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New Episode of Interview with a Demon

Author’s Note:

It’s been awhile since I’ve put up the next part of my interview with the Guardian. I apologise. You have to remember that interviewing a demon is not actually my forte. I’m not a journalist, and I’m certainly not comfortable with my first big interview being the Guardian. I would like to say that I have more control of the situation than I do, but I wouldn’t want to lie. Needless to say the efforts have taken their toll. I’ve had to have a bit of recovery time before I could face our next session. I’m not sleeping well. I find myself fearing that I will drift off and end up back in the Guardian’s prison even without Talia, the succubus, to guide me there and safeguard my time with him.

 

When I’m not involved with the interview, I’m thinking about it, obsessing over it, over him. In the beginning I wanted to hurry and get it over. I had hoped for one meeting with him to do it all. Now, I find myself dragging it out, struggling to stay away, and yet dying to hurry back and finish.

 

Both Susan and Talia have banned me from his prison for a few weeks, fearing for my health, even though he has been nothing but polite to me, and done nothing that should affect me so. But he is a demon, and I have no special powers, no abilities to protect myself from him, so the interview has not been an easy thing to write.

 

While the Guardian has asked that our efforts be kept secret from Magda Gardener, I have heard the whispers between Talia and Susan about bringing her into the situation just in case. The Guardian, I think would not like that, and we all fear that to do so would mean having to abort the interview, since we can’t really imagine Magda being best pleased about our efforts.

 

In the meantime, I drink lots of coffee. Read into the night to distract myself and wander about the house and the garden at all hours. Having a bit of a break has helped, and I’ve had time to organise my notes and prepare this posts. But I know what is ahead. I know Susan’s version of the horrors that happened in Chapel House. I know what the Guardian has done. The idea of hearing his view on what went on there, I have to admit, I find both daunting and very frightening.

 

 

The links to the interview so far are at the bottom of this instalment. 

 

 

Chapter 7  Disappointments and Possibilities

“As my lovely Annie immersed herself in the scented waters of the big bath, I did all that was in my power, limited as it was at the time, to surround her, embrace her. I wanted her to feel as though the lover she imagined sharing such an experience with was, indeed there with her, delighting in her every touch, in her every sigh, in her every moan, and oh, how she moaned.”

 

I did my best not to let my own discomfort show. While it was true I didn’t want it to interfere with the interview, it was also true that I didn’t want the Guardian knowing just how uncomfortable the thought of his love life made me, and as I’ve already stated, I feared if he couldn’t actually read my mind, he could certainly read me. After all, he fed off body language, off emotions, off of physical responses, and the more visceral the better. But thankfully he seemed wholly caught up in his story.

 

“Perhaps it is not mine to tell, perhaps Susan would admonish me for sharing such a detail, but my dear Annie had come to Chapel House with the very idea of pleasuring herself, of enjoying an evening of carnal delights at her own hand. How I longed for it to be my hand, my mouth, my sex fulfilling her deepest desires. So convinced was I that she could sense my presence, that she had come clandestinely to Chapel House in hopes of drawing me to her, even seducing me, if you will, that I brought all of my essence to her that night. Understand, my dear KD, that I have no need to do such a thing, for by nature I am not limited to one space, having no fleshly container.

 

As I moved over the surface of the water, as I stirred it gently with my presence, oh how she writhed and shuddered and cried out in her pleasure. So very responsive was she that I became as a breath across ruby-hard nipples. I became as lips and tongue and teeth teasing across warm supple flesh. I became as a lover’s urgency moving down, down, down into the water. With my very will I cupped her, fondled her. I traced the crook and role, the stroke and plunge of her delicate fingers, as though they were my own reveling in that sweet, briny landscape, which I wanted desperately to touch, to kiss, to feast upon. I ached to plunge my essence deep inside of her again and again. With every fiber of myself, I willed her to acknowledge me. I was intoxicated with her presence, delighted in her pleasure.

