It was a funeral. Everyone was in black and a veil covered Lilly’s face. Who’s funeral she did not know but she would have to wait and see. She stepped up to the coffin with the glass lid. Lying in there looking peaceful and at ease was her grandma. She looked so different. The only way Lilly really saw her grandmother was either with a red face, either from anger or drinking too much wine, or pale, sickly and grumpy when she was terribly hungover. A song echoed in her mind. A version of ‘Ding, Dong the witch is dead’ from The wizard of Oz but every time the word witch was sung, the word bitch rung sharply in her ears. She smiled to herself. She always made crude jokes. She stepped up to the coffin and lay a wilted rose on the coffin lid. She sat down next to her grandmother. She was quite sad. And worried about her future. She had no one else. Only her grandmother. Not after her parents and her brother… her throat clamped tight. No, now was not the time to think about the past. A tear dripped down onto the glass but it was not for her grandmother. She wiped her eyes before anymore could fall down her cheeks. She lent down over the coffin and hummed the tune of her ‘Ding, Dong’ parody and started to smile again. She stood up and took her seat in the front row. Everyone stood up for the prayer. Her grandmother wasn’t particularly religious and she wasn’t sure why anyone organised it in a church but then again, one of her Christian bingo buddies had probably organised the whole thing. She sat down not bothering to say amen. She couldn’t stand people who were Christian. It was sad really. God was always kind of like a tooth fairy to her. A fable to her as a child but as she got older she begun to realise the truth. She looked up. One of the bingo buddies (this was what her grandmother called them but they where more like go-to-the-bar-and-get-drunk-with buddies) was making a speech. She hadn’t really been listening but she heard the last line. “I know Lynn will be going to heaven and one day, when I get there I believe she will be some kind of god.” Yeah right, she thought. More like hell. I swear, that women is the devil himself.
Lilly sat up in bed smiling. That was the funniest, most amusing dream she had had in a long time. She looked down at her pillow, wet with tears and she wiped her damp cheeks. Joseph, mum, dad. She thought. She shook her head. Now wasn’t the time. She wanted to go downstairs and tell that bitch of her dream and how happy she had felt when she woke up. “Ding, Dong, the bitch is dead,” she screamed as she stomped down the stairs. No answer. Hmm, she thought. I wonder how much she had to drink last night. She must be out like a light. She got to the bottom of the stairs and hammered on her grandmothers door.
“Wake up you drunk ass, you won’t believe the dream I had last night,” She kicked on the door until she heard the crunch of the lock breaking and the chink of the metal falling to the ground. She was going to get killed for this. She pushed open the door with her hip and waltzed into her grandmothers bedroom. She slapped her hoping to give her the shock of her life when she woke up. Her grandmother remained still, not even a peep. She went into the kitchen and filled up a bucket with the ice cold water from the fridge. She poured it onto her grandmothers wrinkled old face but she got no reaction. Lilly’s heart pounded. Something was wrong seriously wrong. She felt for a pulse. Nothing. She peeled one eyelid open but the eye did not roll back down. All she could see where the bloodshot whites of her drunk grandmother. She sprinted into the kitchen and grabbed the phone. Her hands shook as she dialled triple zero. She informed the operator and about 15 minutes later she heard the familiar siren of the ambulance. She officer turned up at the doorstep, looking shocked to see a 16 year old girl standing on the other side. Lilly showed her to her grandmothers door way but did not dare to look around and see her grandmothers lifeless body. The police arrived soon after. She sat down with the female officer and talked to her.
“What happened here sweetie,”
“Don’t call me sweetie”
“I’m sorry. You need to tell me what happened. I also need some information about your grandmother if you wouldn’t mind. Is it just you and her? Where are your parents?”
“My parents. Are dead. They were murdered. She was caring for me but she wasn’t very good. She was always drunk of her ass. She hit me. All the time. I tried to wake her up this morning but she wouldn’t. I thought she was just drunk. Then I checked her pulse. I hated her. But I feel empty inside. Like something’s missing.”
“Sorry for what. That my parents are dead, that my grandmother didn’t care about me, that she abused me, that every time I called the police and told her what she did to me no one did anything. Well you should be.” Her voice was filled with venom. She spat at the women’s feet. Even though she knew the women was just trying to help, she couldn’t help but feel hatred for the women. Jealousy. That she had a family. That she was loved and by the look of the gold rings on her left hand she had children and a husband as well. She couldn’t stand her.
