Possession Of The Demon Tamer – Part 2
Physical Abuse, Cigarette Use.
Read Part 1
“Do you need some help?”
Alphonse looked up at Cassandra, or her soul, which mimicked the appearance of herself externally. He sat in a gaming chair with a keyboard in front of him, with thousands of buttons displayed. He’d never seen such a complex brain. Even reading the neurodriver manual proved to be near impossible to comprehend. The Corpus Callosum: Cassandra Vargas Ed. XVII was forty inches thicker than any other human’s neurodriver manual he’d ever read.
“Why would I need help from you?” The demon snapped.
“’Cause all you’ve done is stretch my arms out to wake up and then punch me in the face.”
“It doesn’t matter. I’ll figure it out. I’ll end up having your body stab someone in the house as a good morning greeting.” He cackled. Lightning and dark clouds filled the corpus callosum all around them.
“Quit the dramatics, weirdo. You can’t start off with a bang if you intend to ride this out for a month. You don’t even know how I act in real life! At least put in the effort to be a convincing ‘me’ if you’re gonna possess me right. Do I have to tell you everything?!”
For a moment, Alphonse gaped at her, mouth fallen open. Unfortunately, he couldn’t blast her soul into smithereens or put her soul into a comatose state. He tried to do so after the last dream of the night, but to no avail. It would be pointless to try again, no matter how much he wanted to.
The demon whined in anger, throwing a tantrum in the gaming chair before crossing his arms and pouting. “FINE!”
At the very least, he’d never been offered help by the victim on possessing him. This was a first. Cassandra was full of firsts for him.
He stood to let her sit in the gaming chair and conjured up a chair for himself to sit beside her.
Alphonse accumulated several snacks. Popcorn, soda, chips, and trail mix littered the floor as he watched Cassandra’s body go about her day. Her soul spoke into a microphone that appeared from within the keyboard.
On the eye screen, a gremlin-sized child appeared. Cassandra handed him a bagged lunch. Her soul spoke into the microphone, and the body repeated the words to the gremlin child. “Hey. I’m going to the market today after school since we’re running out of food. So, make a list of stuff. Only five.”
“Mom left you money?” The gremlin asked.
“Yeah, on the table. It’s not enough for everything, but at least I can stock up on your food.”
“What about you?”
“Don’t worry about me. I’m grown. You’re not, so you need food way more than I do. Did you feed Ham?”
“’Course I fed Ham. One thing on my list is gonna be food for him, if that’s okay?”
Cassandra sighed at that. Her soul closed her own eyes, and she spoke into the microphone. “Okay, whatever you say.” She shook her head at herself and leaned back in the chair with a dissatisfied expression.
All around the corpus callosum, words passed them like the wind. Together, the words formed a sentence that formed an emotion faster than a proper thought. I’d rather get more food for Antonio than the stupid hamster. Still, I’d rather die than not give him as much as he wants.
It was much to think about himself.
Alphonse made a Pringle sandwich with popcorn between the two chips, drenched in soda. He shoved it into his mouth, getting crumbs everywhere as he chewed with his mouth open. While the body’s morning routine was nothing exciting, this first interaction was. Didn’t most siblings hate each other?
The gremlin gave her a bashful smile that made him look almost guilty.
“You good to go on the bus?” She asked.
“Yeah. See you.” He waved at her before putting his backpack over his shoulder and ran out the door. Cassandra then grabbed her things, walked out the door, and hopped on her bike.
Alphonse looked at her soul and frowned. “No bus? Or car? What are you, seventeen?”
She turned the microphone off for a moment. “Yeah, but we don’t have money for a car.”
“Oh.” She then turned the microphone back on.
The body went to school. Alphonse couldn’t help noticing that people paid her no mind. She sat quietly, and no one spoke to her for the first three classes. Lunchtime required her to grab her lunch from the locker in the hallway. He wondered if she had any friends at all until a girl with darker skin than Cassandra ran toward her.
“Guess who asked me to prom!” The girl said, her curly hair bouncing past her shoulders. The crying face and heart eyes emojis appeared. They swam along and circled himself and her soul. Alphonse tried to bat the silly thoughts away. A button called Butterflies on the keyboard lit up.
The body’s stomach fluttered.
“Who?” The soul voiced quietly, sounding as if she were dreading the answer.
“Landon Phillipa!” The girl exclaimed happily. She rested her back against the locker besides Cassandra’s, a dream-like sigh passing from her lips. “You know I’ve had a crush on him forever.”
“I do,” Cassandra replied curtly.
“Honestly, I feel like I’m in a fairy tale.”
The words And I feel like I’m in a nightmare whooshed past them.
The demon understood. He drank more soda and yawned. “Wake me up when something interesting happens.” He said, closing his eyes.
He could sense Cassandra’s soul glaring at him, though she said nothing. She kept living her life. What a boring time. She and the girl named Jade sat together at lunch, though Landon Phillipa joined them. Alphonse could hear the scowl in her voice.
The guy didn’t even seem that bad. Boring, as all humans tended to be, but not bad. Her dislike was completely irrational despite her emotions.
