Demon Chronicles: Apple Moonshine (2012)
Adam was born of the earth, but we were born of fire and of light. Neither Adam nor his descendants could match our beauty, wisdom, or power. The Creator commanded us to bow to Adam. He refused to make us gods over mankind.
We rebelled. Our punishment was swift. Some were bound in chains, and remain imprisoned unto this day. The rest of us were cast to Earth’s realm forced to dwell among the sons and daughters of Adam.
I am the demon, Orezel. I seek the destruction of the human race. These are my chronicles, a testament of the human souls I have destroyed.
Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone.
She was ancient. The oldest structure in that town, she sat on its western border. In her youth, she had been the jewel of Georgia’s Appalachian region. Her resplendent columns did not complain of their burden, but remained upright and unyielding amidst a structure yearning to collapse. She stood, steadfast, a reminder of an era long past and a witness to the evil encompassed by her walls.
I did abide in the homes of humans. I warmed myself by their hearths and I saw the sins they thought went unseen. Know this, there are those among you more evil than I.
Sixty-eight, sixty-nine, seventy, seventy-one …. Seventy-one.
This is the highest I’ve ever counted while the mean one spanked me.
Not the bucket. Please don’t use the bucket, its metal. Please, I’ll be good. Oh, no, no, no. Maybe it won’t be bad if I squeeze all my muscles together. I’ll count too, because counting reminds me of momma. I start over counting.
One … two … three … fo—.
Momma taught me to count all the way to one hundred before she died. She said I was smart for my age ‘cause not many three-year-olds can count that big.
My legs are bleeding. I know the mean one will make me bathe and the water will sting. I hope thorns aren’t stuck in my legs this time. I knew something bad was going to happen today. I told Abigail but she didn’t care. She was mad at me for leaving her under the bed while I cleaned the walls. I told the mean one and the good one too. They called me a liar. They said knowing stuff before it happens is powers of the devil. They told me powers of the devil will make you burn in hell forever. I don’t see how a person can burn forever because fires burn fast. Plus, when my momma took me to church, the preacher said Jesus loved little kids.
The mean one left. Wake up. Open your eyes.
Voice is talking to me. He talks a lot. I don’t know what Voice looks like. I can’t see him. The first time I heard Voice I thought it was momma. I was crying because the mean one slapped me in the face with the bony part of the hand and my lip got fat in my mouth. I hate the mean one. I asked Jesus to help me, but he didn’t. Momma told me once that Jesus got deaded, which I guess is why he didn’t help me. So I am running away tonight. I hid Abigail under the bed so we can sneak out when they go to sleep.
Wake up. Open your eyes.
“I can’t wake up, Voice. My head hurts too bad.”
You must wake up.
“I told you, I can’t. I tried, but my eyes are glued shut. Is this the bad place, Voice?”
They lied to you about the bad place. You have a boo-boo on your head.
I don’t think they lied but I don’t say this to Voice. My momma taught me about the bad place and I heard the preacher talk about it at her church. The devil lives in the bad place with bad people. If you don’t get dunked in the bathtub at church, you have to go to the bad place. My momma said so. After you get dunked in the tub, you have to eat Jesus’s body and drink his blood. Grownups say you can’t eat boogers, but eating body and blood is ok. To me, eating body and blood is grosser. Except, they just pretend it’s body and blood. One time, when no one was looking, I tried the blood. It tasted the same as the grape juice my momma buyed at the store.
My momma is in heaven because she got dunked. Little kids don’t get dunked because you don’t die till you’re old. Abigail is old so I dunked her in our tub here. Now she can go to heaven and tell momma I miss her. Abigail is dying but I’m not telling her. Her back is coming undone. Her insides are coming out. Abigail has white stuff for her insides.
Wake up … wake up … wake up.
I guess I better wake up since Voice won’t let me sleep right now. When the mean one hit me with the bucket, bleach water spilled everywhere. My gown is all wet and the bleach smell is strong. One of my eyes can open. For some reason the other one is still glued, but I can’t move my hand to get the glue out.
