‘Prettiest Demon: A Short Story’ by Ahmed Nader

Kathy stood in front of her bathroom mirror, she just woke up and she could not open her eyes, the sunlight crept through the shades and almost blinded her. Kathy rubbed her eyes with her finger tips, her vision began to return to focus. She stared at herself in the mirror, the darkness under her eyes made them look like black holes engulfing anything that got near them, centered by her grayish irises.

You’ll never get what you want with that face, that ugly face.

The tall brunette lived in a small studio apartment on Bleecker Street in New York; she had been living there for three years. Kathy had no roommate, just her cat Louis for company. She continued on doing her morning routine, after staring at herself in the mirror, she languidly turned away and walked out of the bathroom with puckered brows and lips bent downwards. She hated her face, Kathy always thought of herself as an ugly woman, she thought that her looks dragged her down, killing her ambition of becoming rich and famous, like she always dreamed to be in her childhood. She strived to do so, but her looks always stood in the way. Even in her childhood, it seemed like people treated her in an encroaching manner, mocking her for being different. Kathy grew up to be an intellectual woman but still not satisfied with the way she looked.

“I would do anything to be beautiful.” She mumbled as she sat down on her bed, Kathy’s heels pressed on the wooden edge of the bed frame.

Louis climbed on to the bed next to Kathy, the white cat tip toed onto her lap and purred. Kathy lifted her eyes from the ground and stared into Louis’s gleaming eyes; she put her palm on the cat’s head and stroked its fur. The cat turned its head and playfully bit Kathy’s index finger.

“You’re the only one who loves me, huh?” Kathy said “Nobody else does.”

Kathy sighed as she lay on her back, her dark hair framing her face. Louis escalated to Kathy’s stomach then onto her small breasts, it curled and closed its eyes.

“I can’t take it anymore Louis, I hate myself.” Kathy said, tears streaming down her face.

The white cat opened its eyes and glared at Kathy; it got up on all fours and bounced off of Kathy on to the ground.

“Why would you care Louis, you’re already beautiful. I’m the ogre in the room.” Kathy’s tone became higher.

 

 

 

She had been fastidious all week; Kathy did not get the promotion she’d hoped for. She thought that her boss would choose her for the position of assistant accountant which would have been a tremendous leap forward in her career. But no, Helena the office slut got the job. Kathy made up her mind that Helena and the boss had been sleeping together, she hated that Helena. Kathy hated everything about Helena because Helena had everything Kathy wanted; she hated how Helena had a beautiful face, a killer body and the ability to get everything that she wanted with her looks. Kathy envied that office slut, she yearned for a chance to look like her, to know how it felt to be touched by a man, to be kissed, loved. She longed for some attention, any kind of attention would do but no one paid any to her. Even her family ceased to care about her ever since she moved to New York, Kathy felt devastated.

Kathy heard a strange sound; she turned her head and saw Louis pawing at a cardboard box in the corner of the room.

“Stop it Louis! You’re going to bust the box—” but before she could finish, the box busted wide open and a few books fell out of it.

“See what you did Louis you dumb kitty? Huh?!” she yelled, Louis ran into the bathroom.

Kathy got to her feet and walked towards the box, her bare feet caressed the dark shaggy rug on the flood which tickled her. She looked at the mess the cat made with a frown on her face.

Damn Louis

She bent down to her knees and grabbed one of the books on the floor. The books belonged to her late grandfather who passed away a year after she moved to New York. She inherited the books which sat there in the corner of her room for two years. A puff of dust formed a cloud that hovered around her, dust particles danced through the thin light beam that shined from a gap in the drapes. She wiped the cover of the book which seemed to be too heavy; its leather cover bore some initials she could not make out. Kathy examined the black book for a few minutes before opening it. The first page of the book had an old black and white photograph of her grandfather when he was young –or at least she thought that the man in the photograph had been in fact her grandfather. She turned the page, bewildered; she had to read the words on the second page over and over just to make sure. ‘Spells and Rituals’ had been hand written on the second page in fine black letters.

“Crazy old grandpa.” Kathy said as she smiled.

 

But what she saw next wiped that smile right off her face, she felt a flash of fire on her throat and she swallowed hard. Drawings of pentagrams, photographs or old women with ugly scars on their faces wearing mostly filthy rags, pictures of men in long black coats and the word ‘Lucifer’ popped out more than once. Her lucid mind struggled to repel these images but something inside her wanted to know more about the evil that lay in the book she held in her hands.

What the fuck is all that?

Kathy sat on the ground next to the busted box and crossed her legs; she put the book down on her feet and bent over it. She threw all of her focus into the book –although she heard a rattle coming from behind her, but ignored it.

Louis!