 

I pressed as close to her as my imprisonment allowed me, close enough that my embrace was nearly a second skin. At that moment, that very second before she cried out, I was certain, so very certain that she felt my presence, that she knew I was there. And oh, how she did cry out, a cry worthy of a wild beast at the moment of the kill. In that second before her convulsions of release moved in waves over the water, I could have wept for the joy of it, as I waited for her to acknowledge me, for her ecstasy to be followed by terror. And then, I knew that terror would vanish, and she would delight in my presence, and yield to me. You cannot imagine how I felt, K D. And …”

 

Once again he stood and moved to the cliff edge. And I began to breathe again, wondering how long I had held it tight in my chest. I sat very still not daring to acknowledge to myself the impact of his tale upon my own flesh. After all, none of this was real. I was only here through a dream.

 

Suddenly his shoulders tightened, his hands clenched into angry fists and the air around us felt like that charged moment before a lightning strike. I white knuckled the arms of the chair, and my heart went racing again, at the raw, explosive emotion expressed in flesh that was not real. He continued. “You cannot imagine my disappointment, my raged at my own powerlessness when, instead, she dried her hands and reached for her mobile phone. Then she began taking photos of herself in her post orgasmic bliss. Oh they were nothing obscene, not really, just very … shall we say provocative. That she might share this moment with another enraged me, disappointed me. In my unhappy state, I caught only the fact that she was quite pleased with herself as she texted some friend named Susan about what she had just done. Before she sent the text, I read over her shoulder, her final words as she closed.

 

Think what a story you could make from this!

 

“She could not possibly have known that I had already imagined the story of her little exploits, only my ending was not the one she had chosen. I watched helplessly while she got out of the tub, as though nothing at all had happened, and dried herself. I was desperately disappointed, and had I been able, I would have punished her thoroughly for her behavior. In the end, this woman, who I had fantasized about, dreamed about, this woman who I was so convinced would surely feel my essence and discover I was there, was no different than all of the others had been throughout my endless imprisonment. In the end she would only be a vicarious experience once removed.

 

“I remind you again, KD, that these emotions I now ascribe to myself are only my way of trying to make you understand a little better my desperate loneliness, which of course, was not really loneliness at all so much as perhaps a loss of purpose. Even that’s a mortal way of describing what I experienced that night in Chapel House, my first time alone with Annie. If you had chosen to interview me before my current incarceration, you would have found the experience far more disturbing and far more difficult to understand. While Susan is certainly no longer mortal, she is still human in so many ways. I would have been far less able to tell you my story if not for my experience of her lingering humanity.

 

“Of course, if you had come to me before,” I felt his presence bloom around me like heat from a fire, “you would most likely not have survived the experience, but then,” he added quickly, “neither would you have cared.”

 

The heat receded in a heartbeat, and at that moment, mine was a heart beating very fast. He continued as if he had done nothing out of the ordinary, and perhaps he hadn’t. “Annie removed herself to the chapel for her repast. She boldly walked up the aisle between the pews all the way to the altar and brazenly seated herself atop it. Oh how I wanted her to notice me at that point, so intriguing did I find her. She had opened the wine and was nibbling on a few grapes when the response to her text came.

 

TMI

 

“That was all the first text said. At the time I didn’t know what that meant. Susan has since enlightened me.

 

“Annie only laughed her lovely silver-bell of a laugh, and then she proceeded to take several unholy selfies from her perch. Irreverent, I suspect is a better word, for that would describe my dear Annie. Then, with the laughter of a misbehaving child, she sent them to this Susan, and my jealousy bloomed again at the thought that perhaps the woman was Annie’s lover, though I didn’t think Annie had a taste for women. The text that returned piqued my interest.

 

Oh I can think of a few stories, all right, but no respectable publisher would buy them.

 

“Oh yes, this text very much piqued my interest. That this Susan was a scribe made
me lean close, my attention focused wholly on Annie’s reply.

 

You have to come, Susan. You’ll love the place. You can’t help but be inspired by it. I’m inspired, and I have no imagination. Come next weekend. Can you?

