Tales of Terror

"Green Pea Soup Just Don’t Cut It Anymore"
by Robert Thorn

It was the last night of the possession assignment. "It better be good, Garmammanon!" they warned me. All the demons over in Possession Affairs were on edge. We didn’t normally worry about such routine procedure, but the boss was concerned that too much of our market share was being pulled away by sex and violence in the movies and video games. In other words, we were going to have to boost the ratings in traditional demonic affairs or the face of evil would be losing a horn. I was in a position where I had to come up with a cutting-edge show to pull the media off of Cameron Diaz’ tits and over onto some good old fashioned, Satanic melodrama. Not that her tits aren’t well worth the screen time, but they weren’t engineered by the boss. He can get a little jealous of the small gray fellow up in the penthouse, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, this particular possession wasn’t anything out of the ordinary: young virgin, freaked-out mother, stiff-collared exorcists. The head priest on the case, Julius Tinker, billed himself as a "neo-exorcist," but all I saw was the familiar scripture and holy water routines. Like most of these jokers, he was trying to put out a forest fire by peeing on it. But regardless, that night I was going to get a chance for some real media coverage. A filmmaker had gotten foul wind of the case and was coming in to get footage for a documentary he was doing on a good friend of mine, Anton Levey. I was running low on quality evil ideas, so I had to do some quick thinking or else I was going to be scrubbing toilets at Beelzebub’s Barbecue Barn for the rest of eternity (and believe me, that’s a hell of a job, if you’ll pardon the pun!).

In order to think, I had ducked out of Misty - that was her name - for a midnight snack. We’re not really supposed to do that, but hell, a demon needs a break every once-in-a-while. I don’t know how many of you have tried it, but it ain’t as easy as it looks. When you’re possessing virgins, you’re dealing with someone with some serious will power. If you’re tired, it can really throw off the timing for certain stunts, especially when they’re resisting every single cuss word and rude gesture you’re trying to get out of them. Nothing is more embarrassing than when the priest asks you, "what is your name?" and you answer "cock" which was the answer you were trying to give a minute ago when he asked the girl if she needed anything. Timing is everything.

Anyhow, I finally came up with a fantastic twist and sneaking back into the cradle of Misty’s soul, I woke her up with a good sharp jab to the brain. I needed her eyes to scan the room for things to levitate. Part of my plan involved flying furniture and the other part, well, something kind of new. I briefly considered the body fluid projectile theme, but with the re-release of The Exorcist in theaters recently, it seemed too predicable. Her vision was blurry as I raised her head up from the pillow and pivoted it around - 180 degrees of course - so I could get an inventory. Desk, lamp, dresser, nightstand, two chairs, a stereo, and some stuffed animals. All good stuff with the exception of the stuffed animals, which usually only scare kids. I’ve seen it work, but I never could make much out of teddy bears. Clowns maybe, but not bears.

The documentary crew had a minimal amount of equipment set up, but of course it would have defeated the purpose to destroy any of it. There was a single camera operated by bearded guy in a football jersey and a few tripod lights positioned to add an ambient glow to the scene. A younger kid wrestled with a boom mic, while a rather attractive woman pecked at a laptop computer. A girl with a clipboard coordinated them.

The Priest, Tinker, and his assistant sat on folding chairs, praying and mumbling. They were dressed in the typical black and white uniform of conservatism, which looked stylish on the younger assistant. Tinker on the other hand looked more like an awkward blackbird with his balding head and beaked nose.

"She’s awake!" said the girl with the clipboard as Misty began moving. Just for her, I expanded and contracted the boils on Misty’s face like little red lungfish. A great effect if you’re looking for something subtle. The holy men rose from their prayer-saturated respite with Misty’s renewed activity.

"We shall not sleep until you release her innocent soul!" Father Tinker stated, as much to the camera as to me.

I forced myself on Misty’s power of speech, transforming it from the fresh spark of a young woman to the razorblade-gargled voice of a sewer pit. I had her fart to add extra atmosphere.

"Release her I shall…to the pits of hell!"

Tinker responded with something like, "I command thee thusly, give up this futile endeavor of evil and take your own corrupt essence back unto the abominable abyss."

"Not without this delicious virgin!" I said greedily.

"Heed the scripture…"

Now when a sentence starts with that phrase, I know I’m in for a lecture. Tinker raised his hand into the air, already dripping sweat on the bible in front of him as he read animatedly from its pages. I took the opportunity to focus my energies on some of the bedroom furniture, raising the nightstand a good two or three feet up into the air and revolving it like a pig on a spit.

The film crew got excited, but Father Tinker and his assistant paid little attention to my lo-fi antics.

I began to animate Misty as Tinker read on.

"…and so to the demon God did say…"

Drooled some saliva from her mouth.

"…eternal darkness shall be your bane…"

Rolled her eyes around.

"…all fleshly sins shall remain… "

Had her grope herself inappropriately.

"…for the serpent is disdain…"

Flipped them off.

"…taste not the apple…"

I finally got him off the scriptures by having Misty rip open her pajama top and reveal some red, raised words across her chest that I had scratched from the inside. It’s always difficult writing backwards, but I managed the phrase "THE PIT THAT JUST WON’T QUIT."

"By my hand, you shall quit and return to the pit of your vile origin!" he houted.

The phrase was actually a plug for Beelzebub’s Barbecue Barn , but his response worked out just as well.

"Tell the truth holy man, you really don’t mean that," I coaxed. "I give purpose to your own pit you call a life!"

