"Demons and monsters get lonely, too. Like everyone else, they are just looking for someone to love. That’s where the Demon Dating Service comes in. Fill out an online profile, rate your criteria in order of importance, get out there are start 'poking,' and we’ll send you potential matches once a week. Love is out there, even for you."
Two humans sign up for the online Demon Dating Service, masquerading as demons themselves. She gets her kicks by dating demons, he gets his by slaying them. One of them is looking for love, the other is looking for revenge. What happens when they find each other?
Lucille watched herself turn in the mirror. The glamour fit her perfectly. The dress, though, was a bit tight. She had been trying to lose those ten pounds for awhile, but they were stubborn. Even being a Ranunculus demon, she was a bit heavy. It's only ten pounds. Or maybe twenty, if she was brutally honest with herself.
She smoothed the dress over her bulky hips self consciously. Anyways, it doesn't matter. This guy likes me. He really likes me for me. I know he won't care what I look like.
That was what was so great about the Demon Dating Service. It matched you on a bunch of different layers. Appearance was a low priority for her, and she had finally found a male demon that had ranked appearance as low as she had.
Because Ranunculus demons, unfortunately, were rather ugly. And large. She bit her lip, her human glamour reflecting back at her, biting a slim, red lip. In reality, they were thick froglike lips. But better for kissing, she thought to herself, and giggled.
She glanced at the clock. It was time to go. She grabbed her handbag, snatched up her keys, and locked her apartment door behind her.
It was a nice night – although most nights in LA were nice – and the coffee house they were meeting at wasn't too far, so she had decided to walk. Her long, thick legs made long, quick strides, so she was able to travel brisk lope.
When she reached the cafe, butterflies tickled her stomach. Their first date. They had been emailing for two weeks. She had wanted to be sure about him.
Too many times she had thought she had found someone, finally, only to have her heart broken. She tugged on her dress, ran thick fingers through her coarse hair, and made sure the dampness that usually coated her nose was wiped away. With a deep breath, she put a smile on her flat face and pushed into the cafe.
A quick glance around the room showed that she had arrived first. She found a table in the middle of the room and pulled out her book, arranging it just so. She hated waiting, so she shifted uncomfortably in the chair. It creaked under her bulk. Oh phooey. We should have picked a better place. One with more space. Heftier tables. Ryan was also a bigger demon. A Pinguitudo. But he had suggested the place, and she had agreed since it was close.
She shifted her weight, tapped her massive manicured nails on the table, and tried to squash the little negative voice in her head. Telling her it had happened again.
He'll be here, she told the voice fiercely. She hadn't realized she had said it out loud until the people around her gave her odd looks. Her breath caught and she tested the glamour. It still held.
Every time the door clinked open, her head involuntarily jerked up. Each time it wasn't her date, she felt another pinprick in her heart. He's probably just running late. Traffic can be bad around here sometimes. He's probably parking. He'll be here.
How long are you going to lie to yourself, Lucille? She pressed her eyes closed, forcing the tears back. Nothing worse than a blubbering Ranunculus demon in a human glamour.
She finally got up and ordered a drink. She paid for it, waited while the barista made it, tipped him, sat down, drank it, flipped through the telltale book, and then finally just stared dully ahead.
He probably took one look at you and ran screaming. She almost wished she hadn't put out the identifying book, so he would have just seen her in human form. Knowing she was wearing a glamour, he would have seen right through it. Although glamours worked best when they closely matched what was already there, so human she may look, but not a skinny or pretty one.
But that was what she had wanted. She wanted him to like her for her, bulk and all. And he had. What happened? Maybe he was in a horrible accident. Maybe he got sick. Or had a family emergency. I'll go home and there will be a message from him.
She wished her fat demon fingers allowed her to use a smart phone. She'd check her email inbox now. No such luck. Nobody had made smart phones for big demons yet.
I wish they had focused on that instead of an online dating service for us, she thought angrily. It really is just a mockery after all. She gnashed her teeth, but then forced herself to calm down. You are over-reacting. However, when she glanced at the clock on the wall, her anger flared again. It was obvious he wasn't coming. She had been waiting for over an hour.
Stupid girl. Anyone with an ounce of self respect would have left after fifteen minutes. Maybe twenty. Anger slid into depression.