 

The response was almost immediate.

 

Dying to see. No pressing deadlines. All right! I’ll drive up Friday afternoon.

Read previous instalments here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

 

Interview with a Demon: Part 6

 

Due to his escape-proof prison and the promise to his jailor, I have not yet been totally possessed by the Guardian. Yes, I know that’s black humour, and I should probably touch wood. Being with him continues to be very unsettling, and it becomes more so as his story unfolds. The one thing I hadn’t considered in this interview is that a demon might actually be frustrated.

If you are coming to these interviews late but would like to catch up, follow the links below this instalment.

 

 

Part 6: A Demon’s Frustration

 

I wish that I could have disagreed with the Guardian, but I don’t know what I would have done imprisoned in stone for millennia, how I would have felt. I’m not patient when I have to wait a long time for a bus with nothing to read. Anyway, it didn’t matter. He didn’t give me time to dwell on it. But then I suspected he already knew the answer whether I did or not. Instead he picked up where we had left off as though there had been no interruption.

“Annie immediately made an offer, which was accepted just as quickly. I’m certain the sellers just wanted to be rid of the place, evil as it was.

“In all fairness, there had been no other perspective buyers who had given the place any real consideration, though I had a great deal to do with that, I confess. I told you I choose wisely and very carefully. At the time, I had no idea just how well I had chosen.

“You see, Annie Rivers was an estate agent herself by trade – a very good one, who could afford to buy and renovate what she was already affectionately calling Chapel House from the moment she took possession of the keys. She was, by your modern day standards a true beauty with hair that glistened golden in the sunlight and eyes that were cerulean blue. From the moment I first had her all to myself I was jealous of anyone who had kissed those full lips. I was jealous of anyone who was capableof kissing those lips, of touching her, of holding her. You must understand I could do none of those things, not in the sense of true flesh and blood. All I could do was make her believe that I touched her, that I kissed and caressed her, make her desire me to do so more than anything in life. Well that is what I would have done had I been free. As it was, in my imprisoned state, I could do little more than observe her, be near her, give her intimations of well being, of arousal, of being loved and desired. Because she was beautiful anyway, because she was desired and loved, all I could really do was enhance those sensations. Oh, KD, you cannot imagine my frustration at not being able to give her more.”

The idea of the Guardian actually giving Annie something when I knew what his attention had cost her and what the end result would have been without Susan’s desperate and dangerous intervention seemed totally absurd. He was silence for a moment, as though he waited for the response I only thought. I chose not to consider the disturbing likelihood that he already knew those thoughts.

When he continued he stood to pace once more, the chair he’d been sitting in vanishing as he did so. “No, I am not an incubus. As I said I am only a guardian spirit, but one who has, over the ages, become very much underestimated. Demon, some would call me, but debating my true nature would simply be splitting hairs so long after the fact, so long after what I’ve become, what I’m still becoming. You see, while I would have loved to possess my Annie, to enter into her body and experience the pleasures of her flesh as she herself did, I learned long ago that to do so with a mortal is to hasten their death. Oh, I’ll admit that there are those whose deaths are of little consequence to me, but the pleasure of possessing their flesh for that brief time before they can no longer serve as a vessel for me is so fleeting that it’s hardly worth the effort, nor the unwanted attention it brings to me.

“So I am reduced to eliciting the emotions, the sensations, the bodily needs in another and living them vicariously. To do so means that I may savor those I choose. I may linger with their pleasures and pains and passions until they become too weakened to please me further or until I become bored with them. Then I leave them their lives to do with what they will. Sadly most don’t choose to live once denied my attention, but thus is the curse of what I have become, of what my needs have made me. I suppose you could say, if you were to speak in human terms, that I am as addicted to humanity and its pleasures as those I choose become addicted to me. And Annie, my dear beautiful Annie, was strong, resilient, with a sharp wit and a hunger for life that could not but attract me to her like a loadstone. And though I cannot take credit for what might have been had I remained so imprisoned there in Chapel House, I can say that Annie would have lived a long and happy life there with me, for I would have been able to take so little of her, while always giving enough back to keep her happy and contented, even healthy and young beyond her years. That would have been the gift from my imprisonment at the expense of my perpetual frustration.” He settled once again in the chair that appeared instantly as he did so. “I suppose you could say that my imprisonment forced me to monogamy and fidelity, knowing full well, as I did, that it was not likely I should find another to companion me at Chapel House any more easily than I had found Annie.

