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England is full of demons, or so the papers keep saying. The government always deny it, they say demons don't exist, they're just a media invention to unsettle the masses. I didn't know what to think at first, I'd never seen a demon and neither had anyone else I know.

My husband told me not to worry about demons, even though some people claimed they'd been spotted in our town. I couldn't help but worry, because vigilantes began patrolling the streets and on one summer night we met such a mob. Hubby and I were walking home from the local pub, minding our own business when we were suddenly surrounded by fierce and angry looking men.

"The demon, have you seen the demon?" The mob's leader screamed at us.

"Demon?" Said hubby. "We've never seen a demon, do they really exist?"

"Sure they do," said a gormless looking bloke. "And I got her with THIS."

The brainless moron waved a butcher's knife around, which glistened in the moonlight and scared the hell out of me. Hubby held me close and we both thought we had a bunch of crazies on our hands.

"Her?" Asked hubby.

"Yeah, a female. A young one," said some other lunatic.

"What's she done wrong?" Asked hubby.

"I dunno, mate. She's a demon, that's bad enough."

"I guess so," said hubby, and he gave up with the questions after hearing that stupid answer.

There were around ten or twelve guys in the blood thirsty mob. They were all pumped up with adrenaline and every single one of them claimed a hit on the demon with some nasty weapon or other. They said the demon had struggled free and gone to ground in our neighbourhood, they just needed to find her and finish her off.

"She could be anywhere," said hubby.

"Oh we'll get her," said the leader. "She'll have to break cover before sunrise."

"Yeah, right," said hubby, because we all know a thing or two about demons, don't we?

And off the mob went, screaming and shouting as they made their way along the street, diligently searching behind hedgerows and anywhere else a wounded demon might choose to hide. I suppose they all hoped to be the hero and deliver the fatal blow, be something to boast about to anyone sad enough to listen.

"Well, what do you make of that?" I asked hubby.

"I hope she escapes," he replied.

"So do I. But do you think there really is a demon?" I asked him.

"Collective madness more like."

Strange thing though, whichever way you thought about it, but all we could do was to carry on walking home. We made swift progress because we both felt a bit freaked out, better safe than sorry and we didn't really fancy meeting a demon late at night. Yet that's exactly what happened next.

At first we heard this faint, eerie sobbing. The sorry sound grew a little louder the closer we got to our house. We stopped walking and thought about what to do, it seemed someone or something had definitely been hurt. We decided to make a run for our front door, get safely inside the house and then take things from there.

I can run real fast when I want too, so it was me leading the way and me who saw the demon first, sprawled out on our scrawny patch of front lawn and looking all wounded and broken. I pulled up and hubby came up behind me, he gathered me in his arms and we stood frozen to the spot.

"Oh blimey," he said. "It's the demon."

"Yeah, and look what they've done to her."

Coming face to face with a demon was an awesome experience, although in our case we were spared feelings of mind numbing terror. For what we saw in the moonlight was the most pitiful looking thing imaginable. The demon was only little and wore nothing whatsoever other than a teeny, tiny thong. Her pale, naked, white body had taken a terrible beating and even her breasts had bruises and scrapes.

The poor thing looked up at us and we both saw nothing but fear in her dark eyes and there were tears streaming down her young, pretty face. I say pretty because she was quite remarkably so, despite all her injuries. Our demon would have passed as a beautiful human girl if not for her small pair of black, leather-like wings and long, spiked tail.

We didn't know what to say or do, so we watched in silence as the demon struggled to get to her feet, she couldn't do it and fell straight back down to her knees. She tried to spread her wings but only one opened, it wouldn't have worked anyway as it was all ripped and torn. Our demon was going nowhere and clearly all but finished.

"We've got to help her," I said.

"We can't help a demon," said hubby.

"She's just a girl with wings and a tail."

"She's a demon, babe. There's no doubt about it."

"Well, so what if she is? What do we actually know about demons? What does anyone know?"

The simple truth was, nobody knew a thing. We only knew what the papers dreamt up and the stuff people quoted from the Bible. But the Bible was written centuries ago and we're not even sure of the true motives behind it. Seemed to me that in those times humans messed things up and demons always got the blame.

"And you did say you hope she escapes. She's little more than a child and..."

"Okay, okay," said hubby. And the soft hearted thing walked over to the demon, scooped her up in his arms, and in an instant had her safely over his shoulder.

The demon didn't resist, she must have known we were her last chance of survival and it was touching how easily she surrendered to us. We got her indoors and it did cross my mind that you don't invite the devil or one of his angels across your threshold, but it was a bit late to worry about such superstitions and we had some serious first aid to get on with.

Hubby gently settled our little demon down on the sofa, and we kept her sat upright because of her wings, for they were what most needed our attention. It was obvious what to do, for the broken one we made a splint with a ruler and held it in place with gaffer tape, which stuck a treat to the leathery, black filament skin.

For the torn wing I fetched my sewing kit, then began stitching it back together with needle and thread. The demon didn't flinch nor make a sound, she just sat there holding out her wing and staring at me as I got on with fixing her up as best as I could.

"Well look at that," said hubby. "She's healing already."

"Oh yeah. This little demon's got magic in her wings."

What we saw was like one of those speeded up films of a plant miraculously growing. Almost as fast as I sewed the demon's wing back together, it healed and the stitches came apart and fell out. Life fully returned to her wing and it began to twitch at the touch of my needle.

"And her bruises are fading," said hubby.

Better than fading, they were nearly all gone and her demon skin began to look radiant and she appeared more beautiful than ever. What a glorious creature she was, and before our very eyes, she opened her broken wing and the splint just dropped off.

Our work was done and the demon rose up before us. She stood near naked and proud, with her arms outstretched, her wings fully spread and with her tail dancing like a whip behind her. She looked magnificent... And then she flopped back down again.

"She's still a bit weak," said hubby.

"She needs feeding up, what can we give her?"

"How about warm milk and honey?"

What an excellent suggestion that was, most creatures like milk and what better than honey to provide instant energy? So that's what we gave her and she gulped her drink down and then held out her cup for seconds.

"Hurry and get strong," I told her. "You have to get back to your realm."

I think she understood that, she touched my arm and made her first gesture of gratitude and friendship. But she had to go and go quickly, before the angry mob had any chance of catching her. Our demon rose again, only this time she stood firm and with no sign of weakness.

We led her into our back garden and it was there that she properly tested her wings. They beat so hard that their power cracked the air around us like thunderclaps and lightning. Satisfied, she threw back her head and let out a long, ear splitting scream. What we heard was a cry of pure joy, a celebration of life, yet I doubt if the mob heard her that way.

"Go on, my sweet demon. Fly, fly, fly."

And she did and was gone within seconds. It felt like she took a part of me with her. I wished I too had demon wings and could fly alongside her, if only just for an hour. I would much rather fly with our demon than stand with that merciless mob of humanity.

For our sweet demon was a demon in name only.

There was no need to question who the real demons were.

~

The End

Views: 39

Comment by Jim Knowes on July 31, 2014 at 5:47

What a sweet little story :)

Comment by Steffanie on July 31, 2014 at 16:45

Thanks, Jim. Sweetness is what gives my little demon a power of her own

Comment by Rob Coker on August 24, 2014 at 16:09

A nice microcosm reminiscent of the religious fanatics that exist today that are too quick to judge and condemn someone for their differences. Your narrator presents the reader with the virtue of compassion and the ability to make one's own mind up. You could cut the word count down in some places and maybe bring back the threat of the mob. Otherwise a very enjoyable tale with excellent use of the time-lapse camera as a metaphor. Good job...

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