Sometimes my characters allow me glimpses into their lives that are outside the stories they’re in. And just when I was thinking that retired demons Jonas White and Valerie Brodsky acted somewhat benign as citizens of Hell, they popped up in this snippet and reminded me that a demon is a demon is a demon.
Valerie’s Beauty Treatment
“You’re wearing a headband. With Polka dots and a big bow?” Jonas stared.
“Brilliant deduction, genius.” Valerie waved him into the apartment.
“Dare I ask why?”
“Follow me.” She brushed past him and led the way to the bedroom.
He stood in the doorway with her and stared. Blood was splattered everywhere, from the walls to the bedding to the carpet.
There was no body.
“Still—why the fluffy headband?”
Jonas raised his eyes obediently and noted blood dripping from the light fixture. “Still don’t get it.”
“Are you kidding? Blood from a probable murder? It’ll do great things for my skin and all I need to do is stand there and let it drip.” Valerie’s eyes gleamed red for an instant before reverting to their more human shade.
“Of course. Silly me. Beauty treatment.” Jonas’s voice lowered to a register deeper than normal. “You don’t need a beauty treatment, you know. Your body is doing very well.”
Valerie shifted restlessly. “Yes, for a middle-aged human. I want to keep this body as long as I can, but really, the possibilities here are too good to overlook.”
Jonas and Valerie can be found in the following anthologies:
It was after 2 a.m. and I needed to print out a few pages so I could edit them. Instead of starting its normal hum, my printer began screeching a banshee’s cry of death—one that didn’t stop even after I switched it off. (If my neighbors are reading this, major apologies.)
Quite frankly, it scared the shit out of me. I turned it off! It should have stopped! At 2 in the morning, thinking “possession” is a perfectly logical possibility. I yanked the cord from the outlet and finally there was silence. And a dead printer.
Trying during daylight hours had the same result. And I felt stuck, in both writing and editing. I need to see the print on a physical page with pen in hand.
A new printer arrived but hasn’t been hooked up yet. I admit to still being a bit freaked by the demise of my old one. Prior printers passed away peacefully (aside from swearing, on my part) and the fact that this one protested so stridently has left me hesitant to just get on with it.
I will, I will.