Oct. 31, 2015
She's coming back. He thought to himself as he put the finishing touches on the set-up in the living room. The door creaked open and Lizzy's eyes widened briefly before she leaned heavily against the doorjam, the keys jangled from the doorknob and her purse slumped to the floor.
"Not again," she groaned. Leaving her keys in the door, she tromped over to the closet and pulled out her broom. It had stopped being scary around the fifth time it happened, but for some reason she couldn't stop the tears as she swept up the rose petals from the floor, pausing only to blow out the candles that were lit on the mantel piece, and turning the gas off on the fireplace.
Rantix watched her from his pocket dimension with a quavering frown. She was crying again. He couldn't understand how he was screwing up the ritual. He watched all the human movies he could find on making a woman feel wanted and the flower petals and candles was always a hit. Rantix's stomach growled as he watched Lizzy brush the flower petals into a dustpan and dump them in the bin. She picked up the goblet of rare French wine and dumped it into the sink without even smelling it. The demon chewed on his knuckle - that had cost him three goats and one first-born.
Lizzy shoved the broom back in the closet and slammed the door.
"What do you want from me?!" she screamed to the empty house.
Rantix hesitated, then sighed and unzipped his pocket dimension. He saw the woman stiffen and turn the color of curdled skim milk. He knew he was breaking several inter-dimensional treaties by manifesting, but he was starving. He knew he looked bad. Knobby horns curled out of his forehead, rubbery, slightly damp skin the color of cooked beets, and stubby vestigial wings that did nothing but make him look like a lame bat.
Lizzy's knees gave out and she fell on her ass, hard. Pain exploded as she landed squarely on her tailbone.
"Sonofabitch," she gasped, tears streaming down her face for a whole new reason. She shook her head and then stared at the demon that was standing in her living room. He was clutching a heart-shaped box of candy.
"You!" she said, understanding washing over her, followed closely by anger. Still nothing he could eat. "You're the one who's been stalking me!"
"Wh-what?" he stammered. This was going so much worse than he had ever seen it go.
"The flowers! The love notes! The jewelry!" with each declaration she jabbed her finger into his chest.
"Why didn't you like it? I did everything like I was supposed. But you hated it. I don't understand ..." Rantix said, black tears welled up in his eyes and spilled over his cheeks.
Lizzy suddenly felt a stab of shame. Yes, it was clearly a demon, but it was also ugly-crying in the middle of her living room. She trotted to sink and pulled off a sheet of paper towel and handed it over to the sniveling thing. He wiped his eyes, and dabbed at the places on the carpet where his tears had fallen - they were smoldering slightly. He blew his nose and the paper towel caught on fire. He looked stricken for a moment, then he ate it. His skin tone tinged towards eggplant.
"Why are you doing this?" she asked, her voice quavered, but Rantix could taste the flavor of real curiosity on her breath.
"Because you're my assignment. I'm supposed to make you happy so I can eat. Happy thoughts are..." he searched for the word. "Filling. But you don't like anything. And it's been almost a month and if I fail this assignment I get demoted to boggle."
"You eat happy thoughts?" asked Lizzy. She sat down on the floor next to him, and laughed for the first time. Rantix jumped, surprised and he felt refreshed for the first time since he came here.
"I thought you were some kind of stalker," she said. Then she laughed again, and Rantix laughed too and clapped his knobby hands. It felt wonderful.
"I never would have thought I'd be so happy to have my house possessed by a demon," she said, and she smiled at him. He smiled back, his mouth full of needle sharp teeth. Lizzy found is strangely adorable and on impulse pulled him in for a hug.
"Alright, no more rom-com crap, okay?" she said.
"I... I don't know what you're talking about," he said.
"Don't worry. I'll make you a list," she said.