She got lost in the book, shocked but still wanted to read more, her curiosity got the best of her. The black book did not just contain photographs; it contained some sort of different spells –ancient spells that were collected by her grandfather himself. Before she knew it, night fell and the sound of the streets outside mellowed down. Kathy squinted as she touched the back of her neck, her feet were numb and her stomach started growling. Kathy felt dizzy, her stomach did a flip-flop as she got up, and she closed her eyes feeling the blood rush into her legs. Before she closed the book, she caught a glimpse of something, a word, ‘Beauty’. She jumped on the bed, excited she read the rest of the page. It was a ritual for becoming beautiful and irresistible to men, mixed emotions flew inside Kathy’s body. Excitement, happiness and terror ruled over her and she went with it. She read the instructions more than ten times just to understand that what she read was true. She did not think about it, Kathy laid the instructions in front of her and began to collect the items needed for the ritual.

I would do anything to be beautiful.

Thirty minutes later, Kathy began the ritual. She stood naked in the middle of a pentagram drawn with chalk on the floor –the shaggy rug stood in the corner rolled up next to the box. Five candles at the vertices of the pentagram lit the room. An image of a beautiful woman was one of the items needed for the ritual; the first woman Kathy thought of was Helena. She did not have a photograph of Helena alone but she did have one of the whole staff who worked at the company Kathy worked for, she cut out Helena’s face and held it in one hand. She held a knife in the other, a blood sacrifice was needed to complete the ritual, and Louis had to die.

It’s all for the greater good, beauty.

The ritual seemed simple enough to Kathy, the image of a beautiful woman, the candles, the pentagram and the sacrifice. Kathy’s heart pounded inside her chest, she fell down to her knees. She looked at Helena’s face with abhorrence before laying it in front of her on the ground, Kathy picked up Louis –which was out cold and pinned it between her knees then tightened her grip on the knife handle. She drew a deep breath then stabbed the cat in the neck pinning it to the floor, the cat’s blood sprayed on Helena’s photograph as Kathy repeated the chant she memorized.

“Oh spirits of death hear my call, shed my skin so that I might be reborn an angel that shall not fall. Give me blood, give me fire, give me what I desire. I call upon thy, I call upon thy.” She kept chanting.

Kathy closed her eyes; she felt a light breeze caress her skin, her mind drifted into a dream like state. She felt something creeping under her skin; she opened her eyes and witnessed a thick fog swallowing her up. She could see nothing but the white blanket that surrounded her; she saw a dark shadow lurking about. Frightened, she tried to get up but couldn’t, the shadow stared at her, she did not see its eyes but she knew it was staring at her. Kathy sensed the presence of a demon with her in her room; it sent a thrill of horror through her.

“What is your wish mortal?” an unearthly voice echoed through the fog.

“Beauty, beauty.” Kathy said, not recognizing her own voice.

All of a sudden, the flames of the candles went higher and the sound of laughter filled the room. The candles went out and the fog cleared as if sucked by a vacuum cleaner. Kathy’s head felt heavy, her vision still a blur she looked down upon her dead cat, Louis gave her a blank stare. She felt a sting on her finger tip, she lifter her and looked at her index finder –the same finger Fluffing had been nibbling on earlier that day. A droplet of blood slid down her finger into her palm, leaving a trail of red behind it. Kathy turned her hand upside down with her fingers facing the ground, she had a smile on her face as she gazed at the droplet which rolled back from her palm to her finger tip and then to the ground, it fell with an almost spherical mold into the blood covered photograph of Helena. The naked girl fell down on her back, hitting the back of her head on the ground. Her heart beats slowed down and she faded away into darkness.

Anything to be beautiful…anything.

#

 

Kathy opened her eyes, for a split second she did not know what had happened. She sat up and began to shiver, Kathy looked at the window –which was open, and she did not remember when she opened it. Sweat drops rolled down her back reaching her bare buttocks. Her feet felt numb as she stood up, she tried to walk but ended up falling on her knees. Kathy grabbed hold of the bed and forced herself up; she felt pins and needles all over her legs. She walked a few steps before stubbing her toe on the edge of the bed, it bled. She moaned at the excruciating pain she felt, but continued walking. Her body felt different, she felt something crawling under her skin, she switched on the light. Kathy saw something at the corner of her eye, when she turned to look, it was gone. Everything she used in the ritual had disappeared –even the dead cat. She stood in the middle of the apartment staring into space, Kathy had great fervent for that cat but it did not matter now, she did what she had to do, Kathy smiled –a smile filled with awe.

 

The naked brunette haired woman walked into her small dark bathroom, she stood in front of the mirror on the wall, her eyes reflected the light coming from outside.

“This is it.” She whispered.

Kathy drew a gulp of air and flicked the light switch on, her jaw almost dropped to the floor with fascination. The darkness under her eyes faded away, her eye lashes curved upwards, her cheeks no longer pale now full of color, no longer splattered with acne. She raised her hand touching her now thick pinkish lips as tears fell from her gray eyes. She stood there admiring her appearance, her beautiful appearance.

How can this be? I’m gorgeous.

She took a few steps backwards and the sight drew a grin on her beautiful face. With her other hand, she felt her chest, round with perky nipples. Kathy ran her hands down her waist

“No more love handles!” she said in an almost childish tone.

