I’m going to be putting some of my writing up here for you all to read (or not). I’ll probably put something up once a month or so. This first one will be a serial. Today you get Part One.
A little background: I saw a story a few weeks ago about a popular TV preacher who was asked if you should worry about thrift store purchases being “possessed.” He said (really, he did!) that, while he wouldn’t say everything you buy at thrift stores is possessed, it couldn’t hurt to cast out the demons, anyway, just in case. Now, really, how could I resist?
Five and Daemon
Miss Lucy sat in her floral upholstered Queen Anne chair, a delicate china cup in one long-fingered hand. She was smiling at the TV screen as she sipped her Devil’s Due tea. The television was tuned to the local religious channel. On the screen was an older, white-haired man. He was smiling at the camera. The legend across the bottom of the screen read “Reverend Rob Patterson, Your Godly Hour.”
“Yes, indeed, folks.” The reverend smiled, showing brilliant white teeth. “You can’t go wrong at Miss Lucy’s Emporium. Why, you can get yourself most anything you could ever want in there! From personal items to household goods to gently used clothing, it’s all at Miss Lucy’s. And you won’t find better pricing anywhere! Why, my good brother-in-law, Gordon, got me this beautiful sweater right there at Miss Lucy’s, and I tell you, I love it. You get on down there today, and see what you fall in love with!” As he talked, he plucked at the sleeve of the blue-and-grey-striped cardigan sweater he wore.
“And, now, we will have our Bible verse of the day, and I will take y’alls phone calls. RevRob is here to help you find your way to Heaven!”
Lucy drained the last of her tea, and switched off the TV. She sat for a moment, just looking at the blank screen. “Best accident that ever could have happened.” She stood up and carried the teacup to the kitchen. “Couldn’t have planned it better.” She set the cup in the sink and picked up a red knit shawl from the hook near the door. “Time to get to work.” She slipped the shawl over her shoulders and walked out the back door, and across the yard to the small shop at the edge of the road.
“Hey, Johnny. ” Cerise turned from the computer screen. “There’s another one.”
The man on the other side of the room didn’t seem to hear. He stood with his back to her, motionless. His head was bowed and long, dirty blond hair hung over the collar of his shirt. Cerise climbed down from the desk chair and walked across the room. She stood watching the slight movements of his arms.
“Great time to trance out.” She started to turn away when he spun around so suddenly, it made Cerise jump back a step.
“Look! I got it!” In his hands was an iridescent silver yo-yo. He threw it out, grabbing the string between the pinky and thumb of his free hand. He pulled the yo-yo up, letting it hang inside the triangle he’d formed with the string. He let the toy rock gently for a moment, then snapped the string out and caught the returning yo-yo as it rolled up into his hand. He spread his hands wide and grinned.
“Rock-a-bye, baby.” He was clearly pleased with himself.
“Things are going south down South, and you’re playing with toys?” Cerise shook her head. She stood with fists planted on her hips, stick-thin arms angled out from her equally thin body. She had to tilt her head back to look up into his face. Wide green eyes stared up at him under drawn together eyebrows. Her lips were pinched in a frown, making even more lines stand out on her dark face. Johnny tucked the yo-yo into a pocket.
“Gotta have a little fun, now and then.” He reached down to chuck her under the chin. “Everyone needs a hobby, even me.” He crossed the room to the desk and peered at the computer screen.
“Now, what’s going on down South?”
Cerise climbed back up into the chair and pointed to the screen.
“Another poltergeist in Carroll Fork.”
“Gettin’ to be a habit down there, isn’t it?” Johnny scanned the story on the screen.
“Fourteenth in the last month. Sprites, imps, poltergeists. Nothing real nasty, just annoying. And look at this. Well, you won’t see, but I did.” She pulled up a video of a TV preacher. The caption said he called himself “RevRob”. He was sitting at a wooden desk in front of a large stained glass window depicting a cross in red glass with multi-colored rays around it. Johnny watched for a few seconds while the man read from an open Bible on the desk in front of him.
Cerise looked up at him.
“Hang on a sec.” RevRob closed the Bible and leaned forward toward the camera. Cerise turned up the volume.
“And now, folks, I want you to remember to get all your home and personal needs at Miss Lucy’s Emporium, right out there at the edge of town. Now, I know it’s a bit of a drive, but you are not going to find a better place or a better price anywhere else and that includes those fancy places in the city.” The preacher was all smiles and perfect white teeth.
Johnny looked down at Cerise, a “What?” expression on his face. The reverend kept talking about Miss Lucy. Cerise pointed.
“There! See how he keeps picking at the sleeve of his sweater?” Johnny nodded. “Every time he does, I can see the daemonflash.” Johnny stood upright, staring wide-eyed down at Cerise.
“Are you telling me that this preacher is possessed by a demon?”
Cerise shrugged. “Wouldn’t be the first time. But, no, not exactly. I’m telling you his sweater is possessed.” Johnny did a double take, and raised one eyebrow.
Cerise shrugged again.
“I got nothing from him, but the sweater, oh, yeah. Something’s in there.”
Johnny stood there for several seconds, hands spread out in front of him. He opened and closed his mouth a couple times, but nothing came out. Finally, he raked one hand through his hair.
“I guess we’re headed for Carroll Fork.”
Cerise grinned and hopped off the chair. “I’ll start packing.”
End Part One
(Copyright 2015 M.A. Kropp)
Six of One: A Collection of Short Fantasy by M.A. Kropp is a set of short fantasy stories. Meet wizards, imps, gangster angels, and frogs in this group of varied tales of magic and mischief. Escape from the everyday into worlds of fantasy with Six of One: A Collection of Short Fantasy.
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