"Menthol" - Benjamin Tier
If I told you about the demons, you'd laugh like the rest of them.
I see them, the demons, just about everywhere I go. In fact, just yesterday, I saw one in the pharmacy section of the grocery store. He beckoned, as a shadow in a windowless van asks schoolchildren for help finding his puppy; and I, much like those tender, naïve objects, felt obliged to answer this character's call, so long as there were sweets in it for me.
The sweets were unsavory. It was only a matter of hours until the demon had shown to me his true form. I said to him, “If you'd come dressed in as many red flags as I can see now, I never would have gone with you.”
His nostrils flared. Cotton, pungent and putridly sterile, composed his face. His body was of industrial plastic. As I looked at him now, he stood at least a foot taller than myself, and yet I could not escape the sensation of looking down at him. Provided was the perfect vantage point from which to slay.
“I'm going to have to kill you now. I've no joy left.”
He growled and said nothing. Taunting me telepathically, he communicated, Killing me will bring you neither joy, nor satisfaction. Furthermore, I will haunt you until you die.
“But it is my duty.”
From nowhere, I produced my blade. In some instances, it was a mere pocket knife. In others, it was the kind of sword you'd expect a valiant knight to thrust into the evil twat about to bugger the princess.
The cotton did not slice so easily. Chemicals smeared the ceiling, sinews stuck stubbornly upon my sword. My enemy screamed, not out loud, but, you know, telepathically. In my head.
I did not sleep that night. My consciousness continually lapsed into nightmares. I buried the demon's corpse in the trash, but I could still smell it. They advertise the trash bags as being able to seal-in the foul odors. Bollocks. I'm two rooms away.
I'm happy to say I made a full recovery the next day. I'm unhappy to say I stumbled upon another demon. I was outside for some fresh air, and I saw him on my street. Much like the last demon, he beckoned like the predator in the van after the children. But he really was in the form of a shadow in a van, asking the kids down the street for help finding his puppy. Fuck, I thought.
From nowhere, I produced my blade.