Kathy ran to her closet and picked out something she never wore, a skirt. She did not have any bra that could hold her new breasts so she did not wear one. Kathy got dressed wearing the sexiest outfit she could find in her small closet and ran down stairs, she almost fell because she wasn’t used to wearing high heels, but she held on to the guard rail until she made it to the street. Her red tank top highlighted her breasts and her nipples showed under it. She did not care that it was almost midnight and that is was not safe to be walking in the street this late, she just wanted to show off her new body. Kathy went into a bar at the corner of the street; silence fell as her footsteps echoed through the bar. All eyes were on the hot woman with her nipples showing under her tank top, heads turned checking her behind out as she passed by.

Fifteen minutes later Kathy went back to her small apartment with a man she met at the bar, drinks were flying towards her from all the guys in the there, but she went home with the first guy who actually came and asked for her number. She opened the door and pushed the buff guy inside; she slammed the door behind her and jumped on the guy who fell on the bed when she pushed him.

“You’re strong.” The guy said “I like that.”

“Don’t talk.”

Kathy ripped the guy’s shirt off and started kissing his chest; she never felt like this before, this trance, she loved every moment of it. The guy took her top off and massaged her breasts, Kathy moaned. She took his jeans off along with his boxer shorts; Kathy took her skirt off and rode on the naked man on her bed. Without warning, she felt a fire inside her, something took over her body, she felt it growing inside her, Kathy screamed with pain then blacked out.

(Blood drop fell off her finger tip)

Something sinister haunted her, Kathy kept screaming as she saw blood squirting all over the apartment, it splattered on her face and chest but she did not feel its warmth. She just observed what happened, the man she was having sex with laid motionless on her bed, beheaded; she looked between her hands and saw his mutilated head. A bloody mess with no face, she threw it on the flood and threw up. Fire burned inside her. She glared at the flood where she threw up and saw an eye ball, she screamed and fell on the floor in fetal position. She shivered in the middle of the blood covered room; laughter, evil laughter that terrified her very soul surrounded her. She felt her skin being ripped all over her body, she bled. The fog, the thick white fog came back and swallowed her, the laughter continued. She covered her face with her hands, Kathy peered between her fingers. She saw the shadow staring at her, laughing at her.

“You’re mine!” the grim voice said

“No!” Kathy screamed.

 

She looked at her hand, nothing but skin and bones. Her finger nails grew longer and her skin wrinkled, blue veins ran under her skin. She screamed and grabbed her hair; she ripped off a handful of gray hair. Kathy managed to get up; she ran into the bathroom and locked herself inside. She looked in the mirror.

“No! No! No!” Kathy screamed.

Her eyes were black, pitch black. The woman who appeared in the mirror did not look like Kathy, an old woman with a face that seemed to be melting. Horror took over her, she soiled herself. The pungent smell of urine filled the bathroom; Kathy went catatonic and froze in front of the mirror. She saw a face next to hers, a face not of human, a demon. The demon grinned at Kathy, and she did not say a word. She opened her mouth to speak, blood sprayed out of it onto the mirror, the demon laughed harder. She no longer stood in her bathroom; rubicund flames surrounded her, Kathy’s heart stopped.

“My fire, my fire, you got your desire. A drop of you blood fell in my lap, and now in fire you will nap. You sold me your soul and signed it with blood, forever you’ll be dragged under the mud” the demon said behind the mirror.

“Oh God! Oh God!” Kathy screamed.

“Kathryn Roberts, you should’ve thought about him before all that, now you will burn!”

Kathy stared at the demons white eyes; she looked at herself, her hideous face. She began to scream and pawed her face with her long finger nails, Kathy’s nails pierced her skin, she kept scratching her face off, pieces of flesh got stuck under her nails others fell to the ground in a pool of blood. She opened her mouth and saw the demon’s eyes inside.

“Get out! I beg you!”

She could not take it anymore, she pushed her fingers into her eye sockets and pulled out both her eyes with a scream. She ran into the darkness, Kathy felt the fire burn her flesh, the smell of her skin being burnt rushed into her nostrils. Soon enough her whole body caught on fire, she wanted it to end, the pain became unbearable. Kathy –now a ball of burning flesh tripped and fell crashing into the window, the broken glass pierced her body. She fell out off the window sill in her apartment, burning, bleeding, she wanted to die, but somehow as she fell, her mind was still working. Her mind flashed images in front of her bloody sockets she used to call eyes; she saw images of her grandfather’s book, images of the women in it. She screamed but no one heard her, then she saw the fine print she ignored, something was written under the spell title, something that she thought did not matter. It was too late now.

The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye but found by the heart.

Kathy screamed her last scream before she landed head first onto a fire hydrate, it crushed her skull with great force almost turning it into power, her brain squashed into little bit and pieces and the rest of her burning body split in half.

 

 

“I am a demon; I made my peace with it. On the other hand, she was ugly so I took that away when she summoned me, but even I could not take the evil that lurked inside her. Alas, alas she died, ugly from the outside as she was grotesque at heart.” The demon whispered.

 

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About Ahmed Gretly

Ahmed Nader Gretly. Construction/Site Engineer, fiction writer, poet, psychopath, researcher, a book addict, and a daydreamer from Cairo, Egypt. Currently doing Construction Project Management, MSc, at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
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