“Regina… who is that?”
“Oh him? He’s just someone that I met at the bar tonight, he had a drink, he started to doze off, and then I took upon myself to bring him back home with me. I couldn’t just leave him there, that would be rude of me.”
“So, he drank one drink… then passed out…”
“Then you took him here, to your house…”
“And… That’s why he’s tied up to your dining room chair?”
“Oh, it’s just a precaution. I don’t want him to leave the house in a daze, you know. He might think that we slept together, and he’ll brag to all of his friends about it. I’m just being a good person by making sure this stranger doesn’t get hurt.” Regina says, with a crystal-clear smile on her face. I never really pay attention to what Regina’s up to, but it usually ends up going in the same direction.
“So, like… What’re you gonna do when he wakes up?” I ask, scratching my head.
“Oh, he’s not waking up.”
“Oh… So, he’s passed out forever?”
“Well, yes and no. He’s not dead, he’s fine in that regard, but as of right now, he’s unconscious… but he’s not going to wake up. Ever.”
“I’m not following.”
“Okay, listen closely Altia. You know those funny moments in life where someone is asleep and you kind of hate everything about them, and you just think about if they just didn’t wake up and you had nothing to do with it, and even if you technically did, there’d be no way for anyone to prove it was you that made them never wake up. You know those moments?”
“Uh… To be honest, a little bit, because I have really dark thoughts that keep me up at night, but you’re still freaking me out.” I know exactly where this is going. I need to stop dancing around the bush of mental instability.
“I’m so glad that you get it! Two women on a Saturday night understanding each other’s dark thoughts and desires. Nothing could be more perfect.”
“It’s three in the morning… so technically it’s morning.”
“Yeah—so can you do that thing that you do, Altia? It’d be real great if you did that thing… to this man… because I want you to.” Regina whispers, rubbing her fingertips together. I sigh. Hard. But sadly, there’s no sigh strong enough to put these antics to an end.
“Regina, I’m not killing him, or anyone. What did this man even do to you?”
“He just deserves it! I told you that he was falling asleep and I took him back here.”
“He started to fall asleep after he drank his drink…”
“Why are you talking back so much!? You’re supposed to do what I tell you, not judge me!”
“Yeah, but like… who is this guy?”
“He’s one of my co-workers, and he’s as sensible as a pig in the mud! I told him that I’ll make him pay in ways that no one has ever seen, and that’s part where you come in.” Regina spits, her face becoming twisted with anger.
“And what did he do to ‘deserve’ it?”
“He’s an ass! He talks girls up and uses them like sexual punching bags. He makes you feel all special, tells you he’s going to call you, but then you see him with a new woman every day, and you’re left realizing how stupid you really are.”
“So, he slept with another woman, after he slept with you?”
“Okay, so think of it like this. Maybe your pussy was just a little too lame, and he found some better options. That’s what any sensible slut would do.”
“Can you just do your job! I summoned you to be a blood-thirsty monster to enact revenge on anyone I see fit! I want my actions to go in the books. I want the world to know how angry I am for centuries to come!”
“Do we have any ice cream left?”
“I didn’t drag you out of hell to be my deadbeat daughter! Do as I say and kill him!” Regina squeals, upsetting my eardrums. Why does this woman have to be this way? Just because you enacted a demonic ritual to summon a demon that’ll kill whoever you please, doesn’t mean you have to yell all the time.
“How many times do I have to tell you; I’m not killing anyone. Ever. I don’t even have horns on my head, and I’m not even red either, what’d you want from me?”
“Why don’t you do it?”
“Are you crazy? The police can trace the evidence back to me.”
“That doesn’t even matter! You’re gonna be the last person anyone saw with him, so the trail will lead to you. Even if you send him to another dimension or something.”
“Altia, I’m not going to—”
“Oh my god! Where is the ice cream!?”
“Don’t you want to be human again? The more you kill, the more human you’ll become. I know you want another chance at life, right? You can’t go outside looking so pale, so dilapidated, so… flat.”
“Okay, I’m glad I’m flat because dirt and sweat doesn’t build up under my boobs.”
