"Devil" or "Angel" - pick your poison....

A Demonís Tale

by Patrick J. Finnegan © 2004

I am a demon. Really, I am. Iíve beeen around for a little over two thousand years now, so Iíve seen it all. I have to admit that life can get a little boring at times doing the same old routine--human soul after human soul after human soul. Even us demons need some excitement every once in a while. I try to keep things fresh, you know, liven things up. So, I play around with the humans a bit. After all, you are so easy to manipulate. In the old days, I would just go straight in for the kill. Skip the foreplay, I would say, Iím going straight for the homerun. Not any more. Now I take my time and create a little drama.

Did I ever tell you about the time that I pretended to be a guardian angel? I didnít? Well, I should. Itís quite a tale. It happened about ten or fifteen years ago. Iíve used this routine a few times since, but the first time is always the best. You see, there was this young woman named Samantha. She was a very attractive human. She had all the curves to make the cover of a swimsuit special.

I know what youíre thinking: how can a demon find a human being attractive? Thatís a good question. Well, what you may not know is that we demons look just like you humans. Yes sir, you probably passed quite a few demons in the street in your time. Of course, we can change our appearance when we want (thatís part of the fun of being a demon) but most of the time we retain the basic human appearance. And yes, we have lust too. Human souls are what we crave, but letís face it, weíre demons. Of course we want sex.

Iíve strayed from my tale, so let me return to sweet Samantha. She was a looker. I was living in New Jersey at the time and I saw her in the supermarket of all places. She was standing in the aisle trying to decide between spaghetti or ziti. Itís easy to just walk up to a hot young lady, turn on the demon charm (and, yes, we do have a special kind of charm that you find hard to resist), take that young lady home, and have my way with her. I need a little more excitement than that. So, I figured I would think of something real special for Samantha.

I should also mention the competition amongst us demons. Human souls are the name of the game and there are only so many quality souls to go around. Sure, you can take any old human soul, but some are much better than others are. Some have a sweeter taste to them. Itís hard to explain the difference between a top choice soul and an average soul, but you can think of it as choosing meat at the local butcher shop. Sure, any one of those cuts of meat will fill your stomach, but there are one or two that are the juiciest and most tender cuts of the bunch.

Thatís kind of how it is with demons and human souls; everyone is fighting over the best cuts. So, we have a little competition. Most of the time, we use a basic system of common courtesy. If a demon has a human marked, and itís obvious that they are working on them, we usually leave the human to that particular demon. After all, we donít want to draw too much attention to ourselves. But, then you have someone like Samantha; the filet mignon of human souls. I knew that I had to have her. Unfortunately, I noticed two demons standing at the end of the aisle looking right at me. They were telling me that she was theirs and to back off.

Any other time, I probably would have moved on, but not this time. Iím one of the oldest demons around; therefore, Iím one of the strongest. We are not immortal in the truest sense of the word, but it takes quite a bit to kill us. We donít die of old age, and the average human canít hurt us. But, we can destroy each other, and it does happen from time to time. I knew these demons were not going to let me just move in and take Samantha, so I was probably going to have to destroy them.

Now I had noticed these demons around before. The tall skinny one was Mernoc and his short fat friend was Baldnik. They were brothers and they chose to work as a team--which I should add is extremely rare among demons. They liked to go to the victimís house masquerading as travelling salesmen to make their kill. I thought that routine was getting old, because there werenít that many travelling salesmen anymore, but these two nitwits were a little behind the times. I figured they would try for Samantha on the very night that I noticed them in the supermarket, so I would have to put a plan into action.

Samantha was not only beautiful, but she was also athletic. She had the look of someone who took care of herself and went to the gym often. I figured she would be able to fight off Mernoc and Baldnik at first and they would take chase. I had heard before that they liked the chase and had done it quite a few times. They held a little competition between themselves to see who could be the first to catch the prey. Mernoc had a comfortable lead.

I followed Samantha home that afternoon and looked around the area. She lived on the edge of a residential development in a small house that bordered on a small wooded area. I guessed her age at 30 and figured she had bought the house for herself sometime in the past couple years. On the other side of the wooded area was route 47--a two-lane country highway that ran to the next town. There wasnít much development on this stretch of 47 and I figured I could use that to my advantage.

After thinking things through for a couple hours, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do. I had been pondering the "guardian angel" ruse for a while and this seemed like the perfect time to put it into play.

I arrived in Samanthaís residential area shortly after nightfall. I parked my black BMW a short distance away from her house and waited. I watched the lights in her house go on and off from room to room as she went through her nightly routine. I was hoping for a bit of a peeping-tom show, but she seemed careful not to change in front of any open windows. At 8 oíclock a black Chevy Trailblazer passed me and parked in front of Samanthaís house. I knew that it must be them. I started my car and waited until they knocked on the front door. I started to pull away from the curb as I noticed the struggle inside the front door. I knew it was a risk to let her try and fight them off, but I had confidence in her. After all, I had been doing this a long time, my instincts were usually right.

