DeLaney’s Pet Demon

 

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The Brusters were proud of their baby girl Delaney. She was a beautiful.

Her brilliant blue eyes captivated everyone’s attention, and she had a sweet disposition.

Until she turned five years-old.

That’s when the demon came to her one night and promised to always be her best friend. She was sitting on the edge of her bed and pouting, because she had to go to bed early as punishment for kicking the cat, when a sympathetic voice said, “That wasn’t fair.”

She looked around the room but couldn’t see anyone. “They didn’t have to punish you like that,” the soothing voice asserted.

“I can’t see you. Where are you?” she asked.

“Close you eyes, DeLaney.”

She meekly obeyed. The first thing she saw was a cute little black puppy.

“OOhhhh!…she squealed in delight.

“Keep your eyes closed.”

Eyes closed, she reached out to pet the puppy, but he was just out of her reach. That night she listened to a bedtime story by the invisable puppy.

She couldn’t remember it in the morning but vaguely remembered dreaming about puppies. At breakfast, she asked her mom and dad if she could have one. They were both surprised at her request.

Delaney had never mentioned wanting a pet, even though many of her friends had pets. They both agreed it would be good for her, and took her to the closest animal shelter.

She walked up and down the cages petting the puppies. When she came to the cage where a little black mutt was waiting she stopped and petted the eager pup.

“This one, Mommy and Daddy,” she said, smiling happily.

As soon as they brought the puppy home, she named him “Max.” They became inseparable. When Max started talking when no one else was around, DeLaney wasn’t scared, or surprised.

He told her where he’d be waiting and the minute she saw him at the shelter she knew it was him. Her parents noted that from that day on she quit acting like a spoiled brat. It was a small miracle that made life around the house go much smoother.

Twenty years later, DeLaney and Max moved out and bought a one-bedroom house just outside the city limits. A three-hour drive from her parents house. Close, but not too close.

Thanks to Max’s help, she had a successful start-up business that sold for more money than she ever imagined.

Max always had the answers to anything DeLaney needed to know. The only thing she knew about Max was that he was cast out from living with the other demons, and exiled to her dimension.

DeLaney, never was a social type, and was more than happy to have Max to go on long hikes in the nearby national forest. As the years passed peacefully by, she realized Max wasn’t aging. Again, like everything about Max, it didn’t surprise her.

In fact, the thought comforted her in her old age. She did worry about what Max would do without her, however.

Their favorite walk was on a trail overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There were places along the way where they could set and stare out at the vast sea, talking about every subject under the sun.

DeLaney was spry enough at 91 years-old to take care of herself. With Max’s help, of course. She never regretted not getting married, or having kids. It just wasn’t her. She was too independent to have a close relationship with anyone but Max…her lifetime confident and best friend.

One day, while indulging in her newest hobby of oil painting outside in the great outdoors, DeLaney dropped her brush, and died from a massive heart attack. Max was there when she went down.

His howls of grief attracted two young hikers who came upon them. The man bent down and took her pulse. He looked at the woman and shook his head sadly. She called 911. When they tried to catch Max he ran away.

The priest blessed the coffin one more time, and the workers lowered it down slowly into the grave. There were no friends or family to mourn her loss. When the priest and workers left, Max came out from behind the bushes that lined the perimeter of the cemetery.

Without hesitation, he laid down on DeLaney’s grave.

Then a miracle happened.

The supreme being who banished Max to be with the demons forgave him for his transgressions and brought him to the Elysian Fields where DeLaney was waiting for him.

As It Stands, this tale (no pun intended) was an exercise in exploring unusual friendships.

Author: Dave Stancliff

Retired newspaper editor/publisher, Vietnam veteran, freelance writer, blogger, married 43 years with three sons and five grandchildren.

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