“So, with thoughts of a long and happy, if frustrating, relationship with Ms. Rivers, I set about drawing her to me even before she moved into Chapel House. Oh I was very subtle. I approached her with the greatest of care and tenderness not wanting to frighten her. I wanted, indeed I needed, for her to desire me as I did her. And she was not a skittish milquetoast of a woman, fearing ghosts and ghouls and anything that could not easily be explained away. In fact she invited that which she did not understand. She longed for ghosts and apparitions and things that go bump in the night. From the very beginning my darling Annie all but begged me to be real, all but flung open the doors to her inner workings and invited me in. Imagine my frustration at not being able to fully accept her gracious invitation.

“While she brought workmen in to give her estimates, she joked with them about Chapel House being haunted. She relished making them uncomfortable as she told them that sadly there were now no corpses in the crypt. Why, she told one jumpy electrician, she had only recently sent the last of them off to the Museum of London. Then she laughed that delicious throaty laugh of hers, and I shall never forget what she said.” And here he startled me again by speaking in Annie’s voice. ‘“Of course all the corpses are long gone, but someone ishere. There’s a very definite presence. I’m sure of it. I can feel it.’ She wrapped her arms around herself and sighed with such pleasures that I had wished with all my heart I’d had flesh at that moment for I should have embraced her with such delight. You see, I had been so careful not to frighten her, so careful that in my presence she should only feel welcomed and safe, and yet here was a woman longing for what would terrify most as much as I longed to give it to her. It was that day, as she left with the electrician, chatting about mood lighting for the bathroom, I resolved to find a way to make myself known to her when next she came to Chapel House. Happily I didn’t have to wait long.”

 

 

 

Interview with a Demon – the interview so far:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

 

Interview with a Demon Part 4

Interviewing a demon turned out not to be a straight forward thing. Absolutely nothing went according to planned, and too late, I realised walking away from it afterward, even with a vampire and a succubus protecting me, wasn’t a given. You see, the truth is, there was just way too much baggage for all parties for the interview to go by the book. I don’t know why I ever thought otherwise. Anyway, enough of my moaning. I’ve done my best to report the details honestly and without bias, but the truth is, after my experiences with Magda Gardener and her Consortium, I have more than a little baggage of my own.

 

Interview with a Demon – the interview so far:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Interview with a Demon Part 4: A Tale Interrupted

 

While the Guardian admired the moonless sky, much as I’m sure Reese and Alonso did when they were in the garden he modeled his prison after, there was no doubt his focus was still entirely on me. But then what physical illusion there was of him was just that, an illusion. To be under his subtle scrutiny made me all the more uncomfortable in a giddy sort of way, and yet it didn’t seem to distract him in the least from the task at hand.

“At the time my home, as it always had been, since before I had need to remember, was a deconsecrated chapel near the city that is now Manchester in the North of England, but you already know this. Of course it was not the chapel to which I was bound. The place itself had been considered sacred ground as long as humans walked the earth, although I don’t know why. The mortal sense of what is sacred and what is profane has always puzzled me. You see, my task was to guard holy ground. I don’t know how that became my charge, or when, only that it always had been, even after the chapel was deconsecrated and put on the market to be sold as a home or a boutique or even a pub. The latter two were not at all to my liking. While I would have enjoyed the orgy of sensation and experience such places might offer me, it would have been only a temporary glutting of my capacity for pleasure and would have most certainly drawn enough attention as to make it difficult for me to choose as best suits me. In fact it might have drawn to me those whose attention I would prefer not to have. Of course, you understand, I mean my jailor, who for the most part ignored me, seeing me as little threat at the time.” He offered a satisfied chuckle. “You see, even our incomparable Magda Gardener makes mistakes. So, after a tiresome parade of estate agents, none of whom held my attention for long, none of whom had what I needed if I were to resume making the kinds of choices I delighted in, one of them at long last succeeded in bringing to me exactly what I had been waiting for. And then the daft woman tried to discourage her from me.