“I can’t move my arm, Voice.”
Your arm has a boo-boo too, but I can make the pain go away.
Voice is my friend. He’s magic. Dark-time got here fast. The sun was still awake when the mean one spanked me. I’m afraid of the dark, but the moon is shining through the window. Abigail is under the bed watching me. No one else is here except Voice. The curtain is blowing in my face from the window being open to let out the bleach smell, only this doesn’t work good ‘cause I have to throw up.
Abigail has stuff on her, so do the curtain, walls and floor. I know it’s blood from my boo-boos. The mean one is going to be mad because I got blood all over the walls I cleaned today. Every time the mean one checked the walls weren’t clean enough. I had to clean them lots of times.
My mouth tastes like throw up and blood. Now, I remember why I got spanked. I threw up on the mean one. I tried to eat the beans, but they made me gag. I throwed them up in my plate. The mean one told me I couldn’t waste food and made me eat the throw up. I throwed up again, all over the mean one’s hands. The mean one shoved the throw up in my mouth with a spoon until I ate it all.
My head hurts like a knife stab. I’ve never seen such a big blood before, so I will need tons of band-aids. Blood smells bad. My tummy is hot and feels like a see-saw. I think I’m going to throw up again. I squeeze my teeth tight ’cause sometimes doing this makes the throw up go away but it doesn’t work this time. My throw up is red now.
You’re not safe. I can help you move. I can give you strength.
“How? You’re only Voice.”
Remember what I told you about me?
Right, I’m magic. Good girl. You must do as I say—
The mean one and the good one are arguing again. When Voice hears them, he gets quiet. They always argue about me. The mean one hates me but the good one is nice. The good one says the mean one is crazy from drinking the apple moonshine in the cellar. The good one says the moonshine poisoned the mean one.
“How could you do such a thing? What were you thinking?”
“She brought it on herself. You saw what she did.”
“You hit her too hard, too much.”
“I had to punish her.”
“You call this punishment? She’s dead.”
I stop listening. “Am I dead, Voice?”
No, you’re not dead.
I listen again. The mean one is still mad at me. I try hard to be a good girl. If I could be gooder, the mean one would love me I think.
“You’re insane,” the good one said.
“The girl is evil. You can’t deny she has the devil in her.”
They don’t say anything for a minute. I hear footsteps in the hall. I wonder how the devil got inside me. I can’t feel him. Maybe he’s small like a bug.
“What are we going to do now? What if someone finds out?”
“Who’s going to know? No one comes out here. No one knows she’s here. Stop worrying. I’ll put her in the cellar for now and bury her in the morning. I’m too tired to do anything else.”
They stop talking. I hear footsteps. They are coming.
Be still. Don’t move. Close your eyes.
I do as Voice says. The door of the bedroom opens. Footsteps stop by me. Stinky breath is in my face. I know it’s the mean one by the smell of the apple moonshine. My momma’s smell was sweet like flowers and soap. Abigail said my smell is like bleach, which is yucky, and I get mad when she says that.
Pretending sleep is easy. I trick the mean one and the good one at naps, which are not fun. A blanket gets over my whole body even my face. At first this makes me mad, but it’s easier to fake sleep since they can’t see my eyes. Plus, I’m freezing from the bleach water because all I have on is my nightgown.
I get picked up off the floor. I grew three thumbs taller since I came here. I’m heavy for the mean one who is getting lots of wrinkles. The mean one is grunting like a pig all the way down the stairs. I wish I were a pig. All they do is eat and sleep. Except I forgot pigs turn into bacon. I wish I were a flower.
The whole cellar smells like dirt. The mean one pulled the chain for the light, almost dropping me. After the mean one went down the stairs, I did get dropped. Abigail got dropped on top of me. I can see the mean one’s feet walking away from under the blanket. Then the mean one tripped on the cellar steps and fell. The mean one doesn’t get up. I wait for the mean one to move, but nothing happens. I hope the mean one got deaded.
That isn’t very nice. What if the good one’s hurt?
“I don’t care. I’m mad.”
