rough draft of The Demon of Petty Disturbances
by K. Kylyra Ameringer
"Holy water?" she asked with mock fear. "Oh, my!" She turned the water pistol on herself and squirted the middle of her forehead. Dick backed away from her, expecting her to go up in flames and smoke. She cackled again and threw the water pistol to him.
"Doesn't work. Never did. Holy water!" she exclaimed with a scoff. "You need a holy person to make holy water. Not these -" she uttered some guttural word Dick was unfamiliar with, although it sent a shiver up his spine. She bent low again to examine the other items he'd put aside. "Oooo, now this," she said, picking up the garlic, "this you should have given to me right away!" She bit enthusiastically through the bulb and tossed the other half to DT. "Besides, garlic is supposed to be for vampires, not demons, you know."
"Does it work?"
"Does what work?"
"Does garlic work to keep vampires away?" Dick listened to himself with amazement. He didn't believe in vampires. Then again, a week ago he didn't' really believe in demons.
"Never knew too many vampires. There was one - awfully nice fellow! He didn't care too much for Italian food, I can tell you that, but between you and me I think it was because the tomatoes gave him a bit of indigestion."
"But vampires are supposed to -"
"Supposed to what?"
"Never mind." Dick returned to the job of packing up his items. Tronaugh said nothing but cackled loudly as he put he crucifix and Buddha away. He moved around the area, kicking stones out of their place and scattering evidence of the magic circle. Tronaugh went with him, shaking her head.
"Dirty stones laid out in a haphazard manner, a charcoal fire. And the bread knife! I can't get past the bread knife!" She slapped Dick hard on the shoulder. "You've got a lot to learn, young man!"
The shrill ringing of the telephone woke Dick from a sound sleep. He struggled into awareness and groaned. Staggering to the phone, he picked it up and yawned into the receiver.
"Damn it Dick! Where the hell are you?"
Wakefulness snapped Dick to attention. "Joe! Damn! What time is it?"
"Dick, if you don't get down here in fifteen minutes you can kiss this job goodbye!" The other end of the line went dead and Dick replaced the receiver in its cradle. He ran to the bathroom to splash cold water over his face. He hadn't slept well at all.
The walk home had been long and DT wandered off the pavement at every opportunity to root around people's yards like an unleashed dog. When the three of them finally reached Dick's tiny flat Tronaugh began protesting loudly over the surroundings. She didn't like the couch to sleep on; it was too lumpy and hard and didn't allow her to stretch out entirely. The telly was too small; it smelled bad in the flat; her list seemed endless. When the lights were finally put out DT put up such a racket gurgling and braying to himself Dick had to get up and shout at him to be quiet. Mr. Henson in the flat next door pounded on the wall in protest over the racket.
Dick pounded back on the wall to his noise-sensitive neighbor and returned to bed, heart beating loudly, every nerve and fiber wide-awake with anger. Tronaugh and DT remained quiet for the rest of the night, but persisted in staring at him in the darkness. He could feel their eyes bore into him when his back was to them; when he turned toward them their eyes glowed until he said, "Stop it!" Then the eyes would wink out, but Dick knew as soon as his own were closed that they resumed their staring. In the end he hadn't been sure he'd gotten any sleep. But if he didn't go to work now ...
He paused at the door to his flat. Tronaugh was curled up on the couch, her skeleton boniness covered by a dirty shawl and DT lay on the floor next to her. The Demon of Petty Disturbances snorted lightly and turned her back to him. He checked his pocket one more time for the knot of demon hair, then left the flat, locking the door behind him.
When he finally returned home that evening Tronaugh and DT were awake and watching television. There were dirty dishes piled up on the floor around the couch. Apparently the two had made themselves at home and already eaten.
rough draft of The Demon of Petty Disturbances by K. Kylyra Ameringer