“‘The place has set empty for a very long time, so it will be costly to renovate.’ Those were her words when she saw her perspective buyer’s delight.”

It was very disconcerting for me to hear the voice of a woman with a northern accent coming from the Guardian. With difficulty, I kept my eyes averted and reminded myself that even his voice, whatever voice he chose to use, was just an illusion. He continued. “Then the devious agent added, ‘of course any … human remains have long since been removed from the crypt … as far as we can tell anyway.’ Oh how I longed to throttle her then and there, but of course I could do nothing.” He laughed softly, and I swear I felt the warmth of his breath against my ear. “As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about where her dear client was concerned.

“But Annie, for that was the client’s name, as you may have already suspected, would not be put off. I will never forget her words.” I was even more disturbed to hear him speak in the voice of Annie Rivers. “‘Can you imagine?’ she said, ‘I’ll be the only one of my friends who had a genuine crypt for a wine cellar. Too bad there’s not at least one stone sarcophagus left, you know, as a conversation piece.’

“The agent was horrified and, as for me, well I was instantly enchanted. My dear Annie had laughed with delight when the agent showed her the bathroom with the large tub. ‘Oh I’m really going to enjoy this. It’s big enough for company,’ she said. Oh how that thought intrigued me. You see, an evangelical group had installed the great tub. They were the last to rent the building before it was deserted and sold for the final time. They believed in some strange ritual of baptism that demanded immersion for which it was an essential tool. They didn’t interest me much other than as a dalliance now and then brought on by boredom. In truth, there was little more I could manage, since at the time, I was imprisoned with very limited access to the pastor’s flock. But my efforts did result in several attempts at exorcism. However, when the ‘spawn of Satan’ they feared did not vacate the premises after their hocus pocus, they gave up and left claiming something evil lurked within. Once again, I waited.

“I was not happy with the way the agent rushed Annie through the nave and the sacristy, nor with how she dwelt on the overgrown mess of the back garden and how many bodies had been buried there before the deconsecration. I punished her for that later. As for my dear Annie, I gave her just enough of a sense of well-being, of euphoria that, by the time she left, I was certain she felt right at home and that there was nothing the agent could do that would keep my beautiful Annie from me.”

Without warning the hair on the backs of my arms stood at full attention, as though a bolt of electricity had passed through me, and the ground tilted sharply beneath my chair. Before I could do more than yelp and stumble to my feet, Susan appeared, looking far more wraith-like than the Guardian, and almost as terrifying wearing her rage like a heavy cloak.

“This interview is over.” Her voice made my jaws ache until my head felt like it would explode. But it wasn’t me she was speaking too, and frankly, I was glad. Suddenly the temperature in the garden plummeted and snow began to swirl on a growing fell wind. In spite of the howl of what was quickly becoming a blizzard, Susan’s voice cut through it as though it were deadly silent. “How dare you? How fucking dare you? I trusted you. I gave you your voice, I even let her come to you.” She nodded her head in my direction. “And this is how you repay me, by flaunting the sordid horrors you visited on my best friend?”

“Susan, I don’t understand.” The Guardian spoke with little emotion that I could sense, but then I was busy trying to keep from freezing to death. By this time the wind was howling and snow was falling heavily in what had, only moments ago, been the garden in high summer.

