Prompt: Your name is John Smith. All your life, people have mistaken you for others with the same name. This time, though, is especially awkward, as the demon that has been tormenting you for months realizes it’s got the wrong guy.
“Look!” I turn around, facing the demon who steps back. “I’m not the John Smith you’re looking for!”
He wiggles his talons, curling one into a fist. “That’s what John Smith would say.”
“But I’ve been saying it for months!” My voice echoes down the alley. I’m glad we’re away from the street, and it’s night. God only knows what people would think of someone screaming at something they can’t see. “And I can’t keep dealing with your bullshit!”
“Oooh, someone’s mad,” it says. grinning, revealing hooked fangs. “What’re going to do it about, John? Cry? Like a baby?”
“I’ll get myself killed,” I say flatly.
Its grin dwindles into a tight-lipless line. Its hands deflate, hanging at its sides. Endless eyes recede to points and oily water seeps under them. “You wouldn’t.”
Its wipes his eyes. “Well… what makes you think you’ll go up and not down? Huh? If you go down, you’ll still have to deal with me.”
“I’m pretty sure I’m going up. You’ve been screwing with me for moments, you know I’m not a bad person.”
It kicks gravel with its hoof. “Yeah… you’re right.”
“So… Are you done now? Please?”
“Nothing!” I shout. “Either you leave me alone or so help me I’ll do it.”
“But— but…” Its throat hitches, its heavy breasted chest trembles. “I’ll have no one.”
“What do you mean?”
“Why do you think I stay around? Keep the game going with you?”
“Because you believe I’m someone else, isn’t that obvious?”
It shakes his head. Tears sizzle on pavement, charring black circles. “It’s because once a demon selects a human to torment — be it wrong or right — they’re bound to them, forever.”
“Forever? What happens after I die?”
It looks at the sky. Stars reflect in its glossy eyes. “If we’re lucky, they go down below and we with them… But, if we’re not, then we’re stranded for all eternity.”
“Can’t you just… Torment someone else?”
“The contract’s in birth blood. No changing it.”
I stare at the ground, the redbrick buildings… Now I feel like the asshole. “Well… Can’t we just… I don’t know, compromise or something?”
“Compromise?” It peps up. “How so?”
“Maybe only bother me on the weekends, or after work… Or I don’t know, do you have to torment me at all? Can’t we just, like, hang out or something?”
“Like friends?” It says, wide-eyed.
I shrug. “Yeah, kind of.”
Before I know it, long warm arms are wrapped around me and I’m in the air. Its kissing my cheeks, leaving tiny burn marks. “Oh! Oh! Friends! I’d love to be friends!”
“Great! Wonderful!” I shout. “Now put me down!”
It does, then we awkwardly stand in silence. “So,” I finally say, “wanna grab a drink?”
We the alley and walk to the nearest bar.
I need a drink, bad.
Read my previous prompt, “She Knows Everything“
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