This was a prompt from A Writing Prompt A Day. The prompt was to complete the short story/flash fiction with the first paragraph already written.
“The deal was supposed to be for me. I was the one that was supposed to die. Not this. Never this.” I rose unsteadily to my feet, my hands trembling as blood dripped from my fingers. I wiped my brow with the back of my hand and looked at the figure on the other side of the room. He had taken Alex from me. He had reneged on the deal and taken the only thing in the world that mattered to me. He stood there, a hint of a smile on his lips, almost begging me to come after him. I would come after him alright and there was nothing in Heaven or Hell, particularly Hell, that was going to stop me.
We stood there, staring at one another, waiting for something to happen. As the seconds ticked by, my trembling turned from fear into fury, building up within me until I was shaking from head to toe with rage. It coursed through me, entering my veins and bringing my blood to the boil. Still he stood there, barely smiling, looking expectantly at me to make the first move. I knew that if I did, it would be a mistake.
“It was supposed to be me!” I shouted, spitting uncontrollably in my anger. Alex was slumped against me, her small body slashed open by enormous talons that had made easy work of her. Her weight against me, little as it was, reminded me not to do something completely stupid and throw myself at him out of despair. I would be shredded in an instant. “You said it would be me!”
He laughed, tossing back his enormous head and clicking his talons together in amusement. “You’re next,” he promised between the booming laughs, his voice a deep, rumbling growl. I clenched my first, splashing myself in my daughter’s blood, and responded with a snarl of my own of my own. It was stormy and filled with passion.
“No, you are.”
You cannot kill a demon, of course. The whole point of them being a fallen angel is that they are immortal. I did not wish to kill him; I just needed to do what I should have done at the beginning. It had been different back then – I had wanted nothing more than to save Alex – but now I had nothing left to lose and that made me both reckless and dangerous. He was going to suffer as I was suffering.
I could not kill him, but I could exorcise him. The amount of time he had spent clawing his way out of Hell was enough to tell me that there were places down there even he did not want to visit. I may have conjured him out of desperation but I was never stupid; I had always known how I could send him back. With Alex dead at my feet, exorcising him was, however, not my immediate priority.
The adrenaline pumping through me was enough for me to keep going as he attacked me whilst I tried to bind him. At long last, I stood triumphant, a stinging wound across my face bleeding into my eyes, the demon bound in the middle of the room. There, in the living room of my house, I taught him the pain of losing my daughter.
I lost track of the days. They blurred together and became irrelevant. No thoughts of sleeping or eating entered my mind. There was only blood and guts and a screaming demon. He writhed around in his agony, he kicked, he swore, he cursed at me, and still I kept cutting. Alex’s body was starting to smell; the stench unhinged me and I shrieked with a hoarse voice as I plunged the knife into him. Only when the realisation that my daughter was dead finally hit me, a long time later, did I start to feel weak. I put down to knife and performed the exorcism, dropping to my knees once the demon had vanished.
A broken heap of a woman on the floor, I reached for Alex’s pale, cold body and held her to me, sobbing without restraint into her blood stained dress. When she had first fallen ill, she had been so strong; when we had discovered there was no cure, she had withdrawn into herself. I had promised myself that I would stop at nothing. I had offered my life and soul to the creature I had summoned in exchange for curing her disease, but instead of saving her life it had killed her.
I had failed her as a mother. As the madness that had engulfed me faded away, I knew that much.