouthere," the apology came out in a rush.
"Yeah, well ..." He looked up into the face of a gangly youth, barely discernible if it was a boy or girl. The hair was cropped short and acne was scattered across a face that was pale and frightened. Dick had a sudden vision of himself, the first time he'd found this place. He figured he hadn't looked much different.
"Trouble?" he asked the youth.
Dick gestured to the ground. "Take a seat," he said. The youth sat down and Dick was pretty sure it was a girl. He offered her a fag, which she accepted after a moment's hesitation.
She introduced herself then, and Dick did likewise. As if by mutual consent, they didn't talk about what had led them here to this hiding place. Instead they talked about movies and music, instinctively searching each others' character for an ally. They discovered a few similarities, enough to make them comfortable with each other.
There was a long pause in the conversation. Melissa had scrunched herself into a ball, as if to make herself as small as possible. Cigarette smoke drifted from her open mouth.
"I wish I could make them pay."
Dick looked at Mel quickly. He didn't have to ask who should pay or what crimes they'd committed; Mel's tone told him enough. Here was one of his kind; the downtrodden, the picked on, the underdog.
"Maybe you can," he said after a moment's hesitation. They spent that afternoon talking about gods and demons, karmic retribution and magic. Dick's interest in the 'genre macabre', as he liked to call it, had been fueled years ago by an obscure passage in a book he'd read. Mel had been easy enough to intrigue, and before they'd parted ways that day their fate had been sealed.
They began to sneak out at night and hold clandestine meetings in the local cemetery. They had a favourite spot to go where they performed rituals from Dick's books and cursed all those who opposed them. To be honest, the magic had never really seemed to work. Certainly Mrs. Causfield, the principal of their school, didn't ever burst into flames and run screeching around the yard until her head split open and green pus oozed out, but she did break her ankle on an unfortunate slip down the stairwell.
rough draft of The Demon of Petty Disturbances by K. Kylyra Ameringer