A day in a life with a demon. Any demon. Please write a short story.
To me? An irresistible idea for an anthology as it offered a good excuse for wandering about the internet poking into demonic pacts, hellish secrets and Faustian goings on. Too many great things to try and write about. But how could you get yourself stuck with a demon? Was this necessarily a bad thing? And once you’d signed your life away how exactly would you go about trying to renege on the deal?
Enter Mrs Milton. As I’m pretty sure old ladies know far more than they ever let on… My small contribution the the Anachron Press ‘Day of Demons’ anthology.
A little excerpt…
The Devil and Mrs Milton
Would you like my life? The money. The connections. The trappings of wealth. The comforts of success. Would you take it if I offered? Snatch opportunity from my hands? In one small gesture have this to be yours?
Don’t be under any illusions. Don’t fail to see behind the shining veneer. This all came at a high price. A tithe paid in blood. And you should be very careful with whom you strike a bargain.
Nothing is a safe bet. And there’s sometimes a cost you don’t really want to pay.
I have an appointment this evening. A nefarious friend is intending to call. Balance on a debt that’s unavoidably due. Not anybody you’d like to meet. But stay and talk a while. I have a little time before he arrives.
The business deal. A social engagement. The relationship. The new enterprise. I have the magical gift of turning all to gold. Success always stands by my side. Doors that eternally open. My path invariably takes me towards greater rewards. Whatever journey I embark upon my providence is assured. I never put a foot wrong. Always safely walk between the paving cracks. I have insinuated myself into the most fortuitous relationship with life. Everything unfailingly falls my way. Life appears to love me. A prominent participant in all that is esteemed. But I’ve had a little help you see. An unfair advantage. A sleight of hand. A dirty secret. Something I’ve kept hidden from others in my world. Not that ever I asked for it. Nothing that I wanted. A node of success. Too big. Too close. A life that didn’t appear tangible to any who looked too intently. A legacy of my family for generations. A bargain made in my absence a long time ago.
Perhaps I should be resigned to my fate. A bit of North London Zen? I’ve had many long years to think about this day. Plotting. Planning. Secrets. My fetch has always stood close by. Watching from the sidelines. Expectantly eager in the corners of a room. She’s never been too distant. Always following in the backwash of my days. The street lights that dim as I approach. The hissing cat that will never sit by my side. The distant chime of bells as sleep pulls me down into fragmentary dreams. I discern my guest and his associates have tainted my life. Little reminders to ensure I don’t forget our deal. I fear that I burn a little too brightly in the more ethereal of places. But that was never of my choice. An attraction I never desired. And as the more esoteric of gentleman would point out (and I’m certain they speak truly) when you have no choice but to see them, then of course, they can see you.
I believe my guest is on his way. Twisting just out of perception. Signal to noise against the monochrome streets of a Camden winter’s day. Don’t feel obliged to wait with me. I’m sure anybody would understand should you leave. But company is pleasant. And I have a curious tale to tell.
And should you maybe wish to find out what exactly happens to the erstwhile Mrs Milton, along with eight other storming tales of demonic doings from Anachron Press, it’s all right here!
‘Deal’ by Karen Davies, ‘Inheritance’ by Phil Hickes, ‘Serpent’s Kiss’ by Krista Walsh, ‘Sam & The Spear’ by Gary Bonn. ‘Numen’ by V. Đ. Griesdoorn, ‘City of Light and Stone’ by Laura Diamond, ‘Cost of Glory’ by Edward Drake and ‘A Mother’s Love’ by James M. Mazzaro. All masterfully put together by editor Colin F. Barnes!
Day of Demons is a collection of powerful stories featuring the conflict of demons and humans over the course of a day.
Read how one woman’s inner-self awakens to unexpected and frightening consequences, or how a charismatic half-breed thief is forced to strike a deal with a pen-stealing imp. Read about a mother as she struggles to cope with a deadly, satanic bargain, and a sword-wielding anti-hero as he returns out of exile to face his demonic fate.
Nine stories, nine demons, nine authors. From fantasy, to horror, to contemporary fiction, this anthology will fright, delight and grip you with tales of daring-do, danger and of course — demons.