Chief Detective Tommy Turner flailed in bed, gripped his pillow, moaned, lashed out. He was cold, gasping, and suddenly eyes wide awake. A dim green puddle of electronic status lights lit the room. The bell tower of the Church of St Panfilo Spoltore across the street rang too few times. He heard the never-ending rain on the roof and against the windows; its persistence bringing decay; its burden, guilt.
The three story house, once white brick now brown, leaked, seeped and rotted. Already the basement and first floor were lost to the damp. The gutters bubbled over their edges and flooded the sewers. Brown water gushed into the basement. The pumps struggled to keep it out. Soon, the stone foundation would give way without portent, without ceremony, sucking the house into a muddy hell.
Turner felt Demon’s hand trying to calm him. He pushed it away.
“What’s wrong?” Demon asked. Demon wasn’t its Hellish name, that was its first instrument of torture; an evilness that captured souls, killed at will, inexpressible by human tongues. Hence, it was merely, since the day of the summoning, Demon.
“Chanting,” Tommy spoke in a harsh whisper. He stared at the clock’s greenness - - three-thirty AM. “I thought we agreed no chanting. I thought we agreed the night was mine, no diddling the socks and sheets for fun, no sleep learning, no subliminal messages, just sleep.”
Turner rose from the bed, stumbled to the bathroom, moaned, splashed porcelain. A dim yellow puddle spread toward his bare feet. He heard the never-ending drip in the bathtub and flushed the toilet too few times; its burden, still floating.
The carpet, once plush now threadbare, felt sticky between his toes. Already his side of the bed had grown cold, the mattress sagged, the springs sharp in his back as he settled back in.
Turner felt Demon’s hand again, and did not push it away. “All right,” he said, “maybe a little diddling. But after that, sleep. I need to be up early for the interview with Better Homes and Gardens.”
Opening: Dave Fragments.....Continuation: JRMosher