“You were in hell! Why do you care so much about this man’s life? All you have to do is put your hand in his mouth—”
“And shoot all of that weird purple smoke into him. There’ll be no trace. He’ll choke on it for a little bit and that’s it.”
“Okay, Regina. I guess I have to explain this to you, again. I’m not one of those super scary demons that find joy in killing people. I’m a demon who just had really bad morale’s when I was alive, and now I’m paying the eternal price for it. I’m in between the first circle of hell, which is just like, really boring and obnoxiously hot. Then there’s the second circle which has a lot of wind apparently. Like, so much that your eyes are always watering, but I’m not sure if I’m in both circles at once cause sometimes I feel winds, but I wasn’t that lustful in my lifetime… Can you be in two circles at once? That wouldn’t—”
“Shut up! Please! I don’t care what circle you’re in, if you’re in hell, then you’re burning for your sins for the rest of… forever!”
“There’s actually not that much fire in hell. Yes, there are sections of hell that are like, hot, but not all of is fire, that’d just be stupid.”
“Just shut up and kill him!”
“Please untie him before you get sent to hell. Sure, there isn’t fire everywhere, but it’s still not a fun place to be.”
“Just. Kill. Him.”
“No!” Altia protests, further pissing me off. “I’m gonna watch TV. You’re stressing me out way too much right now.”
“It’s so easy! He won’t wake up from your smoke, he’ll gag a little bit and that’ll be the end of it! Why do you have to be like this!?”
“Dude seriously, take him back home, or else I’ll kill you.”
“What!? You can’t do that. If I die, then you’ll be sent straight back to hell. You can’t survive without your master.”
“I’m already in hell, weirdo! You’re freaking crazy! The only reason I’m sticking around is because I get to stay rent-free and eat as much as I want, and I thought all of your evil revenge talks were super funny, like hilarious. I didn’t know you actually meant any of it.”
“You think I’d summon a demon to comfort me about my insecurities. You’re supposed to enable my insanity. You’re supposed to glorify my murderous intent. We’re supposed to be like blood sisters… Don’t you wanna be my blood sister, Altia?”
Altia’s eyes start to widen graciously. Her face is whiter than my skin on a windy winter day. Her bold purple eyes illuminating under the kitchen light, could it be? Has she finally been swayed by my words? “We can rip this world in half, Altia. Together we can—”
“No, I don’t wanna be your fucking blood sister! What does that even me—you know what, I’m calling the police.”
“No! Please don’t.”
“Then wake him up and let him go!”
“Okay, okay. I’ll let him go.” Quickly, I untie my co-worker from the chair. I still think he’s a whore, but I’d rather not take my chances with a pissed-off demon.
“Good. Now take him back home.”
“Yeah, his home.”
“I kind of, sort of, maybe, not really, in a funny twist of fate, genuinely don’t know where he lives…” Altia rushes at me and pulls on my hair as hard as she can, almost forcing me to the floor. “Relax, Relax! I have to work for these curls!”
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t kill you right now!? I’d be doing everyone you know a big favor for them. You never stop talking about yourself, you’re cruel, and you think it’s cute to do whatever you want to people! If I get sent down deeper because I kill you, you’d better pray that we’re not in the same circle, because if we are, the last thing you’ll have to worry about is fire charring up your asshole!”
“Okay—Okay—Okay! I’m a bad person, I get that! The fact you’re even here is a sign of that, but please spare me, please! I—I can just bring him back to the bar. Yeah! I’ll bring him back, and I’ll wait for him to wake up, and I’ll act like nothing happened. It’ll be easy.” Suddenly, she throws me to the floor. She steps onto my back and keeps her foot firm on me, as I hear her open the fridge.
There’s a couple seconds of clanking before the fridge slams shut. Altia’s foot lifts off of me and I get up as quick as I can. “W—What are you doing?”
“Wake up! Your life is in danger! Beep! Beep! Beep!” Altia, screams. Dumping a bottle of water on the whore.
