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January 23, 2020

Fiction: Koozie & Deviled Demons

This month's Words for Wednesday prompts are provided by Mark Koopmans and are posted at Elephant's Child's blog here. This week's prompts are  Deviled/devilled, Interdependence, Watery, Figs, Zoom, Headphones, Gargled, Presence, Yelling, Andalusia, Snowdrifts, Exfoliate. I have used a few of these words and also some from last week.

First part of Koozie's story is here if you care to read it.

Koozie & The Deviled Demon - Part 2

Koozie looks down at George. The boy has been silent all this time. Is he three or four years old? She could not tell. George peers up at her with his long, pale lashes, flickering. Koozie pulls a white handkerchief from her dress pocket and wipes his nose and puts it back in her pocket. His drool is all over her collarbone and he has snot. Why is she not at all aghast by all this?

All the servants are gone from the kitchen. Food and drinks scattered on the counters and on the black and white tiled floor. The receiver of the phone on the wall hangs down. Maybe Koozie should call the police. This is, after all, an emergency. But what can they do when it comes to demons? Koozie shakes her head. She has no time for wishy-washy thinking. She must take George away from here. She has no idea why but she wants to protect the boy.

The muffled shrieks and noises behind her makes her head ache. Koozie rushes through the back door and out into the cold night air. It has been sunny when she came but now looking up at the dark sky, she wonders where the sun went. The yard is lit by rows of bright lights hanging from tree to tree.

She lifts George higher above her hips. Koozie can easily carry him with one hand if she desires. For reasons she does not know, she have always had great strength. But what good is great strength when she have no idea what she is doing?

"Miss Woozie, wait!"

Koozie pauses and turns around. "Dan!" Koozie is relief that it isn't a demon. She doesn't know how but she knows Dan is not a demon and that she can trust him.

"You've called me Dan!" Dan chuckles and all his wrinkles appear and remove that plastic look he have always wore. "Miss Woozie, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to gush." He offers a small smile. "We have no time. I'll get to the point." Dan steps toward them. He pats the boy's blond hair. George turns his head to look up at Dan. "Miss Woozie, you must protect George at all cost. I know you are not obligated but I entreat you to do so. The fate of the world depends on his safety and yours."

"I— What is this about, Dan? What is going on?"

"There is no time to explain, Miss Woozie. You must not go back home. They will be waiting for you and George. Go to one of your vacation homes - one that no one knows but you."

"They?"

"Demons, Miss Woozie, demons." He raises a gray eyebrow.

She nods. Of course she knew but she had to ask. A part of her has been thinking she might have gone insane.

"Take this with you." He fishes out a small leather-bound black notebook from inside his jacket. "This was Annabelle's but it belongs to George now."

Koozie frees a hand and takes the notebook and tucks it into her dress pocket. "But what do I do?"

"Just keep him safe."

"Is that all?"

"Well, it's a rather difficult task, Miss Woozie."

Koozie is getting too used to the warmth of George against her. "Of course it is but do I look like a babysitter?"

Dan chuckles. Something long and dark races pass Koozie. Dan abruptly stops laughing. "Go now, Miss Woozie. Go!" His eyes veer down at the dagger stuck to the side of his chest. Then he falls backward onto the grass. In seconds, he quivers and then disappears.

Koozie hears footsteps. She turns around.

The man is wide and large. His greasy black hair is tied back, the white shirt he wore has a few dark blots on his chest, his black trousers probably hid multiple stains and his brown boots appears to have a lot of dark matter on them. He has a black beard in the shape of an upside down letter T. Koozie doesn't want to speculate what it could be. And his skin is paler than it should be. "Please tell me, you're not a vampire." Koozie would hate to fight one.

"I am not a vampire but I am a demon." He cocks is head. "Give me the child and you will not be harmed."

She scoffs and shifts George to her left side and tightens her grip around him. He laughs into her ears. She reaches out and grabs the man by the arm and throws him onto the grass and presses her foot on his back. He groans. He turns his head to the side and stares up at her with one eye in the shadows. "What are you?" He tries to pry her foot from him but she presses down harder.

"Your worst nightmare. Now tell me, who do you work for?" The scent of unwashed laundry and perhaps something to do with hogs drifts up her nose. Definitely needs a bath.

"None of your business, lady!"