“How the fuck can you not understand? She’s not your Annie. She was never your Annie. You’re here because of what you did to her, because of what you tried to do to all of us. And don’t give me that bullshit about things being different with your kind. I don’t care if it’s different. You know exactly how it is withmy kind.” She rubbed a tight fist against her chest as though she were in pain.

“Susan, you are a vampire,” he responded as calmly as if he were telling her that her shoelace was untied. “And you are unique even among vampires. You are the only one of your kind.”

“And I wouldn’t be a vampire if you hadn’t … if it hadn’t been … How could you not know that …” Her voice drifted off and then she shouted, “Talia, pull her out.”

But Talia didn’t pull me out, instead, I stood with my teeth chattering chafing my arms watching an altercation between a demon and a vampire and wondering if I’d be collateral damage.

 

Interview with a Demon

While it has been an effort to sort through what actually happened, I have finally managed to piece together another segment of what happened during that unaccounted for stretch of time I spent with The Guardian in his prison. As the memories come back to me and as I deal with the consequences of the experience as best I can, I will share the results with you, as I promised him I would. Thank you for being patient.

 

Missed part of the interview? Follow the links

Part 1

Part 2

 

Part 3 A Demon’s Tale

The Guardian sat silently for a time, long enough for me to be tempted to look over at him, or to try and prompt the conversation. But at last he took a deep breath – no doubt for my benefit and spoke. “I won’t start at the beginning. While I may have plenty of time, you certainly do not.” The rich warmth of his chuckle made me want to scoot my chair closer to his in hopes that he might touch me. That I craved his touch made me want to scream for Talia to pull me back to the safety of the waking world. If he were aware of my feelings, he didn’t show it, but continued. “My tale is a long and often tedious one, much of it spent bound or imprisoned by meddling shamans or priests or witches, who invariably mistook my nature for evil. Those in power, after all, have need of the threat of evil if they are to maintain control. I have, more than once, provided them with the necessary excuse for the disturbing and culturally unacceptable behavior of their subjects. Would that they had only understood me better rather than attempted to use me to promote their own agendas. But then that, I suppose, is the nature of human beings.”

“And yet you let your behavior prove them right.” Damn, I have a big mouth, but you see, I already knew a good deal of his story, after all, and I wasn’t about to let him white wash it.

He only shrugged. “Do you consider a lion evil for killing a gazelle, a hawk for taking a rabbit? I am, to the best of my knowledge, as much a part of the natural order as they are. That humans chose to interact with me to begin with is less so, I would postulate. That is, unless they were drawn to me from the beginning by the very nature of who I am.” He raised a negating hand as though batting away a fly. “We’re wasting time arguing my morality when it’s such a human term. I’ve not brought you here for that purpose.”

With a sudden chill, I realized, he had indeed brought me here as surely as if I had been one of the poor souls he had possessed. Susan had allowed it. I quickly reminded myself. Talia had made it possible. But they all owed him a life — several lives, in fact. Before I could contemplate my place in his plan, he continued.

“I cannot impart to you what it’s like to be bound for an age with only my own longings and urges for company. You’re far too finite to understand how maddening such imprisonment is for one who desires nothing so much as flesh and the pleasures and pains it brings. Oh yes, I would gladly take pain to the agony of languishing in uncontained eternity with nothing to hold me to myself and no way of touching the passing of everything around me.”

“But that’s not how it is for you now, surely. I know you interact with the world, at least with Susan and Michael and the other consortium members. Some of them anyway.”

For a moment he was silent, and then he sighed. “It’s true that Susan has become a gentle jailor, kind and considerate of my needs. And yet surely you must understand that never in my long existence have I been incarcerated in a prison so complete, so without any hope of escape.”

“Would you?” I asked, “escape if you could?”

This time the silence was so complete that I thought he had left me. I turned partially toward him startled by the fact that he truly had no face. He appeared much like an unfinished painting of a man overlaid on a starless night. And from that abyss of darkness was a sense of ravenous hunger and desire like nothing I had ever felt. I was taken completely aback that it was even possible for so much hunger and need to fit into one female vampire, no matter how powerful. How in the world could Susan contain him?

