A Cautionary Tale

Published August 26, 2014 by B. Rabbit

So I had the brilliant idea recently that I would write some sort of flash fiction or other. I thought about it for a couple of days and wasn’t really able to come up with anything. Then, suddenly, this little spark of inspiration came to me while reading an anthology of short stories about demons lent to me by a friend (shut up, I like demons, ok?) roughly thirty minutes after taking a sleeping pill. I rationalized this to myself by thinking that it would be very short, and I would, therefore, be able to finish it long before said sleeping pill took effect.

Well…it is fairly short (750-ish words), but the rest of the rationalization wasn’t exactly true. When I showed it to my friend (who lent me the demon stories book) the next day, her first response was “You were high as a kite when you wrote this, weren’t you?”

So basically…don’t say I didn’t warn you.

A Cautionary Tale

There’s an old tale that’s been around for God knows how long. I don’t even remember where I heard it from no more. I dunno if it’s true or not. Probably not. Them old tales usually ain’t. But it might be. It just might be.

They say there was this girl. She was young and pretty and smart. Like you, I guess. Nothin’ like me, at least. Young and pretty and real small-like. Petite, I reckon you’d call it. With long blonde hair she didn’t have to bleach out and big bright blue eyes and pale, pale skin.

Anyhow, this girl was what the old folks would call “a lady of the night.” But she’d tell you right quick that she wasn’t no porn tragedy girl. She was in school–law school, medical school, somethin’ like that. Maybe she was studyin’ to be a dentist. I’m not sure. But she wasn’t no drug addict out of options. She was on her way up in the world. Told folks that if men were stupid enough to pay her for her company, she was smart enough to take their money from ’em. Can’t nobody fault her for that, I don’t reckon.

The men sure loved her, at any rate. She may have been takin’ ’em for a ride, but she was doin’ it in style, by God.

This pretty li’l gal came home one night after a long evenin’ of what they call escortin’. They sure do got a lot of polite terms for it, don’t they?

Anyway, she came home, and it was after midnight. She wanted somethin’ to eat, but she was about dead on her feet. She didn’t wanna go back out and get anything, if there was even anything to get after midnight back in them days. I don’t know if there was or not.

So she decided that she’d try to make somethin’ herself with what she had in her ‘frigerator and her cabinets. Reckon she hadn’t been to the grocery store in a while ’cause she didn’t have a whole lot to choose from. She just pulled a whole bunch of stuff out and started throwin’ it all in a great big ol’ pot on the stove. Soup, stew, whatever you wanna call it.

You’d think that’d be pretty harmless, wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be wrong. Maybe she wasn’t payin’ attention to what she was doin’, or maybe she just didn’t know how to cook, but instead of makin’ dinner, she managed to summon a demon. A demon. It just come right up outta that pot on the stove and laughed at her. Loud, cacklin’ laughter that just went on and on and on.

They say she just stood there rooted in that spot. I’m inclined to believe that that part’s true, at least, ’cause what else are you gonna do if you summon a demon? It’s not like runnin’s gonna help you none.

Anyhow, she just stood there, probably scared to death, while that demon just laughed at her. When it finally stopped laughin’, it looked at her with its fiery ol’ eyes and said somethin’ like, “You of all people oughta know you can’t turn a ho into a housewife, gal.”

Sounds like that demon’s name oughta have been Ludacris, don’t it?

And, well, nobody’s real sure what happened after that. Dunno if that demon ate her soul right then and there and took over her body, or if the sight of a fiend from the very pits of hell messed her up so much that she just never was the same again afterward. All anybody knows is that she went to her landlady’s house ’bout one o’clock in the mornin’ and knocked on the door. When the confused and sleepy ol’ woman came to the door, the girl just laid the key to her rental house in the landlady’s hand and walked off into the woods. Nobody ever seen her or heard from her again.

Like I said, I don’t know if it’s true or not. It probably ain’t. But it don’t seem too smart to take chances to me. That’s why I don’t never cook anything, ‘specially not after a night at work like this. So if you’re hungry, we can just go to McDonald’s or somethin’. You can get sausage and biscuits there after midnight, you know.


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