I say I don’t care to Voice, but I do. I don’t want the good one to get deaded, but the mean one and the good one don’t happen at the same time.
I’m going to help you stand.
Voice really is magic. Even though I hurt and I’m cold, Voice helps me stand. I can see the blood good now ‘cause it’s light. My whole gown is blooded. I touch my head, it’s sticky. I cry now. I’m scared.
Shh, don’t cry. You must be brave and do exactly as I say, or the good one could die. You don’t want her to die do you?
“No, but I don’t care about the mean one. I hope the mean one gets deaded and goes to the bad place.”
Voice ignored me say I hope bad stuff happens to the mean one.
You must wake the mean one up.
I tip toe to the steps. My legs hurt. Seventy switches are bad. I feel wobbly. Little lights in all different colors float in front of my face. This must be Voice’s magic. Blood drips from my head, making me sick.
Don’t look at the blood. Focus on my voice. Do as I say. You must rescue the mean one.
The cellar is spinning like when I hold my arms out and turn in circles. I squeeze my teeth tight again. Both the mean one’s eyes are shut. I poke the mean one’s face with my blooded finger, but the mean one doesn’t wake up. I poke harder, but nothing happens.
“What now, Voice?”
I know all the secrets of this house. I’ve lived here a long time. The people who built this house made a secret passage for the Underground Railroad. People used it to escape from bad guys. You can escape with Abigail. Look on the wall. The crack in the corner is really a door. If you push there, it will open.
The crack is all the way across the room. I don’t want to walk this far, but Voice says I have to. It takes a long time to get there. I push the wall. Voice is right. The door opens, but inside is skinny. I don’t know how they got a train in there.
“I don’t want to do anything else, Voice. I’m tired and cold.”
I have an idea. You can make a fire to keep you warm. The smoke will wake the mean one. You’ll be a hero for saving her life. She’ll love you.
“I’m too little to make fires.”
I’ll help you. Do you see the bottles on the shelves?
I nod. The good one told me this place was an apple farm a long time ago. They made lots of stuff with apples like butter, jelly, apple bacon, and this poison the mean one likes.
Push the bottles off the shelves.
Voice sings and makes me smile, but I stopped fast ‘cause it hurts to smile.
I’m a little teapot short and stout. Here is my handle. Here is my spout …
I love to sing. I sing with Voice in my head.
… just tip me over and pour me out.
I tip the bottles over. One … two … three. I count now because I’m feeling very bad. Voice stops me when I make a big mess.
Good job. Hurry now. Do you see the oil lamp on the wall by the stairs?
Drop the lamp on the floor.
It takes me a long time to walk again. I stopped ‘cause I was wobbly, but Voice said hurry. I went faster and got the lamp for Voice. I made a big crash when I dropped it, but the mean one didn’t hear me. The mean one slept through all those crashes.
Take the matches from the first shelf on the bottom. It’s the little box with the red side.
Voice is making me mad. I can’t walk, but he says this is being brave. I don’t care about being brave. Besides, I don’t see matches.
No, wrong shelf. The other one. Good girl. Good job.
“I’m not supposed to play with matches. Mommy said never touch them.”
Mommy is in heaven and she won’t mind in an emergency. Come to the tunnel and light a match. Throw it far away from you and close the door. The mean one will wake up and put the fire out while you run away.
I grab Abigail and put her in the tunnel with my blanket. Lighting a match is hard. It took lots of times to get it fired, and when I tried to throw it, it stuck to my blooded fingers. I got it off before it fired me, but it didn’t go very far. When the match fell on the floor, it said whoosh. Fire went all over the place.
I walk with Abigail a long time in the tunnel until I fall down. Abigail is sleepy. I guess we can take a nap. I don’t hear the fire anymore so the mean one must be awake.
“Voice? Are you still here? I’m so cold.”
I’m here. You can sleep now, little one. Soon, you won’t feel cold anymore. When you wake up, your boo-boos will be gone and you can see your mommy.
I lay on the floor with Abigail and cover us with the blanket.
Voice is right again.
I don’t feel so cold anymore.