She stomps his back. "It is my business if you get in my way. Now, tell me, who do you work for?"

"I'll never tell."

"Do you know who I am?"

He raises an eyebrow. "I couldn't care less, lady."

"My name is Koozie Woozie! Say it!"

"No fuc—"

She kicks him again. "There is a child present. Hold your tongue." George laughs as if she has done something amusing.

"Kill me or let me go. I'll not answer any of your questions." He turns away from her.

Koozie laughs. She doesn't have time for this. "Just tell me why do you want George. That's not a too demanding question, is it?"

"I'm collecting a bounty. If you hand the child over to me, I'll give you half the earning. 50/50, Miss Koozie Woozie." He lets out a few chortles. Then he freezes as if something has struck him.

Koozie lets him go and takes a few steps back. Something is wrong. She hasn't kicked him that hard but he's not moving.

The man screams and burst into flame and then he is no more, not even ashes nor any trace that he had been there.

"What the hel—" She stops and turns to George. His eyes are drooping. He must be tired from all the excitement. She gently pushes his head down to her shoulder. His breathing becomes soft.

In the distance, behind the closed door of the kitchen, she can still make out some shouting but they don't sound as dire as before. Perhaps the fire or the smoke is now gone. She can hear sirens in the distance.

She lifts George up higher and lets out a long breath. Things could not get any worse, could they?

Clapping. Someone is clapping. Koozie looks up.

The man steps out of the shadows. "Bravo, Miss Woozie. That was an excellent way to get rid of low lives like him." He is the same man from the party. His black suit seems to be shy of shadows and yet, anyone can see he is tall and lean. He would have towered over her if she is not five feet ten.

"But I didn't do anything." Koozie takes a few steps back.

"Do you not know? If a demon speaks your name, they cannot help themselves but be destroyed. But low life like him are not even worth evoking your name." He puts his hands behind his back as if declaring he's no threat. He is a threat just by the mere fact he isn't scared away by the demon bursting into flames.

"What do you want?" Koozie tries to keep a calm demeanor though her heart is racing away.

"Same thing as he did but I will not share any bounties nor will I harm you afterward. Miss Woozie, you are not involved in this yet. Give me the child and I will allow you to go free. You have my word."

"I don't even know who you are."

"I am Lord X."

"Does that mean the number 10?"

"No, it is the 24th letter in the alphabet." He gives her a strained smile.

"Does it stand for something?"

"No. I was the tenth child. My father named all his children by numbers." The bottom corner of his left eye starts to twitch.

"So your name does mean 10." Koozie purses her lips together to keep from laughing.

"No, it does not! It—" He adjusts his shirt collar. "We are digressing, Miss Woozie. Shall we return to what we were discussing?"

"Are you a demon?"

"I am, of course, but one of higher class, same as you."

"What?" She gasps. "That's not true."

"Oh? Do you think your extraordinary strength, your ability to tell when someone's lying, your unbelievable skill at fighting, means you're a mere human? We demons always recognize our own kind. George here is an angel. Look at him, he is the very essence of an angel - blond hair, blue eyes, milky skin? What more proof do you need?"

"You're full of crap."

Lord X lets out a guffaw. "I do love your use of comical jargons. Your guardian has much influence on you."

"My guardian? I don't have a guardian unless you count my parents."

"I do not mean that particular kind of guardian. I meant your Mrs. Hayward."

"I don't know what you're talking about. Mrs Hayward is just my nanny. Well, she used to be my nanny but now she is my friend." She turns and hopes to get away as far from this demon as she can. But he is in front of her in matters of seconds. "Miss Woozie, I cannot allow you to leave with the child." His eyes are blue like George's but there is no kindness there, only a coldness.

"Please let us go." Koozie turns to George. He has not stirred from his nap.

The man's hand is at once around her throat. "You do not know the privilege I have given you by allowing you this time to talk. I will take the child and if you try to stop me, I will have to kill you."

She claws at his hand. His grip is iron tight. She tries to breathe but finds she cannot. He takes George from her. She uses both of her hands to pry at his fingers but she could barely lift one of his fingers. Then out of sheer foolishness, she kicks him in the center of his gravity as her nanny used to call a man's manhood. He drops her suddenly and bends over but still, he holds George.