Oh well. I don’t know why I’m surprised. She ordered another drink, and added a large brownie wrapped in plastic, and headed for home. At least she got some chocolate out of it.
As she walked for her apartment, she clumsily unwrapped the brownie. You are so bad. I can’t believe you’re eating this. It’ll go straight to your hips, and you’ll have even more trouble snagging a guy. Although this one was hard enough. She thought about throwing in the towel. Who was she kidding? She’d be alone forever. Maybe she was meant to be.
She took a bite of her dessert, and closed her eyes to better savor the treat. She let out a little moan, and then jerked her eyes opened, feeling embarrassed. It’s sad when chocolate is the only action you’ve seen in-
“Lucille?” came a voice from behind her. Her stomach churned into her chest and her heart fluttered. A smile spread across her fat mouth. She had judged him too soon. Here he was, at last. She was sure he had a good excuse for being late.
She turned towards the voice, trying, unsuccessfully, to keep the goofy smile from her face. She felt her smile fade when her eyes fell on the figure before her. He was standing in the shadows, his face concealed by the darkness. Even then, though, she should have been able to see through his glamour and seen the shape of his true form.
He was human.
“Do I know you?” she asked, suddenly nervous. She didn’t know any human males. Surely this wasn’t Ryan? He was supposed to be a Pinguitudo demon. You idiot. He lied.
He shifted in the shadows. “Sorry I’m late. I saw you in the café. I was watching you. For awhile.”
She felt a shiver between her sharp shoulder blades. She wasn’t a particularly tough Ranunculus demon, but it had been a long time since she had been afraid of anything. People didn’t normally pick on her species: they had thick skin and strong limbs and were pretty quick for their size. But there had been something unsettling in his tone of voice. Not to mention, creepy much?
“I was too shy to go in and say hello,” he said after a beat.
Relief flooded through her. “You were?”
She could just make out his nod.
“I’m not exactly…” he gestured to himself. “Who I said I was. I was a bit embarrassed.”
She still couldn’t quite shake the creeped out feeling she had in the very back of her mind, but she managed to give him a smile. “It’s ok. I understand. Although I do wish you hadn’t lied. There was no reason to.”
She couldn’t help the feelings of wanting to comfort this poor guy. And she thought she had low self esteem. He had lied about himself so he could go out on a date with a Ranunculus demon!
“I realize that now. It was silly of me. You are so much more understanding than I even thought you would be,” he said, sounding wistful.
“Come on, it’s not too late. We can still salvage our date,” she said reaching a meaty hand out to him. A tingling feeling was still sending warning bells along her nerves, but she squelched them. But why won’t he come into the light so you can see him, a voice nagged. It doesn’t matter. He’s here, he wants to be with you, and he lied to impress you. You think I’ll ever find that again?
He took a few steps forward and held his arm out in a chivalrous gesture. “Ladies first,” he said.
She smiled again, and turned her back to him.
She heard him move, but didn’t expect him to move so quickly. His arms came up around her neck and before she could shrug him off or even bring her arms up to his, she felt a sharp pain in the fleshly, vulnerable part of her throat, underneath the neck flaps. She tried to make a noise, but air and blood gushed out of the half moon he had cut open in her neck instead. Her arms convulsed and she tried to clamp her hands around his arms, but he had already withdrawn. She sank to her knees, one hand on the ground in front of her, one to her throat. She watched the cement as sticky black drops spattered into little starbursts.
She reached out to grab him, knock him off his feet – she knew she could crush his legs if she caught him – but he darted out of the way, and the knife dipped into her side, where her vital cluster of organs lay beneath a hard shell of cartilage and bone. She felt the cold pinprick of magic as the blade cut through them like cloth.
Lucille collapsed onto the pavement. I don’t remember it being this dark a minute ago, her muddy thoughts mumbled. She found him with her eyes. He was standing over her, the blade coated in her blood clenched in one hand.
Why? She pleaded with her eyes. Why me? Why would you do this?
He only stared at her impassively. She could almost make out his features now. Funny. He looked like every other human male to her. Even if I live through this, I’d never be able to pick him out of a line-up. She almost laughed at that, but it only came out as a gurgling wheeze. This was the first worst date ever. She had been upset about him standing her up. If only he had.
Her oxygen and blood starved brain finally fired its last impulse, and she died with the taste of chocolate brownie in her mouth.