The devil made me do it (wink, nudge). This week’s prompts are: I have seen the devil; What happened here?; She won’t be having anymore.
The littlest devil took a couple of steps back from the mirror to admire her costume. The pure white gown draped around her like a diaphanous winter fog. It was just the way she envisioned it. The wings, made of swan and goose feathers she plucked off the dying birds, fluttered perfectly as she turned her torso this way and that. The gilded halo she lay against the back of her head, using her horns as support to angle it upward as she’d seen in medieval paintings, glittered and sparkled. Lastly, the tresses of her platinum wig, made from the hair of a recently deceased woman she exhumed, fell in flawless soft curls over her shoulders. All that was left was what to do about her face.
She tried several ways to make her naturally flame red skin look pure white, but nothing worked. She first tried theatrical grease paint, but the natural heat of her skin melted it away in seconds. She then tried mixing talcum powder with flour, applying it with a huge powder puff. But even under that thick pancake, her skin glowed red hot, turning her complexion the bright pink of a cheap carnation. Desperate for a solution, she tried multiple layers of latex primer wall paint, which got the job done, except that it eventually cracked and split, making her face look like a shattered porcelain doll’s head. It wasn’t that bad, she thought. Actually, it looked pretty good, but it did not look like the face of an angel.
Her last resort was a mask. She chose a full-face ivory death mask from her mother’s collection, but regardless the paint she applied to make it look alive and beautiful, the expressionless hollow eye holes and motionless mouth gave the impression she was trying to pass as the bride of Michael Myers in the Halloween movies.
Defeated, she tore off the halo, wings and gown and threw them down onto the floor. She pulled on her black robes and stomped into her bathroom. Wiping off the remnants of her failed make-up attempts with a handful of molten lava, she then gave her face a cleansing, bloody scrub with her steel mesh loofa. Who was she kidding, anyway, she thought, as she ripped at her flesh with the loofa. She’d never be able to pull off looking like an angel. Not ever.
When her mother came looking for her, she found the littlest devil fuming in a corner of her room, idly ripping off the legs of one spider after the other and tossing the bodies into the flames of the curtains she set ablaze by shear force of her rage.
Seeing the off-cast costume, her mother bellowed, “What’s all this?” She picked up the swan feathered wings and gossamer white gown with obvious shock and disgust. She shook the items in her daughter’s face. “I mean, what the Satan-praised heaven is, this…this…?!”
“What do you care?!” the littlest devil screeched, grabbing the wings and pulling them close to her.
“What do I care?! My daughter is dressing…wants to…” her mother stammered, holding the gown up, giving it another horrified look. “An angel? An angel?! What’s got into you?!”
“Doesn’t matter, OK?! It didn’t work.” The littlest devil began to sob. Her thick, black tears dropped onto the pristine surface of the white wings, staining them in horrid streaks of filthy grey.
Her mother took pity. “Now, now, my worst nightmare, it’s alright. You go ahead and get angry and full of hate. Let it all out.”
The littlest devil threw back her head and howled. The flame of the burning curtains rushed up the wall and across the ceiling. She tore at the wings, the halo and the gown, screaming like a million bats straight out of her father’s hell, until nothing of the costume was left but burnt shreds. Exhausted, she a collapsed in a heap of smoldering, weeping despair on her granite slab bed.
“There, there, that’s it,” her mother cajoled, smothering the last of the burning room with the corners of her robe. “Let it be all consuming, my wretched little black hole of wanton grief. You’ll feel even more miserable in just moment.”
“But, WHY?! Why can’t I be an angel!” The littlest devil roared.
“Because, my horrible little monster, you are who you are, which is the most perfectly awful and horrible thing in the universe. The very essence of an evil she-beast. Think of all those fallen angels and how they wish they could be like you. You ever consider that, hm? Cutting their wings down to bloody stumps and making completely marvelous fools of themselves. Your father always has a good laugh when they come banging on the Gates to Hell. Ha! As if they would ever have what it takes. Hmph!”
Her mother took a roughhewn sack cloth from the littlest devil’s dresser, wrapped her up tight like a shrouded corpse, and gave her a the kind of hard whack on her back she knew would leave a giant welt. The littlest devil tore open the sack cloth with her claws and snarled at her mother, baring her sharp teeth. Her mother snarled back and threatened to bite her neck. They giggled and slapped each other hard across the face a few times before settling down next to each other on the granite slab bed, happily glowering at each other.
“Just remember what I said, OK?” her mother cautioned. “I won’t have any more of this nonsense. Next time you get another exceptionally stupid notion in that ugly little head of yours, you just remember you are supremely grotesque and frighteningly spectacular in more ways than those silly angels could even wish they could be.”
The littlest devil smiled a wicked grin. “You are the most awful, spiteful, unforgiving mother in the whole universe. I hate you.”
“I hate you, too, my perfectly obnoxious little brat. Now, punish yourself with a bloody flailing, wrap back up in abrasive sackcloth good and tight, and I promise, you’ll feel completely despicable in no time. Tomorrow we’ll see about getting you new curtains and another nest of spiders, OK?”
Feliz Halloween y Dia de Los Muertos!