Suddenly there was a roar of wind across the fells and, in an instant that hunger was so close to me that I felt it had already devoured me. But even before I could do more than draw breath to cry out, the feeling vanished and he again sat next to me in profile. “I would ask you once more, please don’t look directly at me. I am … unfinished.”

I found myself gripping the chair arms as though I feared being tossed out. Honestly if the chair didn’t toss me out, I ran the risk of dumping myself out onto the ground, I was shaking so badly.

“I am sorry,” he said. “Susan tells me that my impulse control could use a little work.”

My relieved laughter had a hysterical edge to it, then I bit my lip to make myself shut up, and looked the other way.

“You asked me if I would escape if I could.” He continued as though nothing had happened. “In truth I don’t know. Every heart longs to be free… but then I don’t have a heart.” His words drifted away and somewhere deep in the garden an owl trilled, an owl who could no more have been there than the garden itself. “Perhaps residing this close to Susan’s heart, is the closest I shall ever be to having one of my own.” There was another brief pause, and in that instant, I
wondered if the sadness I heard in his voice was only me anthropomorphizing. He continued.

“However when I have been able, when I am free enough to do so, I plan, and I scheme, and I choose wisely. I shall tell you, at least in part, the culmination of such plans, the journey that has led me here to this new prison, so different than any that have ever contained me. Of course you know some of my story, in fact you’ve written it down. But you’ve told it through Susan’s eyes and, while I would never presume to discredit her human point of view, I do wish to give voice to how it was for me, how I experienced those events which led to my strange imprisonment.”

 

Interview with a Demon: Part 2

 

 

 

While I am not a journalist, my role as scribe (with a small s) for Magda Gardener and her consortium sometimes involves the odd interview, and this one may be the oddest one I’ve done so far. While it’s uncomfortable enough working for Magda, it’s even more uncomfortable when I am shanghaied into doing an interview with a demon, which she has neither authorised nor knows anything about. I doubt she’ll be happy about it when she finds out, and she will find out. Come to think about it, I’m not overly happy about it. It’s not that easy to do an interview when you’re shaking in fear. Let the good times roll!

 

 

 

Part 2: In which I Meet the Guardian

Read Part 1 Here

 

It took me a little while to realize I was dreaming. It took me a little while longer to realize that my dream was, for lack of a better word, a lucid dream. It was no dungeon, no jail I entered. It was, instead, a topiary maze. It was night, and yet the ambient light made it easy enough for me to discern my path. There was no question of which direction I should go. I just wound my way through, not really in too much of a hurry to meet what I knew awaited me beyond. The nebulous space in which Susan imprisoned the Guardian was unassailable, though there were no bars, no high walls, no razor wire. In fact the space that contained the demon was of his own shaping. Due to his partnership of convenience with Reese Chambers during their desperate battle with Cyrus in the deserted subway tunnels of New York, he was rather fond of Reese, who is not only Alonso Darlington’s lover, but a brilliant landscaper and gardener. That being the case, the Guardian had turned his space into a garden, which became more and more elaborate as he was given more and more freedom to interact with Susan and those around her.

 

“Off you go then,” I heard Talia’s voice from far away. “Happy demon hunting, KD.”

 

“I am not fond of that woman. I find her most unpleasant.”

 

I cleared the maze into a night garden drenched in moonlight. In fact the garden, I recognized as the one Reese had created for Alonso at his Lakeland manor house. In front of me just where the edge of the fell plummeted into a deep valley with a beck, a man dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt, reminiscent of Reese’s clothing choices, paced back and forth. He neither stopped pacing, nor did he look at me. His laugh was soft and rich, self-deprecating, which I had not expected. “Of course the little succubus and I did get off on the wrong foot, and at the moment neither of us is inclined to make amends. Though I suppose I should be grateful to her for her help in settling me into such an accommodating prison as my dear Susan. And of course in bringing you to me, KD. Please, sit.”

