A Demon's Regret
I sighed at the rush hour traffic as I drove home from work Tuesday evening. Andy had been gone only three days, but already I missed him terribly!
On the first day, his brother Ashley had barely spoken to me. He had nervously twiddled with his phone and looked at me funny when I asked him if sleeping in the guest room would be all right. Apparently Andy’s kind didn’t have the same need for sleep, and I had gathered that Ashley was too uncomfortable. So I’d shown him where my books were, and he’d started reading Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. It had been hard enough for me to fall asleep knowing there was a strange demon in the other room, but it was even worse knowing that Ashley was wildly unhappy.
By Monday afternoon, I had convinced Ashley to sit in the same room with me, so that we could watch Netflix together. He had stayed wound pretty tight, so I had decided it was time for a Drag Race marathon. We were going to have plenty of time together, so I’d started with Season One. Reluctantly, he had admitted that Nina Flowers was his favorite when I asked.
I figured we’d watch some more Drag Race tonight, and maybe I’d make him some food he’d like to try. Hopefully he wasn’t as averse to having to use the bathroom as Andy. I felt bad for how much of an inconvenience this all was for Ashley. I reminded myself that I should make a little shopping list of things he would like, Andy had left more than enough money on the bathroom counter.
Thinking of hope, I desperately hoped I could maybe, just maybe, talk to Andy soon, even just for a minute. I wanted to know he was ok. I resolved that I’d refrain from asking him how his progress was going, that would probably just make him feel like he wasn’t going fast enough. I didn’t want to stress him out any further, what he was doing was doubtless already very difficult.
I stared balefully at my cigarette, finding no comfort in the harsh smoke. This task was proving to be absolutely heart-wrenching, not to mention time-consuming. Every single one of my women left me feeling the brunt of what I had done, left me an emotional mess afterwards. Three days with no sleep, and I had only managed some twenty-odd women! Unthinkable!
I was still shaken by the last of my women that I had visited. Remy, a woman in her nineties, had gone after me with a straight razor as soon as I’d finished my apology. I had originally come to her at the finish of the Second World War; her husband had died in the fighting. The furious, stringy, nearly bald woman who attacked me was nothing like the sarcastic, busty, blonde beauty I remembered.
I took another drag and found I lacked the heart to blow smoke rings. I was glad that not all of my women had to actually accept my apology. I scowled. At least Beatrice had been the only one to die during my visit.
I wondered how many more of them I would have to visit before I could communicate in some way with (Y/N)? Metatron had said I would have opportunities, but nothing had presented itself thus far. Was I missing something?
I stubbed out my cigarette and made my way to my map room. Somehow, it always knew only to send me to women who were awake. Uncanny.
I flipped the switch. Once again, a single spike rose, though its location surprised me. It was coming from York, England, where it was the middle of the night. With the usual sense of dread, I brought up the information.
Sister Mary Josephine, a member of the Congregation of Jesus, was a member of the community at the Convent of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin. She also had breast cancer, though she didn’t know it yet. That didn’t ring a bell, but her former name, Abigail Williams, certainly did. She had been an overly demure woman with strawberry blonde hair and a delicious ass.
It wasn’t a surprise any longer to see the changes time had wrought when I brought up her image. Now in her sixties, she had grown a mustache and a bit of a beard.
Unhappy, I gritted my teeth and popped through dimensions, searching for the Bar Convent, and, when I found it, Abigail’s quarters. When I materialized, I was horrified to discover that she was kneeling at her bedside, clearly in the middle of prayer.
Pits! What was the polite thing to do? I opted to adjust my hair and wrap my tail around my leg as I waited for her to notice me.
Abigail shot me an angry glance, but did not rise from her kneeling position. “You waited all this time, and you dare to come directly to my chambers, waiting until I’ve removed my habit to show yourself?”
I hadn’t even thought of that. I raised a hand defensively, “No, I’m sorry, I, uh-“
She stood in her night robe, clearly enraged, “-Silence, demon! You think you can tempt me away from Jesus!?!”
I raised up both hands, horrified at how things were transpiring, “No! He’s fine! I just came to apologize!”
Abigail shoved her rosary towards me, “This must be some kind of test! Be gone!”
I began to panic, just a little. “I just want to say that I’m sorry, that our contract is now lifted, that’s all. But Abigail, there’s something you should know-“
She ran up towards me and pressed the cross of her rosary to my forehead, apparently disappointed I didn’t set alight. “-How dare you call me that? Get away from me, in the name of the Lord!”
At a loss for words and starting to get irritated, I abandoned hope of warning Abigail of her cancer. I jumped back through dimensions to my map room.
I let myself fall into an armchair as I listened to my pulse gradually begin to return to normal. It was there, with my head rested upon my hand, that I spotted an unfamiliar cellphone sitting upon my map. My mood instantly brightened.
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