“Stop! What’re you—” The whore starts to come to his senses, and before I knew it, he flies out of the chair, drenched and panicked.
“R—Regina, what the hell is going on!?”
“Yeah, Regina. What is going on?”
“Uh—Um—Uh… You got tired and I took you back here to my home… welcome to my humble abode.”
“I… I got tired?”
“Yeah, you were drinking a little too much and you got so tired, and I don’t know where you live so… yeah.”
“But… I don’t drink alcohol.”
“Tell him the real reason, Regina!”
“Who is this?”
“I’m a demon she summoned with toothpaste, rubbing alcohol, and blood from her gums because she brushes her teeth once a week. She says that her mouth cleanses ‘naturally’ but there’s so much plaque in there. It’s disgusting.”
“Alright! I’ll tell him the truth. Uh… Daniel. I may have… spiked your drink with a little bit of Nyquil…”
“Hold on, there’s more. I spiked your drink, only because I thought we had something special together, but I saw you talking to so many other women. You were playing me for a fool!”
“Okay, I still don’t what’s going right now. What are you trying to say?”
“I’m saying that I was trying to give you what you deserved.”
“And what is it that I deserved exactly?”
“Oh my god! Dumbass, she was trying to kill you. Don’t you see the rope on the floor? What else would she try and do to you?” Altia interjects.
“What? No… this has to be some sort of joke. First, you tell me you’re a demon, and Regina tells me that she spiked my drink with Nyquil. This is ridiculous.”
“I guess I gotta show you then.” Without a second thought, Altia takes her hand and starts shoving it into her mouth. She starts by etching her fingertips across the bottom of her teeth, gradually fitting all of her fingers into her jaw.
“Uck! What are you doing?” Daniel shrieks, physically flinching.
“This is kind of her thing. I recommend you stand back.” She reaches her knuckles, and she starts to gag but fights against it by swallowing as hard as she can. Horrific hacking and gagging sounds are leaking out of her mouth, ringing in my eardrums. Her throat is pumping like a bird chirping for its life.
She manages to cram her knuckles into her mouth and all that’s left is her wrist. She pauses for a moment and lifts her other hand up, only raising her pointer finger in the air. She bends over and closes her eyes, her fingers searching around her mouth, making her cheeks point in and out. It’s disgusting to look at, but I can’t keep my eyes off of it.
With my gaze fixated on this atrocity, I notice a purple mist leaking out of the small openings in her mouth. She bends down a bit further, and then a large crack sounds in the air. Altia pulls her hand out of her mouth in a quick and agonizing-looking motion.
A purple smog starts leaking out of her mouth with thick lines of drool reaching to the floor. The smoke pounds the floor and slowly begins to crawl its way outwards and into the air.
“What the fuck!?” Cries Daniel, sprinting out of my kitchen.
“The exits to the left…!” The sound of Daniel scurrying puts me at ease, but also hurts me at the same time… I wonder what I’m gonna say to him at work tomorrow?
My front door slams with a powerful boom… at least he won’t be able to call the police. There’s no way he’ll make himself sound sane explaining tonight’s… events.
The purple mists starts wafting into my face, while Altia remains bent over, showing no sign of stopping her little trick.
More hacking, endless gagging, now accompanied by the sounds of hurricane winds knocking on the tips of my ear. “Altia, he’s gone. You can stop now.” I mutter, getting drowned out by Altia’s noises. “You can stop. I… I know you can hear me. Please stop.”
This smoke better not stain anything…
“Altia. Please. Stop!” I want to, but there’s a lot more of this stuff leaking out then I expected.
I try and fight the gagging and start thrusting the bottom of my jaw shut. “Yeah, there you go. You’re getting there.” With a couple of good thrusts, my jaw crams shut. Finally, I sallow as hard as I can until all of the mist stops leaking out of my lips. “I guess I’m not having guests over for a while,” Altia mutters, sounding depressed.
“If by guests, you mean victims, then yeah you won’t be having many. Unless you want them to die from my weird demon smoke, then I guess you can bring over whoever you want.”
