rough draft of The Demon of Petty Disturbances
by K. Kylyra Ameringer
"What's wrong with him?" Dick asked.
"You mean his voice? Oh, yes, poor thing. Tragic really ... I ripped his tongue out."
"Ripped - his - tongue - out," she said with the same precision. "Do you have a hearing problem, young man?"
"No, I -"
"Such an eager young thing," Tronaugh interrupted him, stroking DT's misshapen head. "At the head of his class, really. So bright and inquisitive." Her caresses became a bit more savage. "He just kept asking questions and making comments, pushing and pushing me until I just couldn't stand it any longer!" Her hand slid down to DT's throat and she began to throttle him.
She released him suddenly and seemed to regain a measure of her control. "Of course, that type of behaviour caught the eye of the people in power immediately. That sort of initiative does not go unrewarded in Hell! And so, here I am, bringing little DT up in the ways of a renowned class of demons that have been at the forefront of Hell's war since the beginning of time." She glanced down with fondness at the young demon.
"Now," she said, turning to address Dick, "do we have an arrangement here or am I free to leave with my charge?"
Just then DT set up a horrible gobbling noise. "What is it, my little imp, my little one?" Tronaugh asked, tottering over to where the young demon was capering. "Oh, is it a treat? A treat for us?" She bent low inspect he ground.
"Ew-ew-wh!" She straightened up quickly. "Did you bring that?" she asked Dick, pointing to the fetid chicken on the ground.
"Yes. It's for you. Go ahead and feast. Your new master allows you to feast," he said with uncertainty.
"Oh, my, my," Tronaugh replied shaking her head sadly. "What do they teach you these days? I can't eat meat, young man! Not at my age! I haven't for at least ..." she thought for a moment. "Oh, three hundred years. Strictly vegetarian now. Organic if I can get it. Those pesticides will kill you!"
"Vegetarian?" Dick asked flatly.
"Oh, yes, at my age you know ..."
"You're a vegetarian demon?" He could see the old hag's face crease into wrinkles as she smiled.
"Oh yes! But come now, young man. You haven't answered me. Do we have an arrangement or not?"
Dick hesitated. "You don't seem like a very good demon," he finally said.
DT fell onto the ground laughing. Tronaugh kicked the young demon viciously. "Well, you're not a very good conjurer," she said tartly.
"Oh." Dick still hesitated. "What exactly does a Demon of Petty Disturbances do?"
"Oh all sorts of things," Tronaugh assured him. "In the old days things were relatively simple. Turn a cow's milk sour, ruin a crop or two, whatever," she waived her hand about vaguely.
"You don't spirit people away down to Hell for torture?"
"Ruin their lives with ill fortune?"
"Haunt their dreams at night so they wake screaming in terror?"
"Well, what good are you then?" he asked.
rough draft of The Demon of Petty Disturbances by K. Kylyra Ameringer