The funeral was terrible. She didn’t wear a veil like in the dream and it wasn’t too religious. There were Bingo Buddies everywhere, they were swarming the place like bees. They finally sat down and the service began. Lilly zoned out somewhere in the ‘Oh praise the Lord Jesus in heaven’ part but was brought back when one of the Bingo Buddies stepped up to make a speech. He looked oddly familiar. Lilly spent the whole speech trying to figure out where she had seen him before when she realized. He had been making the speech in the dream prior to her grandmothers death. She only managed to catch the final words of the speech.
“I know Lynn will be going to heaven and one day, when I get there I believe she will be some kind of god.” The man said, tears streaming down his face.
Lilly looked up eyes wide. Had she heard right. She could have sworn the man made the exact same speech in her dream. She stood up. She heard the rustle of clothes as everyone shifted in the pews to look at her. Her cheeks burned but it wasn’t embarrassment that made them flare. It was anger. She stormed towards the sniveling man, his eyes filled with fear. She climbed the steps to the altar and turned to face the shocked faces of the attendees and smiled. Not a kind smile but a twisted one. She bunched the front of the mans dress shirt in her fist. She felt so powerful, so strong. She lifted him into the air, his face frozen in a ghastly expression. She turned again to the crowd.
“This retch,” she whispered, her voice filled with poison. “This whimpering retch, is a disgrace to all human beings. I could ring his right here, I could hang him by his tie from the rafters. I could cut him up and send his organs to the Pope for all I care. I just want him dead.”
She tossed the whimpering man aside. She swaggered over to one of pews and loomed over a white faced elderly women. She stormed over to the table holding water, coffee and tea and flipped it upside down. Coffee grains spilt all over the carpet and they mixed with the water flowing like a river along the ground, creating a swirl of brown and staining the stark white carpet. She stormed out of the chapel, her hands shaking. She emptied her stomach in the flower beds, and when there was nothing left dry heaved until she felt like she was going to vomit up her stomach. She sprinted away from the chapel. By the time the police found her, her face was streaked with tears, mascara streaming down her face as she wandered past the graves of strangers, wondering how they died, what had happened to their families. She was wrapped in a warm blanket and guided silently towards a police car. There was a policeman sitting behind the wheel, the engine already running. He turned around examining Lilly’s tear soaked face.
“Now Lilly,” He said in a calm voice. “I’m Officer Linton. We’re going to take you somewhere now where you’ll be safe OK? It’s about an hour away from here. Some policemen will come in a couple of days to see how you’re going and ask you a few questions is that OK?”
Lilly grunted a yes. She closed her eyes and disappeared into a restless slumber.
It was the night. The night everything changed. Her parents put her and her brother to bed at 7:00, quite late for 6 year old’s. Her and her brother, Joseph where twins. They shared a room, toys, secrets. They couldn’t be separated. But that all changed tonight. Lilly was just settling down when she heard the bang of the front door slamming shut. She sat up in bed, her ears listening carefully, she heard her parents screaming and crying downstairs. Her mother was begging the person downstairs not to hurt the children. Lilly shook her brother awake.
“Quick we have to hide,” She whispered. “There’s someone downstairs.”
Her brother rolled over, ignoring her. She crawled into the cupboard as she heard the creaking footsteps of someone walking up the stairs. She heard a loud bang and there was silence, only the heaviness of her breathing and the rustle of sheets. She didn’t have time to grab her brother and drag him into hiding with her. There door creaked open and footsteps thudded towards her. She heard her brother whimpering and another bang. She gasped, a small noise but enough to alert the intruders to her location. The cupboard doors swung open and on front of her stood a man. No not a man. An angel. White wings spread out behind him and she felt his gaze bear down on her.
“Are you here to save me?” She gasped, gazing up at him.
“No.” He said in a husky voice. “I’m here to kill you,”
The angel pulled out a gun but a forceful wind flew and knocked it out of his hands. He looked in shock at the small child, an expression of horror passing over his face.
“What are you,” He whispered, with a look of terror that showed he was afraid of the little girl. “What have they done to you?”. The angel disappeared with a flap of wings.
