Chapter 5: Resident devil

It's Saturday morning and Jon is sleeping in. The room is bound to be cold, but his bed is wonderfully soft and warm. If anything, it is too hot ... He reaches out to adjust his pillow. It is not a pillow.

"In the name of the LORD, get out of my bed!"

"Ouch! Hey, no reason to use that kind of language! Sheesh already. That's what a girl gets for being nice."

"Did I not tell you to sleep on the couch if you wanted to stay in my home?"

"Yeah, but demons don't really sleep, so I got bored and lonely. And you are so cute when you sleep!"

"I believe I have explicitly told you that I would never sleep with you!"

"But you didn't really mean sleep, you meant having hot panting sweaty sex. And we didn't have that, I am sorry to say. Though my offer still stands."

"Get dressed and out of here!"

"Sheesh already."

Thank Heaven that he's not sleeping in the nude at least. "How did you get in here anyway?"

"Depends on whether I am a demon or an insane girl."

"Demons can change shape, right?"

"Yeah, but we can also dissolve completely and just coalesce wherever there is intelligent life."

"Insane girls can not, so you are a demon after all."

"Insane girls can pick the lock with a hairpin. It's not anything fancy – that lock is mostly symbolic."

"You don't have a hairpin."

"Insane girls are known to sneak into shops and steal hairpins and sweets in the middle of the night."

"Demon or hairpin, you stay out of the bathroom while I shower, OK?"

"Your word is my law, honey."

"I warn you, make any moves and I'm going to pray."

"Look, I could scrub your back. There would be nothing wrong in that."

"There is always something wrong with having a succubus in your shower."

Aaaa! Ice cold shower! And none too early. He can feel the holiness returning to full level as he cringes under the cold water. How far can you trust a demoness anyway? "Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name..."

"Ouch! I wasn't looking! I wasn't looking!"

"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven!"

"Just wanted to see what a shower was. Sheesh!"

"Give us this day our daily bread."

"I'm leaving, I'm leaving!"

"And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us."

Does that extend to succubi who trespass on our privacy? The Book says nothing about exceptions.

"And lead us not into temptation..."

Because we already have enough temptation for a whole city, right in the next room.

"But deliver us from evil."

And please be quick about it, because this is a lot harder than I imagined.

He dresses in the widest trousers he has before returning to the living room. The demon girl is sitting on the table, still wearing the clothes of the first day, a T-shirt and an improvised skirt made of a soft bed sheet. Her large green eyes follow him, and she smiles a smile that looks genuinely friendly. 'Sincerity is everything. Once you can fake that, you have it made', he reminds himself.

"Speaking of daily bread, I thought perhaps I could make some. I am made to be a good cook. It's just that, well, I can't find the pantry. Or the stove. Or the wood."

"Uhm, there's been some changes over the last 500 years. I keep most of the food in the fridge. This thing here."

"Oh. The magic cupboard. I looked there. It was cold, but there was no food in it, just boxes and canisters that I supposed held magic ingredients."

"No magic. This box here for instance contains milk. From cows."

"Hey, I know about milk! Though I can make milk too, if you want me to. Some men like that."

"Some men are perverts."

"So true. And I can cater to them all."

"The milk is added to the breakfast cereal mix. First I fill this bowl with cereal, then I add milk. This cereal mix comes complete with sugar and fruits, but you can add a little jam if it's not sweet enough. But you don't really need to eat, do you?"

"I can emulate all bodily functions, but I don't need to."

"Good. A penny saved is a penny earned."

"Of course, if I was actually an insane girl, not eating would make me very weak after a while. I would deny it even to myself for a long time, but eventually my strength would run out and I would collapse on the floor. Then you would have to lift me gently in your strong arms - or sling me roughly over your shoulder, if you prefer that – and carry me to the bed. And then ..."

"Here, have a bowl of cereal already."

"You are so cute when you frown."

For a little while, the newfound experience of eating seems to hold her interest. But then she looks at him again, with a big smile. Uh oh. "You know, I feel that eating together is taking our friendship to a new level. There is a closeness in sharing food. In days of yore, people talked about sharing table and bed."

"Even one day of yore, you weren't here."

"Don't change topics. Since we are getting so close, I have decided to stop calling you 'customer' and start calling you Jon. Er, you are Jon, aren't you?"

"Of course I am Jon! Why do you suddenly ask that now?"

"Because I have never asked you before."

"You didn't even know my name?"

"I told, you I woke up on that bed with no memories except the general programming of a succubus. I thought perhaps it was a routine summoning by a horny sorcerer or something. You don't need names for that. But now that we are in for the long haul, I had to find out your name."

"So how did you do that?"

"Well, I can read. So I looked at all writing I could find, and eventually decided that you must be Jon Olsen."

"The sign on the doorbell would indicate that, yes. And how about you?"
"Yes, how about me?"

"Do you have a name too?"

"Well, not by default. But since we are to live together, I think I should have a name too. So I have decided that my name will be ... Hedonia de Monique!"

"Monique is a first name, I believe."

"It still sounds good."

"OK" says Jon after the quick breakfast, "you can do the dishes. You know how to clean dishes, right?"

"Of course! But where is the dog?"

"On second thought, I'll show you. Look, you turn these handles and water comes out. See? Hot water, cold water. Now you try."

"Wow. Are you sure you are not a sorcerer?"

"The idea is to fill this basin with hot water and a little soap from this flask. Then scrub the bowls and spoons with this. You already know how to scrub backs, so this should be your easy part. Finally, you put them to dry here."

"I am not an idiot, just because I am a demoness."

"I am so not going to ask about the dog. I'll go start up the computer while you finish the dishes."

"Whoa! A magic mirror!"

"It's called a computer. I use it to hook up to the Internet and read news or search for information."

"Are you sure you are not a sorcerer?"

"All people in the rich world can do this. Look, I just click here and it jumps to a new page. Is that cool or?"

"And that thing with all the letters on?"

"Lets me type things on the computer. Like this. It's not magic, it is electronic, but it is still pretty impressive."

"Looks like fun."

"It is, but it is also very useful. I can use it to read the news without having to go out. And I can search directly for Christian news, without having to bother with the tons of godless heathen entertainment."

"And I assume those who want godless heathen news can bypass the religious stuff in the same way."

"Of course."

"Is it OK that I just sit here and watch while you use the mirror? I find it very fascinating."

"Sure thing. I am quite happy about your new attitude."

He is not looking at his face, or he would not have made that last comment.