The old typewriter had a mind of its own. It wrote some pretty terrifying stuff. Things that would make your toes curl up. Still, as demonically possessed items go, it could’ve chosen worse than my grandfather’s manual Underwood.
If Anhaeluvix had possessed my computer, it might’ve been scary. It could have turned itself on and wrote its horrors all night long. It could’ve posted bizarre selfies to my Facebook account. But no, Ani possessed a manual typewriter. Anytime I got tired of his foul mouth, I just forgot to reload a sheet of paper. Problem solved. Stupid demon.
Occasionally, when I became bored, I’d stick in some paper just to see what curses he came up with. I don’t think Ani ever repeated a one twice. I started typing things back to him, and we had conversations. Of course, for this to work, I had to establish boundaries. One conversation went like this:
Anhaeluvix: May the tentacles of Great Naharpythilus gouge your eyes, and his thorns of Inestimable Doom infest your rectum!
Jones: Knock off the rectum shit, Ani. Do it again and you’ll get the cheap bond paper for a week!
Anhaeluvix: Hey, hey, lighten up! We’re all friends here, right?
Eventually, I discovered that Ani wrote much more than curses. He wrote novels. A pretty fair writer I’ll admit, if you like zombies and demons portrayed as the good guys. Ani could write a full-length book in days. A pretty impressive feat, but unfortunately it meant I had to sit beside the typewriter and load a new page every time he finished one. Ani didn’t need sleep or food or potty breaks, so his novel-writing could be a grueling ordeal for me. Sometimes I’d wake up with my face in my own drool with something like this:
With the typewriter carriage shifting angrily back and forth, I read the last line on the page.
Anhaeluvix: Wake UP! You twice-damned spawn of the eighty-teated goat! Change the paper!
Jones: I gotta pee.
Just for kicks, I sent one of Ani’s books to a publisher. I was shocked when they bought it immediately. It went to print and immediately shot up to #3 on the Bestseller list. I published more books. Ani didn’t seem to care that my name graced the covers. He just kept writing. I started receiving fan mail from the weirdos that actually read this kind of crap. Some folks considered the sex scene between a rock demon and a wood chipper to be the pinnacle of American literature.
Checks from the publisher started rolling in. I quit my job and spent 12 hours a day rolling new pages into the Underwood. The eight books Ani wrote in a month all sold like hotcakes. He could’ve written more but my wrist was sore all the time from repetitive stress. I bought a lot of ice packs. I started attending Goth conventions. I learned how to compliment a teenager on successfully matching the colors of her black lipstick, black eyeshadow, and black fingernail polish with her black dress…and still keep a straight face.
With 42 books backlogged and waiting for a believable time frame to send to the publisher, I started noticing something odd in Anhaeluvix’s writing. It was getting mushy. I mean, mushy for Ani. The explosions and building collapses and hideous deaths by chainsaw dwindled. A softer, though still gruesome side appeared. The romance between a Balrog demon and a demonic parking meter seemed obviously starstruck from the beginning. What would they do when he ran out of quarters? Love is great, but you still need money, right? Eventually, they killed themselves in a lover’s suicide pact.
Ani’s romantic bent continued until he didn’t feel like writing for a day. Later the delay lasted a week, and then a month. I should’ve known the gravy train wouldn’t last forever. With 23 books published and another 37 in the wings, I honestly couldn’t complain. I was rich and that meant the medical bills for my carpal tunnel were covered. Still, I wondered what changed.
And then one night, I couldn’t sleep. I slogged into Ani’s room with a plate of nachos. That’s when I saw them. It explained everything. I’m happy for Anhaeluvix, I really am. Everybody needs someone to love, even demons.
Trouble is, I can never look at a slinky toy the same way again.
Every Monday it’s time to finish the story. Thanks for letting me go beyond the 150 word limit, Barb! With a photo prompt and an opening sentence, it’s up to us to finish writing the story. The splash photo above is this week’s media prompt and the sentence prompt is, “The old typewriter had a mind of its own.” Look here for more stories based upon the prompts: https://mondaysfinishthestory.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/mondays-finish-the-story-february-23rd-2015/