A priest, a fallen angel, and a demon walk into a bar… Sounds like the start of a terrible joke, right Well, here’s the punchline: Me. I’m a demon slayer.
It’s the official term for someone who’s been possessed by a demon. Or so I was informed during one of my lessons, back when I was first learning what it meant to be a demon slayer with Father Iverson Malone. Tall, handsome and in his mid-forties, Ivy is now almost twice my age, but I’ve never been concerned with the age difference since it’s his knowledge that’s saving me right at this moment.
I grunt when I throw my body behind the punch, and manage to hit the guy in the solar plexus. It takes him down, but the demon inside won’t need to recover, utilizing the body it’s inhabited to strike back, forcing me to jerk away, grabbing and flipping myself over the gravestone of one Madeleine Trouton, who died when she was aged eighty-nine according to the engraving.
“You are going to regret getting out of bed this morning, asshole,” I say adjusting my skinny jeans from my ass. They’re not my preference for demon slaying, but Dru called me just after midnight, with absolutely no time to change into more suitable attire. As it was, I barely had enough time to grab up my rosary and holy water, before driving like crazy to the cemetery.
I’ve broken a nail. I’ll have to see if Natalie can fit me in before my next shift at work.
The guy grabs my shoulders. He’s strong, inhumanly strong, but that’s the demon inside him.
When I’m training with Jewel, or revising with Ivy, and even just chilling out with Dru, it’s a warning I hear on a regular basis from each of them when they think I need to hear it again:
“Don’t let those fuckers get you on your back, love.”
“Ophelia, don’t let the demon get you to ground.”
“Remember Fee, if the demon gets you on the ground, you’ll be powerless to stop him.”
I manage to slide underneath my attacker, between his trouser clad, goat-like legs, on the slick dew-laden lawns, losing my jacket in the process, but I’m once again free. I pull out my rosary, feeling the knots in my fingers, and begin whispering my incantation.
“Crux sancta sit mihi lux,” I murmur. I don’t know this guy’s name, but I found him on Dru’s instructions at the Lakewood Cemetery. It’s strange, because these demons have one goal in mind, which usually ends in two body bags, but more often than not it’s the women who suffer most. Should the demon succeed in his goal, she’s in for a horrific pregnancy followed by certain death if she manages to reach full term. More often than not, she dies from complications much earlier. It seems a pointless exercise, but it hasn’t stopped these evil assholes from trying again and again, and in the past few months the number of inhabitants from Hell prowling around has grown.
“Non draco sit mihi dux,” I say a bit louder.
The guy’s actually quite handsome in a dorky accountant kind of way. The issue with the whole demon slaying thing is, once the demon has possessed the guy, he then has the ability to charm and enchant a woman, regardless. And by regardless, I mean a guy that’s a forty-plus, lives-in-his-mom’s-basement type, is now a confident Casanova with the power to make a woman believe she’s found her Prince Charming.
No doubt this guy woke up, got ready for work and never expected to have his evening interrupted by demon possession, but it’s only a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A demon knows your wants and desires, and that’s what he’ll use against you.
His tie is askew, and his glasses are a strong contrast to the horns protruding from his head. The thick glasses frame yellow irises that might once have been brown or blue, or maybe even green. We circle each other, waiting for the other to make the next move. I’m sweating and filthy from rolling around on the grass and garden beds of the cemetery.
I’d really like to have a shower.
I launch myself, slinging the rosary around the guy’s neck and pulling with force. If my weapon were an ordinary piece of rope, I would be garroting him. Instead, a bright glow appears as the rosary passes through the human’s neck and the demon begins to separate from its victim.