“What!” The demon shouted incredulously. “You can’t stop writing!”
“Why not?” I asked Steve, watching his tail lash back and forth. “Calm down, or at least get off the bar before you knock…” I started the sentence, and finished it with my mouth open, watching my rum and coke tumble to the floor.
The demon of Inspiration snickered, “Serves you right. That stuff is vile.”
“Like you’re one to talk. Absinthe and Jaeger? Who in Hell taught you to mix that?”
“It was this demon in Purgatory, his name was Rak.”
“Oh,” I shook my head. “Back to the subject, why can’t I stop writing?”
“What will I do?”
“You can go annoy someone else!” I called back over my shoulder as I poured myself another rum and coke, bound to keep this one away from the demon’s tail.
“You know, I am the demon of inspiration, not just for writing…”
“Damn it, stop that!” I said as the idea for a nifty looking pinewood derby car popped into my mind. It was quickly replaced by a curing cheese wheel and then even more rapidly replaced by an image of me making a boat in a basement. “I don’t even have a basement!” The image switched to me with a shovel.
I had turned around to face Steve during this exchange, and one look at his grinning face had me tossing back my drink in one long sip, before turning back for more. By the time I was facing him again, his almost four foot frame was sitting on the edge of the bar, his feet swinging below him, his tail undulating like a mesmerized cobra.
The rum hit me pretty fast and I became the one mesmerized, watching the pointed appendage dance before me. “You are getting very sleepy…” came Steve’s voice, although it sounded far away.
The cry of my son in the next room snapped me out of it. “No shit, it’s almost midnight.”
“Fine, do you still enjoy writing?” He asked. His tone was very serious and I stopped thinking about the answer to look and make sure he was the same Steve.
“Well, yes.” I responded after a few seconds sipping my drink.
“You don’t sound too sure. Do you still enjoy writing?”
“Yes,” I responded with more confidence.
“About what?” It was the obvious follow up question, but I had missed it, and even after it had been spoken, I did not have an answer.
“Well, there’s the Pennyman, and Sam, and Peter…” I cautiously answered.
“And Sarah with an H, and Brian…yeah I get it. Then why haven’t you been writing that one?”
“Well there is Samantha and Doug, and Godfried too.” I smiled, maybe it was the alcohol, but I really liked Godfried.
“Haven’t you been reading my stories?” A more lucid me might have caught on faster, but Steve had already opened his mouth to speak when it occurred to me. “Godfried isn’t from you?”
It was too late, Steve could not take credit for the monochromatic frog. I did a little dance, celebrating my own creativity, and pissing the demon off even more.
“Sure, rub it in,” He said, darting his tail out and striking my drink from my hand with serpentine accuracy. Luckily the carpet absorbed most of the impact, and the liquid. Now instead of one stain on the carpet there were two, as well as two intact cups.
I bent down and picked them up, the glass clinking together as I tried to get them both with one hand. While I was bent over with my back to Steve he hopped down and went into the pantry where the liquor was kept.
Having not seen him move, when I stood up and looked around, not seeing him, I let out a cheerful “Yes!”
“I’m in here…you need more Jaeger.”
As I walked back to the sink to deposit the two empty cups, I shook my head.
“Take a break.” Steve said as he came out of the closet, the Jaeger bottle in one hand and an empty bottle of Absinthe in the other. “You need more Absinthe too. The last of it is in here.” He held up the dark bottle to answer the question on my face.
“From what?” I asked him as he took a long pull from the bottle.
“From whatever you want. Whatever happened to that serial killer you were writing about?”
“That Sick Fu…?” I looked up and saw my oldest daughter in the doorway.
“Yeah, that one.”
“What’s the matter?” I ignored Steve until he interrupted her answer.
“She had a nightmare. You were digging your new basement and the house fell on you, and you had on these awful red glittery shoes.”
“That’s not funny Steve, leave my kids alone.”
“Fine, they weren’t part of the deal anyway.”
I hugged my daughter and sent her back to bed with a kiss on the forehead.
“Tell you what, you give me a week free from your influence, and I will buy you two bottles each of the crap.” I pointed at the bottles in his hands.
Steve’s eyes lost their focus for a moment while he thought this over, before agreeing. “May I ask what you hope to accomplish?”
“We’ll just have to see.”
“Honey, what would you say to painting our bedroom this weekend?” My wife called from the living room.
Steve cackled madly and walked out of the room.