Prompt: It’s prom night and you arrive at your high school sweethearts home to pick them up. You’re also meeting their parents for the first time, who turn out to be a pair of ancient demigods masquerading as a suburban couple raising a mortal child.
“Oh, shoot, sorry babe, but I forgot something upstairs,” my prom date said, turning and running back upstairs. I stood at the doorway, fidgeting with my fingers, left with her parents.
“Why don’t you come sit in the living room for a bit?” Her dad asked, raising his hand out as if presenting something.
“Uh,” I said, “yeah, sure, okay.”
I followed them into the living room. There were two love seats facing each other, a glass coffee table in the center, and a fireplace off to the side. A large mirror hung above the mantle, candles in golden holders on each side. I sat down, and they sat on the opposite couch.
Her dad’s hand rested on her mm’s thigh, while her arm coiled around his.
“So,” he said, “what’s the plan for tonight?”
I shifted in my seat and wiped my forehead. “I, uh, the dance, then probably out to eat.”
“No, nothing else,” I shook my head.
“Good, good.” He nodded.
I glanced at the table, the soft gray carpet, the red brick fireplace, anything that wasn’t her parents whose eyes seemed to never leave me. In the mirror—
What the fuck?
Sitting where her parents were… weren’t human… weren’t people.
I looked at them, then at the mirror, then at them. Sweat streamed from underneath my arms.
In the mirror was nothing I’d ever seen… coarse, crimson reptilian skin covering their bodies… Pronged, curling horns jutting from their foreheads… Hollow, dark holes with smoldering eyes… Sharp, webbed feet and hands… They each had a long pointed tail that twisted around the back of the couch…
“You see our true form, don’t you?” her mom asked.
“I, uh—a—” I faced her. She was smiling.
“It’s fine, it’s fine. We know you can see it. We showed you.”
Her dad patted her mom’s thigh. “Yes, and we can show you even more, if we desired, but I don’t think that’s necessary, do you?”
I shook my head.
“Good, good. So, our daughter, our beloved daughter, will be home right after dinner, is that right?”
“That’s what we thought.”
“Found it!” I heard my date shout as she ran downstairs. Held up in the air was her phone. “Must’ve fell under my bed!” As she came into the living room, I jumped up, grabbed her hand and strode towards the front door.
“Hey, hold on,” she said, “we still have to get our picture taken.”
“Yes,” I heard her mom say, “a picture.”
I inhaled, closed my eyes, prayed, then turned around, and opened my eyes, forcing a smile. Her father stood next to her mom as she held out a camera. “Say cheese!”
Right before the flash, I saw them, I saw what they were. They both had a lipless smile, revealing jagged, crude teeth, tinged with black blood. Her father’s brow furrowed, his eyes glowing brighter, and a thought — not my own — popped in my head.
Home after dinner.
Read my previous prompt, “Santa’s Life Cycle.”
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