“No… There wouldn’t be any fun in that. They would only wake up dead. There’d be no intimidation, there’d be no fear in their eyes. Nothing interesting.”
“I actually can’t tell who’s supposed to be the demon.”
“It’s supposed to be you, but you ended being the softest demon hell has to offer.”
“You summoned me with poor dental hygiene. You thought you were gonna get the good old-fashioned big red man with wings?”
“Yes! I thought that’s all hell had to offer.”
“Well, you’re wrong. Women can be demons too.”
“Whatever! When is this smoke gonna clear up? I don’t want this stuff seeping into my food when I’m eating.”
“It actually doesn’t taste that bad, and you’re also immune to it, you know, the whole pact we made… Actually, we didn’t make it, you forced me here with your dirty ass gum juice, and I stay here cause you make, like, really good food.”
“Just suck it back up!”
“I mean, it does taste kinda good, but it feels so gross when I suck it back up. It’s like steamed mucus or something.”
“That’s so disgusting.”
“I know, but it’s super satisfying when I get it all down.”
“Please stop talking, Altia.”
“It’ll go away soon, don’t worry, also, could you never do anything like that ever again? That’d be superb.”
“The whole making a fantasy out of killing people for extremely absurd reasons. That.”
“I explained to you why I want this world to burn. Why are you surprised?”
“Because I thought you were joking! You told me that you wanted to grow a garden of sunflowers just so you can burn them to spite some dude that dumped you in, like, middle school or something?”
“Sunflowers were his favorite…”
“I thought you were just being stupid and trying to make me laugh, I didn’t know that you meant all that stuff. I get that you want to be the big bad villain that everyone is scared of, but if you really try and go down that route, you’ll die alone and will be miserable.” The smog starts to clear up, making Regina’s face clear to me. She’s staring at the floor with a sense of longing… or maybe there’s something on her shoe… I don’t know, I just hope she’s listening. “I know that you’re angry at a lot of things, mainly men, but there’s more to life than seeking out revenge in ridiculous ways.”
“But with you by my side… We can get away with murder. How would they ever trace things back to me? And even if they did, how would they prove that I killed them. There’s no other method like this in the world.”
“That is true. We could kill anyone, and no one would be able to figure it out. The murder weapon is weird purple smoke. Who would suspect that?”
“I know, right!?”
“But after you’ve killed everyone, you hate, eventually you’ll die and then you’ll be in the depths of hell. Like, the seventh or eighth circle. Those are the super painful ones too.”
“I mean, it’s not too late to get some help, and when you’re not plotting like a madwoman, your kind of cool to be around.”
“Really…?” Regina asks, eyes fluttering “No one has ever said that to me before. Actually, being cool to be around…”
“Yeah. It’s a pretty common thing, like everywhere. People say it to me a lot in hell, and I can guarantee it’s said in heaven too.”
“No one has ever told you that before…? I can’t say that I’m surprised because you’re kinda… different, but really? No one… ever?”
“No one.” Regina went from smiling to eyeing the floor. All I did was call her cool. “Cool… me… cool.”
“Yeah… only sometimes though. Most of the time, you’re really loud and you say a lot of words, but none of them have any meaning, like, at all.”
“I’ll take what I can get.” I was just trying to be nice to her, but now she’s getting putting this super twisted smile on her face.
“Regina, I know you’re excited because you think you’re not a loser anymore, but your face is creeping me out. A lot. Can you be normal again?”
“I’ve been trying to be normal my entire life, and it’s never gotten me anywhere. Trying to fit in with the other girls by putting glitter in my hair. Using all of that stupid makeup garbage when I’m going out for ten minutes! I did all of it! I even used the color pencil palette that everyone was into.”
“The color pencil palette! Everyone at work was talking about it. How haven’t you heard about it?”
“What was the color pencil palette?”
“Ugh! A couple of months ago, I heard my co-workers talking about this new trend, where you’re supposed to use color pencils to do all of your makeup, instead of using the typical name-brand stuff. I heard that it was supposed to be a strike against the big-name businesses that test and animals, or whatever. I didn’t ask them though, I just overheard, and assumed that it was a strike.”