It was only when Cassandra arrived home from school that Alphonse woke with a snort. Antonio had returned before her and handed her a small paper. “That’s my list.”
“French fries, sandwich things, chocolate milk, and stuff for avocado and spinach dip?” Cassandra read. The boy’s messy scrawl was almost illegible. Alphonse wondered how she could read it at all. “Sneaky. This is more than four things.”
“Oh,” Antonio said, glancing down sadly at the floor.
“I’ll see what I can do. Don’t open the door for anyone except for mom or me, okay?” He glanced up at her with a toothy grin. One of his canine teeth poked through the gap from whence it fell.
Cassandra left, though, didn’t take the bike. She walked three blocks from the house to end up at the market. Alphonse almost fell asleep again until she went to check out.
“Total comes to $73.34.” The old female cashier said.
A word passed by them. Fuck. It was thirteen dollars over the budget. “You didn’t ring something twice, did you?” Cassandra asked, her voice timid.
The cashier shook her head. Cassandra took a deep breath and nodded. “Okay. I. Yeah, okay, forget this shit then.” Alphonse’s eyes widened at the frustration in her voice. She grabbed the bag of rice, peppers, pineapple, and syrup bottle. “I’ll put these back.”
He turned his head from the eye screen to Cassandra’s pensive soul. She glanced down from the screen, mouth in a thin line. For a moment, she paused before taking a deep breath, the body mirroring the action. Then Cassandra drove the body to return the food items.
A hefty twenty-four cents lined her pocket after checkout.
Cassandra walked home in a dampened mood than when she went to the grocery store. Words passed through the corpus callosum. Alphonse took the moment to analyze her disappointed and anxious thoughts. I need to get a job. Mom’s pay isn’t enough.
“When did you last get groceries?” Alphonse asked, peering at her.
Cassandra turned the microphone off but didn’t look at him. “Two weeks. Mom gets paid biweekly.” A silent gulp made her throat bob, and she sucked in another deep breath. Her eyes lifted in a determined glare, a tightness in her expression that refused to crumble.
It was for the best. Alphonse didn’t trust himself not to poke fun at her if she started crying.
A car was parked in the house’s driveway when she returned home. The body tensed as she entered the house. “Hey, mom.” She said as she entered the kitchen, setting the bags on the counter. “You didn’t leave me enough money for everything.”
Her mother wore a diner waitress’ uniform. Deep bags lined her under wrinkly eyes, and her hair was dark but frizzy and unkempt. To top it all off, she was missing a tooth. Exhaustion was written all over her face.
The kids went to school at six-thirty in the morning. Had she been in the house asleep, or had she been at work?
“Well,” her mother said. “there would be if you worked.”
“There’d be enough for groceries if you didn’t have to go buy shit that you don’t need.” Cassandra snapped. “Besides, the places I’ve applied to haven’t called me back.”
“I’m not surprised, what with that sunshine personality of yours.” She pulled a packet of cigarettes from her pocket and lit one up. Cassandra stared. Words of thought passed by them. Don’t fucking smoke in the kitchen when I cook for Antonio. What the hell is the matter with you?
“I need to cook for Antonio, so,” Cassandra said.
“Well, if you’re gonna smoke, not in here. I don’t want his food smelling like ash.”
Alphonse’s yellow eyes moved from the eye screen where her mother faced her to Cassandra’s soul right beside him. He shoved more chips into his mouth. His eyes moved between the two as if he were watching a ping pong match mixed with Telenovela elements. What would happen next? Would someone strike?
Maybe now was the time to take control and stab mom in the face. He lifted a finger to press on the keyboard, but Cassandra’s head whipped toward him with a glare that sent a chill down his smoky spine. The body refused to look away from her mother’s piercing glare.
Maybe now was not the time to take control and stab mom in the face.
Her mother pulled the cigarette out of her mouth with a silent scoff. Then, without warning, she pulled Cassandra toward her by the wrist and pushed the end of the cigarette into her palm.
A bright red light flashed through the brain like a siren. The words PAIN! PAIN! PAIN! flew past them in blinding speed. Beside him, her soul let out a whimper and hiss. It reminded him of the night before when Alphonse thought he had the upper hand.
With another whimper, Cassandra yanked her hand back. She massaged her palm and moved to the sink to wash it with cool water. Beside Alphonse, she winced. The screen panned over to her mother again with a hateful glare.
“I’ll smoke wherever I damn well please.” She said. She reached into the plastic bags, searching for something, and groaned. “You didn’t get me a beer?”
“You’ll live,” Cassandra said through gritted teeth. “Unless you OD.”
That earned her a smack across the face. It was loud, like a fire cracking the wood it devoured, wood that did nothing and didn’t deserve to be cut down and used for selfish means. The sound made Alphonse jump in his seat, followed by a silence that seemed louder than the smack itself.
Her mother walked off toward the living room. Antonio came down quietly from the upstairs. They shared an understanding, significant look, and he hugged her around the waist.
“You think you’ll mess my life up because you’re a possessive demon?” Her soul said to him. “Give it your best shot, Al.”
Perhaps, Alphonse never had a chance.