 

Behind me the same winged back chair Talia had been sitting in appeared. When I sat, I realized I was empty-handed.

 

As though he anticipated my reaction, he said, “you are in my dream, my dear, KD. You have no need of pen and paper or Dictaphone. I promise, when you wake up, you will remember everything I need you to know.”

 

Another chair appeared next to mine, and the Guardian seated himself at such an angle that I could only make out his profile, and that not well. He kept his head turned as though he observed something at the opposite end of the beck. “I ask that you do not attempt to look at me directly. It will be … disturbing for you.”

My pulse jumped, and I could manage little more than to nod my understanding. Apparently that was enough. It seemed like ages that we sat there in what might have passed for companionable silence, but the truth was, I had no idea what to say or how to start an interview with a millennia-old demon. Of course I had rehearsed questions, written an outline, but that all vanished from my head now that I was in his presence. I needn’t have worried. He took the struggle out of my hands and began it for me.

 

“I have always chosen the ones I take. It’s never a random act. I choose them carefully and with a great deal of planning and forethought. You see I have plenty of time, and the anticipation is a delight unto itself.” It made my skin tingle and my stomach clench, his use of the present tense, as if he were not in a prison at all, as if he were free to do as he chose. He didn’t ask me if I understood what he meant by taking. I understood all right and didn’t think I was quite up to a less euphemistic description. There was a sense of him shifting in the chair, more than likely to put me at ease rather than because he had any need of it. Then he continued. “Of course I occasionally act impulsively and take when I haven’t intended – a moment of weakness, of answering a craving, of catering to an urge. I have needs, after all, just as everyone does, and sometimes my baser instincts take control.”

 

When I made no response, he added, “you must understand, when I speak of instincts or biological need, it’s only in an effort to help you comprehend my story. In truth, I have neither. My insight into what drives human nature comes only from the experiences of those I’ve chosen through the ages. It’s only through my taking of them that I’m able to share my story with you in any way your mind can grasp.”

 

“I see.” I spoke from a dry throat.

 

“Of course you don’t see,” he responded without censure or ridicule. If anything he sounded rather sad. “You can’t possibly see, but I am compelled to try and convey myself to you, an impossible task for both of us, and yet here we are.”

 

“Indeed,” I managed. “Here we are.”

 

“As I was saying, most of the time, I choose very carefully, the way I chose you.”

 

If I’d had a pen, I’d have dropped it. I remembered only too well what had happened to Annie Rivers when he had chosen her, and what he attempted to do to Susan and Michael. I don’t know if I gasped, or maybe made some other sound of distress. I do know that there is nothing comfortable about being chosen by a demon, and I was on the brink of calling Talia to get me out of the dream.

 

Then that velvety chuckle washed over me. “Relax, my darling little scribe. I’m only joking. Though I’m told,” he added as an afterthought, “that I need to work on my sense of humor.”

 

I’m sure my resulting laugh sounded a little hysterical, though well-laced with genuine relief. Then I found my voice. Whether he understood humor or not, in spite of the poor joke, he had managed to set me at ease. At least a little bit. “You’ll have to forgive me for being so jumpy. I’ve never interviewed a demon before, and especially not without Magda Gardener’s permission.”

 

“Magda Gardener, yes.” He paused as though lost in his thoughts and then said slowly. “Perhaps our clandestine
meeting is my joke on Magda Gardener. Perhaps I wish to see if she thinks I need to work on my sense of humor.”

 

This time I genuinely laughed. “I’m not sure whether I’d pay good money to see her response or pay to be in another country when she finds out.”

 

“Oh, I’m betting you won’t be able to escape her reaction even if you want to darling KD.” I could almost hear the smile in his voice. Then he shifted in his chair with a contented sigh, and the way my skin prickled and the fine hairs on the back of my neck stood at attention, I knew he was now facing me. “Shall we get on with it then, in anticipation of hastening our dear Magda Gardener’s response.”

 
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© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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