I saw Baldnik fall over Mernoc in an attempt to grab Samantha and they fell to the floor together. Samantha started running towards the back door of the house. Now I had to get moving if this was going to work out.

I drove out of the development as fast as I could and turned onto route 47. I slowed down as I approached the wooded area behind Samanthaís house. It couldnít have worked out any better. As I neared the woods, Samantha came running onto the road. She waved her hands frantically in front of my car and I came to a stop.

"I need help! There are these men, these things, that are chasing me. You have to help me!" As she said this and continually looked over her shoulder towards the woods. I had noticed she said "things" so one of those two idiots must have started to change in front of her to get a scare. In retrospect, this worked out much better because she wouldnít demand that we call the police immediately.

"Please, get in the car miss. I can help you." I said this with all the demon charm I could muster. She had to believe that I was her knight in shining armor. And since she got in the car without question, I would say I did a damn good job.

"Thank you! Thank you so much! You may have just saved my life!" She was trembling so I reached into the back seat and gave her my jacket to cover herself. She was wearing thin sweatpants and a nicely fitting T-shirt; her bed time clothes I assumed. I put the car into the drive and started down the road.

"What are you running from?" I asked.

"I donít even know how to explain it," she responded. "You would think Iím crazy if I told you."

"I donít think youíre crazy Samantha." I had debated about saying her name so early. I decided that if I were a guardian angel, I would obviously know her name and probably wouldnít have any reservations about saying it. She instantly turned on me and looked worried, so I had to put on my game face and play my part. This was so much fun!

"How do you know my name?" She backed up against the door as she said this and reached for the door handle.

"Samantha, donít be alarmed," I said in with all that charm I mentioned. "I am not going to hurt you. In fact, I am here to protect you. You do not know me, but I have known you since you were a small child. I have always been here to protect you if it is within my powers."

"Can you stop the car please?" She started to cry as she spoke, but tried to sound brave nonetheless. I think she did a pretty good job all things considered, but I wasnít letting her off that easy. Do you think her guardian angel would let her out of the car to wander alone on a country road? Neither do I.

"Samantha, there is no easy way to say this, so Iím just going to come right out and say it. I am your guardian angel. Iíve been watching over you for a long time. We are always there ready to help you if you need us. Rarely do we intervene directly, as I am doing now, but your circumstances are a bit extreme. Listen, I know this is a lot to take, but you have to believe me."

Now I know Iíve mentioned the demon charm a few times already, but I must reiterate for the sake of the tale. When we turn on the charm, itís damn hard to resist. Just think back to the most charming person you have ever met, and multiply that by ten. We put politicians to shame (well most of them anyway, after all, some of those politicians are demons). So, you may be asking yourself, how the hell can that girl be so stupid and believe that story? Trust me, if anyone else had said it, she would have jumped out of that car quick as can be. But, when I said it, she believed me.

So, instead of freaking out, she put her hands to her face and said, "Oh god, I must be dreaming. Please let me be dreaming, this is too much!"

"Itís ok," I said and placed my hand on her arm. When I touched her soft skin I wanted to rip her apart right then and there, but I couldnít do it quite yet, I had to let this play out. I still had to deal with those other two demons.

We rode in silence for a few minutes and then she finally spoke again. "Ok, this isnít a dream. I donít even know why I believe you, but I do. This is crazy. What the hell is going on?"

"You were attacked by demons."

"Demons?" she shouted. "You mean real demons? Like heaven versus hell demons? Oh shit, this is too much." She put her hands to her face again and groaned in frustration. Believe me, it was very difficult not to bust out laughing, but I was able to hold it in.

"Yes, demons," I said, "The two men that were at your house are demons. I know them and Iíve seen them stalking you. I canít intervene until they actually come after you; there are rules unfortunately. But, now they have, and now I can destroy them. I have a house not far from here. We can go there and wait. Theyíll find us soon and I can take care of them. Trust me, when this is all said and done, it will all seem like a bad dream. Donít worry, I wonít let anything happen to you."

"How the hell are they going to find us?" She asked. It was a good question. Human blood has a certain scent to it and all humans smell differently. I had noticed when she got in the car that there was a cut on her leg from where Baldnik tried to grab her. Once a demon gets a scent of a humanís blood, we can find that human anywhere. You could run to the other side of the earth, but if I know your smell, Iíll find you. Mernoc and Baldnik are not the brightest of all demons, but they know that much.

So, I explained all this to Samantha the best I could and tried to put her mind at ease by explaining about angels and demons. I made a lot of it up and tried to make it sound very dramatic. Heaven, hell, battles of angels, all that good stuff. Some of it was crap from the bible that isnít even close to the truth, but it makes for a good story nonetheless. Besides, most humans, whether they are religious or not, will believe that the stuff in the bible is true if it comes from an angel, right?