She stumbles backward and steadies herself before she falls. "Geo-George!" She chokes on her words. "G-G-George!" She reaches out but a harsh wind knocks her to the ground. George begins to cry. "George!" she screams.

Lord X straightens up and smiles down at her with satisfaction but his face suddenly twists with his eyes bulging. He releases George and backs away.

Koozie rushes forward to catch George but he hovers in the air as if waiting for her. She pulls him down to her. He stops crying and blinks up at her through his tear-filled eyes. Then he smiles, showing bits of his teeth. Koozie laughs at the sight.

Lord X is staring down at his hands. What has happened? Koozie gets up and backs away while keeping a tight grip on George.

Before Koozie can run, Lord X has conquered whatever has been troubling him. He presses his mouth tightly together and glares at her with eyes blazing. He strides toward them. "Give me the child!" His voice echoes slightly.

Koozie turns and kicks him in the chest. He falls to the ground but is up again. Dang! He tilts his lips at the corner. "You cannot stop me, Miss Woozie."

"My name is Koozie Woozie, perhaps you should try saying it?"

He snickers. "Amusing, Miss Woozie but that does not work on me."

"Is that so? Why don't you say my name and see? Maybe you're wrong." She tightens her hold on George.

"Alright, I'll give you the satisfaction, Miss Koozie Woozie." He places his hands behind his back. His face nothing but calmness.

Nothing happens. Dang! Koozie wishes she has the power to transport to another place or even better, send this Lord somewhere else.

Lord X holds up his hands. "Well, as you can see, speaking your name has no effect on me. Now, hand the boy over and I promise not to kill you."

She looks down at George. He stares into her eyes and gives her a small grin almost as if he understands what is going on. The boy seems to vacillate between knowing and ignorance. How odd! She looks up and shakes her head. "No. George stays with me."

"Is that so, Miss Koozie Woozie?" Lord X laughs but stops. His eyes glow red and then fades to black. "No... No... Nooooo!" Flames appear at his feet and is raising higher and higher.

Koozie turns George's head toward her. He should not see this.

But the blaze did not consume Lord X. They dissipate. He gazes at her with a determined sneer. Then he fades away. He didn't die, guess that means he really is a higher demon. She hopes never to see him again.

George utters a small shriek and raises his hand up and toward the area where Dan had been lying. Something flash in the light. She walks across the grass and picks up the dagger that struck Dan. Poor Dan. The dagger's tip still have blood on it. Embossed lines are wrapped around the handle and in the center of the blade a rose is burned into it. Koozie wipes the dagger on her dress, folds it and tucks it into her dress pocket where she had placed the leather notebook. Perhaps the dagger is a clue. Mrs Hayward carries a similar dagger but hers is rose gold. She had said it is important for a lady to carry a dagger in case of danger. Koozie now wonders why she had not questioned Mrs Hayward when she insisted Koozie learns to fight aside from the usual subjects. She must speak with Mrs. Hayward but she had retired ten years ago and now resides in some place called Snowdrift or something, Koozie could not remember.

She turns to George. He has returned to napping. What a strange child! He seems capable of protecting himself. Perhaps demons can't touch his skin without getting burn. But she is a demon, isn't she? But she can touch George without any problems so maybe Lord X has been wrong. Maybe she is not a demon but something else? And yet, she feels as she usually does - a normal human with great strength which apparently is not as strong as a higher-up demon but definitely nice to have and quite a stubborn streak. She sighs. But George is definitely not a demon. An angel maybe? Perhaps, perhaps not but she will protect him anyway. It's not like she has anything better to do.

8 comments:

  1. More please.
    I am fascinated by Koozie's and George's tale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Elephant's Child: Me too. I hope to write something more about Koozie and George's tale. We'll see what the words are fro the next Words For Wed.

      Thank you for stopping by. Have a lovely day.

      Delete
  2. An excellent story, I too want more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Jo: There will probably be more, maybe.

      Thank you for stopping by. Have a lovely day.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. @Christine: I think so too.

      Thank you for stopping by. Have a lovely day.

      Delete
  4. George does seem to be an extraordinary child. Koozie has her hands full keeping him from the demons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @River: Yes, Koozie does have to do a lot for George even if he have powers of his own.

      Thank you for stopping by. Have a lovely day.

      Delete

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