“And you actually went through with it?”
“Yes! You were here when I did it. You don’t remember when my face started breaking out?”
“Oh, yeah! That’s why your face was breaking out. I thought you had measles or something. And I’m not gonna lie, I was glad that you had measles because then you would’ve died and I would’ve lived in your house all by myself—”
“I didn’t have measles dumbass! It turns out that putting arts and crafts on my face isn’t good for my skin.”
“Obviously. Why didn’t you do any research—”
“Because they said everyone was doing it! But now it doesn’t matter. I’ve finally figured it out!” She shrieks, constricting me in a hug. “I’m cool now, which means I have the social skills embedded into me now. I can blend in with any group of people.”
“I’m the only person who called you cool, and I did it out of pity… I was also burning in hell too.”
“Doesn’t matter! You’re in the real world, which means that you’re a real person now, and no matter what your past was, your opinion is still valid. No one can tell you otherwise.” Regina pushes me back and sets her hands on my shoulders. “The world isn’t the same as when you died, Altia. Women are free to speak their minds. No one can hold us down anymore!”
“I died last year.”
“Whatever! I’m cool now!”
“I mean… you’re not that cool. You still tried to kill someone because of an outlandish assumption of yours.”
“You’re not looking on the bright side. I tried to kill him, but he got away and he survived. He almost died, Altia. He almost died.”
“He survived because I refused to listen to what you wanted me to do to him.”
“And thank you so much for having the courage to stand up to me, now I’ll repay the favor to you!”
Blood pumping, heart racing, world spinning, legs shaking. I’ve finally done it! I’ve landed myself an official social status. I’m “cool”. I’m not too self-centered, but I mind my business enough to make people feel comfortable, and I get involved enough to present myself as a caring woman. I respect boundaries and care for those that are close to me! A perfect blend of both is what makes me such a “cool” individual.
“Regina, what’re you staring at?” I’ve reached the top and I can’t go anywhere but up from here. “Can you let go of my shoulders now? I think my skin is starting to melt on your hands.”
“Ugh! Ew!” I pull my hands off her as quick as I can move, and sure enough, a thin line of pasty skin trails from her shoulders. “Uck! Get this off of me.”
“Just wash your hands. It has the same texture as glue. Do it quick though, cause I think that it could become, like, sentient, and it’ll start trying to dig into your skin. Maybe.”
“Why do you have to be so disgusting, Altia!?”
“It comes with the package. Sorry,” Altia shrugs. She doesn’t even have the decency to wear full body clothing, always strutting around in her stupid pair of jeans and tacky tank top. The black on her tank top does match her dark blue jeans though… and those purple flowers on her top are pretty nice too, but I’m sick of her skin sticking to the whole house.
“I have plenty of shirts with sleeves you know.” I say, walking over to the kitchen sink.
“I mean, I would wear shirts with sleeves, but then my skin gets all gross under there. Especially when it’s hot. It’s like cooked girts and hot glue mixed together, and it takes forever to get that stuff out. It’s easier to let my skin air out.”
“If that’s the case, then why don’t you wear shorts?”
“Because my jeans cover everything, and they’re baggy. It’s a win, win. Didn’t I explain this already?”
“No. Not from what I remember, but enough your wardrobe malfunctions. Now that I’ve washed you off my hands, I can get started on being the cool girl that I’ve always dreamed of being.”
“And how are you going to do that?”
In response to Altia, I start rummaging into my pocket and pull out my phone. “I’m going to start making friendly plans with co-workers!”
“Now watch and learn, Altia.”
“I shall do just that.”
On the spot, I dive into my contacts and find the group chat for my job. It’s usually all business, but yesterday one of my co-workers was going on about her husband cheating or whatever, and I tried to text “just shut up and get a divorce” but the word divorce autocorrected to the word “horse” and she thought it was so funny. I don’t remember her name, but I can just find the response and call her real quick.
I just need to ask her if she wants to go out for drinks. This should be easy.
