The Things that Possessed Her

First it was a real demon, a good one, a Great Duke and Earl of Hell, who yearned to teach philosophy and oblige souls of the dead to appear (it hadn’t had much to do since Copernicus).

Then it was a small demon, one made of shadows and fiction, with stark eyes and bad makeup, taken from a movie she’d watched too many times (it grumbled about Mothers and hell but mostly kept to itself).

Then it was an old demon, a dusty one, that took every opportunity to point out that the word demon in Greek meant power, agency, (and in the proto-European, provider, which pleased it to no end).

Then it was the last demon, a trembling little wispish one tucked inside the drawer of some childhood fear, some backward, tiny, half-forgotten pain that despite its insignificance took hold of everything she thought and did. (This demon, the worst of them all, whispered to her, let’s go somewhere we can be alone).