A More Beautiful Monster
Ousting this demon has nothing to do with holy water—it’s all about a steady hand on the dagger.
Mary Evans’ blood pooling in the cobbled streets beneath her corpse symbolizes everything DuHarren hates about his contract with the demon Tamuel. After two and a half centuries of a lucrative, but usually boring and occasionally horrifying partnership, he wants to get out of the deal, and he doesn’t mind dying to do it. He fears only the prospect of Hell’s fiery brimstone. When Father Michael—a beautiful but angry green-eyed priest—performs the latest in a long line of failed exorcisms, the demon is intrigued, but so is DuHarren. Would the priest make a lover? Or better, dare he hope he might at last sever his ties to the demon and escape to a cool, quiet death?
Note: By Lou Sylvre writing as Loretta Sylvestre. Lou Sylvre is known for romance and happy endings. Same writer, but beware: this isn't that.
Tropes: Becoming a Monster, Demonic Possession, Possession, Redemption Arc
Word Count: 7500
Setting: City (18th C, ficitonal)
Languages Available: English
Nothing had ever fit my consecrated hand so perfectly as that silver dagger’s hilt. I raised the blade between us. For an instant I held it there, suspended, while in my mind Mary's blood pooled and boiled at our feet, and then I thrust the blade toward DuHarren’s lurid breast. Time lost all its markers, and I watched the subtle pulse of his flesh, each heartbeat a sweet eternity as the gleaming blade drew close. Then the tip pricked the skin and a single carmine droplet formed and fled the wound.
This full, lush tale reaches maximum thrill in a matter of paragraphs, its potent language of blood, sweetness and fear exposing the duality of a priest and the razor-sharp line between the seductive longings of good and evil. [The author] writes through the darkness with a quiet grace and a careful touch, never letting this moving tale flop into the clichés of fiery damnation and screaming vicars.
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