So, the first thing you need to know about me is that once I was normal. At least, I thought I was normal. I mean, it wasn’t like I had such a weird life for a kid. I lived in a small Victorian town that was too small to be considered a city and too big to fall into a rural area. I went to school during the week and brought home pages with my primary school scrawl emblazoned with those gold star stickers when I’d done well (and hidden the ones with the teacher’s red pen all over them in the bottom of my school bag and pretended they were not there). My mum made my lunch and worked at a local clothes store, cutting out material for the owners to sew up into clothes. My dad owned his own business and was gone from the first thing in the morning and got home promptly at six each night. We took holidays to moderately priced caravan parks and stayed in tents that barely held against the harsh weather. I truly believed that we would live that way forever.
I was thirteen when it all changed and I’m not just talking about hitting puberty and all the fun changes that that brought.
See, the second thing you should know is that, I am not crazy. I wish I could tell you that I’m just a compulsive liar making up these crazy stories to make you pay attention to me. I’m just not that person though. Sure, I like reading books written for kids back in the 80s and listening to tween pop, but that makes me eccentric and slightly weird. It doesn’t make me crazy.
You see, demons are real.
When you’re done rolling your eyes in disbelief, I’ll continue.
So here’s the stuff you should know about demons. Yes, demons can possess people. They also like to sit invisible in the corner of the room and whisper things to you while you sleep, creating nightmares and paranoid thoughts. They are incorporeal. This means that you can walk right through them, though I’d strongly advise against it. Oh, and they don’t just come from Hell. There are plenty of religions in the world that have evil manifestations in them and the demons come from all of them. This means that your usual Holy water, crucifix and Bible are not going to work most of the time. Sometimes you’ll come across a genuine worshipping Lucifer demon who slipped back to earth for a little fun, but lately it seems that those encounters have been lately too few.
Okay, now the illusions. A demon cannot make a deal with you. It can offer, but a demon that tries to possess you is just a middleman, or a teenager if you like, sneaking out to party while Mother Demon is looking the other way. They have their issues too. Also the belief that every single demon you encounter was once an angel with pretty wings, sparkly halo and white gown is a lie. Again, this comes down to the whole religion thing. Not all demons come from Christianity, some are from other religions and they have their own origin myths that they have to honour.
I guess you’re wondering what made me come up with this realisation. Like most people in the field, my first experience with anything demonic was through the personal experience.
Like I said earlier, I was thirteen. It was the middle of the week around eight at night. My mother had been acting weird all day. She was mostly quiet, though when she did speak, she swore. A lot. My mother never swore. Anyway about seven thirty that night, my dad turned to me and told me to go watch tv in the other room.
I heard the first scream about ten minutes later. It was my mother. I ran to the living room and saw my mother looking back at me with silver eyes instead of her usual brown. She started swearing at me. My father ushered me into the other room and handed me his mobile and told me to call Father George.
I made the call and then went back to the living room and hid beside the tv cabinet where my father wouldn’t be able to see me. I watched as my father spoke in a loud voice in words that made no sense to me. He threw powders at my mother. Each time those powders hit her skin it started to smoke, as if it was cooking from within.
Then, just as Father George walked into the room, my mother smiled a sick smile and then she burst into flames that were gone as suddenly as they had appeared, leaving only a charred body where she had been.
My father started to laugh then. I didn’t know what was so funny.
I was still so shocked at what had happened that I didn’t know what to do. I tried to keep from letting them hear me cry. My sobs reached the ears of my father. He turned to look for me, his eyes glittering silver, the same as my mother’s had been. I pulled myself in closer to the wall, hoping that it would he wouldn’t find me. I knew that something was wrong with him, but I didn’t know what it was.
The next part is a bit fuzzy, so I can only tell you what I was told later on by Father George. My father fought against the demon to regain some control of his body, long enough to stop it from hurting me. The demon however, didn’t like that and spontaneously combusted, and just like that, I was an orphan.
I didn’t know at the time, but there was a lot of issues regarding my guardianship. See, my father had a brother who thought that he was going to be my guardian. However, my parents knew some bad stuff about Ryland and decided long ago that they would assign my bringing up to Father George, an old family friend.
I wasn’t too concerned about the decision. I actually didn’t want to live with my uncle. He was always muttering and talking about things I didn’t understand. Besides, Father George made it clear that even though he was a priest, I wasn’t required to go to church unless I wanted to and he wasn’t going to interfere too much in my life.
Well, one promise out of two kept is alright. I mean, it wasn’t like he could keep the last one. When he got called in to my high school after I accidentally exorcised my year nine art teacher, he realised that some interference in my life as far as demons went wasn’t such a bad thing. So, he trained me. He taught me everything he knew about demons and how to get rid of them. He was the one who told me about demons coming from all sorts of religions. He also linked me in with the corporation when I turned eighteen so that I could work as an exorcist for the community, which, sad to say, keeps me a lot busier than I wish.
So, yeah, I’ve got a weird job and I don’t get paid all that well for it. I usually get enough to pay my rent and bills, with some left over occasionally for treats. Of course, according to my tax returns, I work in an administration role at the church. Well, we can’t tell people about the demons. What would they think? Well, actually, we know the answer to that one. They’d think we’re crazy and try to lock us up for just thinking it.
We are not crazy. These things exist. When you see them, don’t try to get rid of them yourself. Call an exorcist. Leave it to the professionals. Believe me, it’s better that way