rough draft of The Demon of Petty Disturbances
by K. Kylyra Ameringer
"Hmm-mmm," Tronaugh replied, poking about his papers and books. "He asked Bob-the-bodybuilding-boyfriend to drive Melissa's mother home in the Mercedes-Benz. You know how emotional that woman can get. She was so distraught!"
"He let him drive the Mercedes?" Dick asked incredulously. "Her dad wouldn't let me near that car! He caught me leaning on it once and spent half an hour lecturing me on how I might have scratched the finish."
"Yeah," Tronaugh agreed. "He sure does love that car."
Dick sat nodding to himself. "Okay. Fine. She's in hospital. Fine. She deserves it. Okay! I'm good with this," he said to Tronaugh. "Good job. Yeah. Good job." He picked up his coat and headed to the door.
"Where are you going?" Tronaugh asked.
"I'm going out for a walk."
Tronaugh smiled at the closed door. "Watch out for that left turn," she said.
Dick lay his plate on the floor and stretched back into the couch. He looked around his empty flat satisfactorily. It had been almost a week since Mel's accident and during her recovery Dick had instructed the two demons to keep a constant bombardment against Bob-the-bodybuilding-boyfriend. He saw Tronaugh and DT once in a while for a report, when they would come to his flat, empty his refrigerator of all the food he had, dirty every dish in the house, and then sit around complaining loudly that they were being overworked.
Tronaugh and DT were both disturbed by Bob. Apparently he was so in love with Mel that the normal petty disturbances, the tricks they used on most humans, didn't work on him. Tronaugh explained it to Dick in this manner: "Humans can thwart our attempts, or block the negative effects of the energy output by focused concentration. The intense infatuation stage of a relationship coupled with heavy hormonal surges mimics the effect of this focused concentration. He's immune to what we do right now. It doesn't matter to him. You've heard the expression 'floating on cloud nine'? Well, this boy literally is!"
According to Tronaugh's reports, Bob had cut himself while shaving three times this week, been delayed at the gym twice, even suffered Mel's mom beginning to call him 'Bobby', a thing which, Tronaugh assured Dick, Bob absolutely detested because he associated it with his great-aunt Genevieve whom he had almost as many hang-ups about as Dick did about his grandmother. Tronaugh had even gleefully shown up early one morning to report that she'd managed to knock Bob's toothbrush down the open toilet before he brushed. But nothing seemed to phase him.
Well, at least I've been able to get some sleep, Dick reflected. Apparently there were a few stray cats in Bob's neighborhood, so Tronaugh and DT spent the nights pulling the cats' tails, getting them to screech and yowl outside Bob's window at all hours. Tronaugh was particularly pleased by this duty. She claimed it had a 'boomerang effect' and she'd been able to disturb at least half the block. All sorts of exciting little things were happening in her world. Dick just smiled and encouraged her to keep up the good work.
Over the past few days in between disturbing Bob, Tronaugh had slowly been sharing more information with Dick. He thought he was beginning to understand her concept of 'the fabric of reality' and began to listen more closely to all the little tidbits she let drop. One thing she had said in particular stuck in Dick's mind, and a plan began to form. Melissa was scheduled to be released from hospital in two days' time when Dick told Tronaugh of his idea.
They were in the flat, Tronaugh and DT on the couch stuffing their faces with food, their eyes glued to the blaring TV screen. Dick cleared his throat.
"Tronaugh, Mel's scheduled to be released from hospital in two days, isn't she?"
"What -?" Tronaugh asked, turning to look at him.
"Melissa's release from hospital."
"Oh, yeah," Tronaugh replied gulping noisily. "Two days, that's right. She's out in two days."
Dick nodded. "I want you to have her parents buy her a dog."
Tronaugh's eyes grew wide. "A dog?"
"Yeah. A puppy. Make them think it's a good idea for her recovery, get over the shock; something like that, you know."
Tronaugh frowned in confusion. "I don't know, Dick. That smacks of niceness. You know I'm not into that sort of thing."
rough draft of The Demon of Petty Disturbances by K. Kylyra Ameringer