Tinker fumbled a moment for words. "Lie! You would wish me to believe that," he said at last.

I had Misty smile a toothy grin. "Come on, you love me and you know it."

"Lie!"

With that, I let the nightstand crash to the ground and hurled the desk lamp through the air. Unfortunately, the cord stopped it short and instead of hitting him it snapped back and fell to the carpeted floor. Not a great start for my television debut, I realize, but after what I had planned, no one would criticize these kind of details.

To reclaim the moment, I turned the stereo on full blast. But unknown to me, White Zombie had revoked our license to use their music due to some royalty disputes. Let me just say that the demon responsible for keeping possessors informed of legal issues is serving time as a shipping and receiving clerk in Purgatory. So instead of some techo-terror exploding out of the speakers, I got the warm apple cider voice of Karen Carpenter. Thinking quick, I hurled the receiver across the room and out the window. A scream from the street below made me feel better, apparently having inadvertently killed someone in the process.

Tinker started back with his bellowing. "You are a vile serpent of the flesh. We have no love for your kind."

I responded to this bad bit of prose with a bed levitation move.

"Release her, I say unto you demon!" chimed in the assistant as he made some kind of meaningless hand gesture.

I gave Misty’s eyes a complete 180 spin and growled, "Not before your body rots in the stinking earth, cowboy." For effect, I pushed a gush of snot from Misty’s nose, hitting him in the face.

The camera panned to get a shot of him wiping it off with his combed cotton handkerchief. To coax it back, I began to rack Misty’s tender flesh with violent shudders. I escalated them to a vibrating pace which made her look as though she would explode into a pasty organic stew at any second. But I knew this was standard fare.

"Stop this!"

"EaT mE," I wrote on her chest.

"Leave this young woman and come into me," Tinker shouted nobly.

"That sounds like a come-on," I oozed.

"You twist the truth."

I rolled one of Misty’s eyes to see that some of the film crew was giggling.

"Do I?" I asked as I forced several rills of blood to pour from the eye like red spider legs. The giggling stopped.

"Show your hideous face, demon, and leave this girl be!"

"I might not be as hideous as you think," I said smiling again with the girl’s sickly lips.

"You bore me, demon," Tinker said defiantly.

That seemed like a good cue. Misty’s boils began pumping, her eyes rolling, her hands groping her nether regions like a caged animal. "I might even tempt a cold fish like you," I teased.

"Not possible, demon!" Tinker assured.

Then, with a sudden flash, I levitated all of the bedroom furniture and began whirling it around. At first in a slow, steady rhythm, until finally building into a tremendous maelstrom of imitation oak. I was careful though to avoid hitting the camera or camera operator during the feat. To add a hellish effect, I bent the lights into a crimson spectrum of blinding strobes and forced a chilling shriek from the mucous-lined throat of the virgin.

The desk, the nightstand, the chairs, the stuffed animals, clothes, shoes, everything was now twirling in the air like a tornado from the bowels of ninth level. Tinker, his assistant, and the crew had to hit the ground in order to avoid having their cracker-boned skulls smashed into powder.

My moment was coming. I pulled the flying furniture into a tight whirlpool just above the bed as they looked on, obviously dazzled by my control.

Then like a master illusionist, I crafted the image of Cameron Diaz, in perfect scale, there in the air above the tornado. Her breasts naked, undulating sensuously below her half-moon, golden smile. Their eyes drew to the image like wolves to a dying camp fire. I bulged and gyrated the body while the camera focused its own unblinking eye in suspense. Even Father Tinker had lost track of his flowered tongue as he crouched below the unexpected display. I heard one of the crew say, "it’s so real."

But then so much for the warm-up, it was time to go whole horror-hog. I pushed three sharp horns from the specter of Ms. Diaz’ forehead, gooing with all the blood and realism of a physical transformation splattering them with the expurgated matter. Her teeth extended, her hair grew wild, and her eyes lit with the fires of hell. Scarlet-tinged bile poured forth from her mouth, falling like a bloody waterfall though the center of the maelstrom and onto the body of poor Misty, who had become all but inconsequential to the whole production. I turned her breasts from softly dancing crests of flesh to roaring machines of death, with earth-core drilling bits bursting forth in place of the nipples. The din of their spin pierced the delicate human eardrums of my audience causing them to slam their palms over their ears as the bits lunged dangerously forward.

Steel talons burst forth from the model-gone-monster’s slender knuckles and fingertips and I sent her through the whirlpool down upon them. The claws and drills began skimming shards of flesh from the holy men and camera crew as they struggled to escape. Meat came from the bone and the bones fell to the ground. The room was painted red. The camera lens held steady.

"My God! This shit is real!" screamed the production head as she saw her fresh-faced mic boy being humped by the leading lady’s image, which dug its talons into his back so deep that they emerged from his chest. She ran for the door, but I held the knob. The camera man was the only one still doing his job, admittedly partly by my hand, but mostly by his own will driven by the innate urge to ogle death. He got a nice close up of her final gasp as I send the phantasm down upon her.

I let him live. I was prime time!

As you know, I bit into the ratings war like a piranha into a baby’s arm with the actress-cum-devil finale. I would like to thank the clergy and crew for  becoming sacrifices in the year’s most successful media blitz. And I would naturally like to thank Ms. Cameron Diaz herself for the inspiration, hot body, and the autograph she gave me at the awards ceremony. I’ll just turn it in to Accounts Receivable for processing and in 60 years or so, I’ll be one happy demon!

Robert Thorn

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