Lilly sat upright in the car, breathing heavily. Standing over her was Officer Linton.
“We’re here,” He stated in a monotone voice.
Dazed, she stepped out of the car, fixing her hair and trying to make herself look presentable. Looming over her was a tall rustic building. It looked quite old, most of the windows barded up and spray paint covering some of the walls. The only new thing about it was the sign that hung proudly over the front door. It stated ‘St Maggie’s Home for the Mentally Challenged’. Lilly sighed. Of course she would be sent to an asylum. This one didn’t look to bad but she dreaded how long she was to be staying there. Officer Linton stepped onto the welcome mat, wiping his shoes. He knocked on the front door and a mane of red hair poked its head around. The head disappeared and Lilly could hear the click of locks opening. A tall red headed lady stepped in front of the door, closing it behind her. She looked down at Lilly, her eyes full of pity.
“Now who is this pretty young lady?” The woman said in a sweet voice that most adults used to speak to babies. “This must be lovely Lilly. Thankyou for bringing her here, Officer but we can take care of her for now. I’m Sandy, the receptionist here and you’ll see me a lot around this place. I think that we’ll be great friends.” Sandy reached for Lilly’s hand, waved goodbye to Officer Linton and dragged Lilly down the hall. The inside of the hospital was white. No art, no colored stripes, not even a bunch of flowers on the front desk. Just plain white. A shiver ran down Lilly’s spine. White always made her feel cold. Sandy showed her around the facility. The gardens out the back that where nicer than Lilly expected. The pool and the food hall. The nurses station and the room Lilly would be staying in. Sandy explained to her that she would be buying some new clothes with her allowance tomorrow and that every newbie at the hospital received $1000 to spend at the mall. Every month they received another $100 and there where monthly excursions that she could partake in. It seemed nice enough and Lilly was looking forward to staying there. It was fancier than any house, hotel or motel she’d ever been in and she felt like she belonged here, even if it was a mental institute. Maybe one day when she got better. If she got better and she saved up enough money she could rent an apartment of her own. Lilly settled down in her room. Her grandmother had left all of her money to her granddaughter and despite the fact that she didn’t work she had quite a lot of money. This meant that Lilly got a private room and didn’t have to share. She collapsed on her bed. Despite her nap in the car, she was very tired from the events of the funeral and needed to sleep. Her mind was blank before her head had hit the pillow and her last thought before she collapsed into a deep slumber was that she still had her shoes on.
Lilly sat up in her bed. She was about to get up when she noticed a strange figure at the end of her bed He was wearing a dark coat and jeans and was sitting in the armchair filing his nails and humming the tune to ‘Stairway to Heaven’.
“Who are you and what are you doing in my room?” she asked.
The man looked up, throwing the nail file on her bed.
“Well,” he said. “Technically I’m not in your room cause this is a dream but what I’m about to tell you is real.”
“So, I am Azazel, the demon. Well, fallen angel, but lets not get into technicalities here.”
“I though demons where meant to look like monsters,”
“Oh, yeah but I’m in a vessel right now. See if you saw my true form you would probably scream and wake up immediately and not listen to what I had to say. Cause, you know I may have 7 heads, 14 faces and six wings on either side of my body but if you get to know me I’m a pretty nice guy. Anyway, I’ve come down on the instruction of Lucifer or Satan or whatever you want to call him. He wants you to come down to hell with. And before you say anything, no you’re not dead you’re a demon.”
“Cool, well I’m just going to wake up right now and realize this is a dream so no thanks I wouldn’t like to go to hell,”
“Are you sure, I mean you are the most powerful demon in hell, your Lilith the first demon,”
“No, I’m not, I’m Lilly, an orphan and I am going to wake up,”
“Ok, you’re choice, but how did you lift that man at the funeral. It was your demon strength. So consider my offer. if you want to contact me, hold this necklace to your heart and say the words, ‘Azazel, vocat te’. Or you could just say ‘Azazel, I summon thee’ but the Latin sounds cooler. Anyway consider the offer.”
The necklace appeared on the bed but Lilly ignored it. She felt her real body waking up.
Lilly sat up in bed. This time there was no mysterious figure at the end of it but there was something on the bed cover. she leaned closer and saw it was a nail file with a piece of paper wrapped around it. A ruby necklace lay on top.