Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Demon's Tales

Once there was a demon who loved books.  She read night and day, any book she could get her hands and bloody claws on.  Often they were terrible books, the ones writers bring with them to torment themselves.  But she loved these horrible books anyway because they transported her to other lands and places beyond hell, (which is a place that isn't fun for anyone).  She read them with zest and zeal, every cliched character and every derivative scene and every plot hole large enough to march two elephants through shoulder to shoulder.  In fact, she wanted to try this once just to make a particular writer scream, but there are no elephants in hell and so she went with her usual modes of torture, paper cuts and lemon juice, the pins and needles feeling as circulation comes back to a limb, and ripping their lungs out and watch them try to scream with no air.

What she wanted most of all was to read the good books or even the great books.  But they almost never made it to hell since it is difficult to torment someone with a good book.  And great books make terrible instruments of torture.  She had to try to learn these stories in other ways.  The way she knew best was torture and so she demanded stories of all her victims on pain of even more excruciating pain.  Over and over she asked each detainee to tell her a story.

Some began the story of their lives, because they thought the request had something to do with their being in hell and the punishment against them.  With these she pried out their teeth and tongues and ripped out their larynges and told them that they had already spent a lifetime thinking only of themselves.  Here no one cared.

But a few saw the light of stories in her eyes, they saw a kindred who loved what they loved, and so, like Scheherazade, they began to spin spells and weave webs of words.  These she let keep their tongues and lungs and larynges for each day they could entertain her.  One man was a particular favorite.  And the story he told was this---

Part 2, The First Sinner's Story
Part 3, The Second Sinner's Story Prologue
Part 4, The Second Sinner's Story
Part 5, The Last Sinner's Story
Part 6, The Demon and the Bookstore

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