“You do realize you’re calling someone, at like, three in the morning, right? She’s not going to answer you.”
“You’ll never know until you try!”
“Whatever. As long you’re not trying to kill anyone.” Altia scoffs, making her exit from the kitchen.
With Altia’s negativity out of the way, I click on the woman’s number and read over the “call group member” option with a heavy heart. “I can be cool. All I have to do is ask. I’ve got this.” With a swift click, I put the phone to my ear and let the ringing take hold of my anticipation.
She’ll pick up. She’ll definitely pick up. What could be keeping her busy from talking to me at this time? The only thing I can think of is her gorging on midnight snacks. She has to be doing that! Especially after her husband cheated on her, she has to be binging her room like a pig. No one can escape the comforts of stress eating. It’s so powerful, that sometimes I find myself eating way too much, even when I’m not stressed at all.
“Is that phone ringing?” Altia asks, returning to scan the inside of the fridge.
“Huh? Of course, the… Oh, it stopped. I didn’t even notice.”
“Leave the power woman alone, Regina. You’re not that cool.”
“Is that all you have to say? You’re usually snarkier whenever you catch me doing anything that pertains to me living my life.”
“Whenever you start getting energetic, I start getting tired.”
“Is that one of the rules of being bound to your summoner?”
“No. You’re just annoying.” Altia groans, slamming the fridge door with an attitude. “Listen, I’m getting tired. I beg of you. Please don’t do anything stupid, Regina. I’m counting on you not to blow us both up tonight.”
“All I’m doing is calling a soon-to-be friend over the phone. What’s the worst that can happen?”
“…” Altia leaves without a single word.
Alright, let’s give this one more shot.
Call group member… and wait.
Once she answers, ask her to have drinks with you on the weekend. Simple.
“H—Hello…?” I hear the sound of a women’s voice erupting in my ear, voice monotone with exhaustion. “W—Who is this?”
“H—Hey. It’s me, Regina!”
“I’m one of your co-workers from the seafood restaurant that we work at.”
“Are… you one of the waiters?”
“Nah! I’m in the back cooking with you. You don’t remember that brown skin girl that you would yell at about the shrimp shells.”
“Oh! That’s you? I… forgot all about you to be honest. I don’t think I ever had any other reason to speak with you.”
“Yeah, that’s understandable. I’m always busy with other stuff, so as soon as work ends, I have to go right away.”
“Uh-huh. Why’re you calling me so early in the morning?”
“Oh! Because I wanted to know if you’d be available to go out with me for drinks on Sunday. I know that a lot of people at work see me as the weird girl or that girl who walked into work with a face bloated with color pencil markings, but I think that you’re a really cool and down to earth person, and I want to get to know you more.”
“Uh… Do you want to go out with me, or do you want to go out with me?”
“I don’t know what you mean by that.”
“Are you asking me on a date?”
“Of course! But a strictly friend date, I know you’re married so I don’t want to overstep my boundaries.”
“Sorry, Regina. I don’t want to go on a date with anyone. I’m not a lesbian, and I don’t want anything weird between us.”
“No, it’s not a girlfriend date, it’s a friend date. Where we’re just talking about life and what we girls like to do. Nothing sexual obviously, that would be weird. U—Unless you want to. I don’t want to prevent you from expressing yourself in a way that makes you feel comfortable.”
“It’s already getting weird.”
“No, it’s not weird! I just don’t want to pressure you into being something you’re not. I’m not saying that you have to be sexual—nothing sexy is required. I’m just saying if you were choosing to be sexy at any point in our interaction on Sunday, then you’d be free to do so because I don’t want to put other women down for being themselves…”
“I know good divorce lawyers!” I yell, only validating her choice to hang up the phone.
Maybe… I should’ve learned her name first. That probably would’ve helped me out. Next time, I’ll learn her name and I’ll be golden! How hard can it be to set up a friendly date?
Hi! I post on this website for a chance to share my stories with the world. I’ve been writing for the past 6 years, learning more about creative writing to better my writing skills. My hope is to make a lot of friends here and grow as a writer. Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like.