Five minutes later we pulled into the driveway that led to my house. The house was set back from the road behind a wall of trees and it provided all the privacy that I needed. The house was actually in the name of John Simpson, a man I had killed a couple years prior. I kept paying his bills just the same. He was an old man with no close family connections. Old souls are generally not as good and I will normally stay away from taking them. However, I wanted this house, and I knew that I could continue paying the bills in Simpsonís name without anyone knowing the difference. I had never really stayed in one place for too long, so it was easy to move on after I had made a few kills in the area. Us demons like to stay on the move; itís a lot easier to stay under the radar that way. If humans were to find out exactly what was going on, killing would be so much more difficult and no one wants that kind of aggravation.

I brought Samantha into the house and made her a cup of tea while we waited. We continued with small talk for a while and I kept blowing smoke about what it was to be a guardian angel. I told her my name was Gabriel. It was the first angel name that came to mind. About an hour after we had arrived I had a feeling that Mernoc and Baldnik were getting close and I was getting anxious. The sooner I could take care of those two idiots, the sooner I could start taking care of Samantha.

The Trailblazer entered the driveway with its lights off, but I could hear the tires on the gravel very easily (demons have very good hearing too). The car doors opened and I heard them approach the front door. I opened the door and greeted them with a smile.

"Hello boys," I said.

After a moment of speechlessness Mernoc was the first to speak. "YOU!" he said, "What are you doing here? The girl is ours and you know it!"

"No, she is not. Sheís mine now. You and I both know how this is going to end, so Iíll give you to the count of five to leave before I tear your sorry asses apart." I wasnít really going to let them go, but it seemed like the right thing to do. After all, an angel might actually give them that chance. They knew better and held their ground.

Baldnik spoke up next. "If itís a fight you want, itís a fight youíll get!" That was about all it took to get things going. I wish I was able to write an exciting description of the battle between demons, but it wasnít really that exciting at all. Like I mentioned earlier, I was older than those two, and I was much stronger. Of course, I could have toyed with them like a cat will toy with a mouse, but I had more important things to get to. So, I grabbed each of them by the neck, twisted their scrawny heads off, and ate them. Yes, I know, it doesnít sound very pleasant, but itís the quickest way to kill a demon and I wasnít much in the mood to stretch it out. Not to mention, this little standoff, while quick, was probably alerting Samantha to my little ruse. There were no wings or halos and there were no bright lights. It was just me; a demon who grew twice its size in an instant and devoured the heads of two other demons. As I think back on it, it probably looked pretty damn cool.

Once Baldnik and Mernoc were part of demon history, I turned around and saw Samantha curled up on the corner of the couch with a look of pure terror on her face. It was beautiful.

"Samantha," I said, "you may have already guessed, but I have to tell you; Iím not your guardian angel. Shit, Iíve never even seen an angel! No my dear, I am a demon just like the other two that were after you earlier tonight. I wanted you more though, and that means that they had to go.

"That was a pretty good cover story, wasnít it? Iíve been planning that guardian angel thing for a while. What did you think? Oh no, you donít look like you enjoyed it! Oh well . . ."

I wish you could have seen the expression on her face. It was priceless. She was frozen in fear and unable to move from the couch. A small groan started in the back of her throat and it slowly made its way out. I started laughing; I just couldnít help it. The laughter must have broken her shock because she was up off the couch in a second. I gained control of myself immediately and I was upon her.

What happened next is a blur of memory. I was in a state of rage and ecstasy and I forced myself upon her and made her mine. I tore her apart and consumed every bit of her, devouring her soul like the sweetest dessert imaginable. It didnít take long, but to me the feeling was utterly orgasmic.

That is how I first used the "guardian angel" faÁade to kill a human. Samantha was, by far, the best soul Iíve ever had, so I will always treasure this memory. What do you think?

Now I know you may be horrified by what you have just read, but you have to understand that I am a demon and this is what I do. Do you fault the lion for attacking a gazelle? Do you fault a wolf for attacking a hare? You cannot fault me for doing what is in my nature to do. You may not like it; I could understand that. Hell, you could be my next victim and fear alone could drive you to hate me. Hate me if you want; itís all the same to me. But this is what I am and this is what Iíll continue to do. You cannot stop me; you can only hope to steer clear of me and my kind.

Remember that demons look no different from humans. When you step out of the house tomorrow and see your neighbors, think of me. When you brush shoulders with the person standing next to you in line at the coffee shop, think of me. When you speak with your work mates at the lunch table, think of me. I am out there, and youíll never know who I am.

Until itís too late.

x x x

Demons and stories about demons have always facinated me. This one reminds me a bit of the "Knight of the Word" tales that were popular about 5 years ago. More of the same, please. - GM

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