Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sudden Short Story 76

The demonologist got off of the bus, and was greeted by a somewhat perplexed woman.  When everyone else had left, though, it was clear to her that he was, indeed, the demonologist, and it was clear to him that she was the one to take him to the suspected victim. 
"Pardon my reaction," she said at last, "but I didn't expect you to be quite so young." 
"You flatter me," he said, "but I'm nearly thirty as it is.  Would you care to lead the way?" 
They began walking down the block leading away from the bus stop. 
"I guess that I just expected a demonologist to be some old man," she said.  "Come to think of it, most people our age don't even believe in demons.  I know that ... ."  She trailed off, not quite sure what to say. 
"I think that I've seen this before," he said to her.  "You were raised some kind of christian - most Americans are, and African-Americans especially - and there are the stories about demons, so you think that you always believed in demons, but you never really took them seriously.  The part of you that acknowledges that also regrets having done so, and has redoubled your faith.  Am I wrong?" 
"So how long have you been a demonologist?"  she asked.  She wasn't really trying to avoid the question; she was just curious how someone could be so experienced at such a young age.  Or did her face just show it that plainly? 
"Oh, almost two years, I'd say." 
Reading her face after his response was not difficult by anyone's standards.  
"Well, it's not exactly a lucrative career," he elaborated.  "I live largely on the hospitality of others, which is sometimes cut short when it turns out not to be a demon - the diagnosis really is the most important part.  If I didn't care about helping others, I could have stayed in my job as an adequate materials engineer."  They arrived at the apartment.  "Which room is it?" he asked. 
"503," she answered.  "You were a materials engineer?" she asked of him, while leading him to the elevator.
"Yeah, and that's kind of a funny story," he said, as they entered.  He pushed the button for 5.  "You see, I hadn't set out to do any of this at all.  I didn't go to college for it, at least.  I was actually studying to go into information security, which, come to think of it, would also have been a lucrative career."  The elevator dinged with their arrival.  "Come to think of it, I'm a very strange man."  He got out and proceeded to look for 503. 

No comments: