A Most Unwelcome Obligation – Part 4

The waiter didn’t look too sympathetic but he asked Gerald if he was all right just the same.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Damn, I wonder what that guy’s problem was.”

“Well what did you expect him to do after you insulted his girlfriend?”

“What? I didn’t insult his girlfriend.”

“Sir, I heard you call her an ugly slut. I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

Gerald got a queasy feeling in the pit of his stomach and left without another word. The nightmare was not going to go away.

“That’s right Gerald. Actions have consequences. You shouldn’t have told me to get lost.”

The voice was in his left ear. He didn’t need a mirror to know the demon was perched on his shoulder again, even though he couldn’t feel any weight there.

“Yeah? One little thing you freak, I didn’t say anything to that woman. I wonder who did, eh?”

“Now, now Gerald. I told you what you had to do and you refused. You’re a slow learner. We’ll continue this conversation when you get home. People are starting to stare.”

He looked around and noticed a few people look away from him. Great, now everyone thought he was talking to himself. He hurried to his car and drove home. When he got inside the demon was waiting for him, perched on the bedpost again. It has a sickening grin on its face.

“Gerald, you look so unhappy.”

Gerald grabbed a saltshaker off the kitchen table and hurled it at the demon. It dodged it with ease.

“Such a temper Gerald. Negativity is so unproductive. Now then, have you thought about how you’re going to acquire the lock of hair for me?”

“Just how the hell am I supposed to get this lock of hair for you? How do I know if some woman is a virgin? Yeah, I can just picture me going up to a young woman and asking her. Hi there, are you bleeding yet, and if so have you had intercourse? Great. That’ll work, uh huh.”

“Gerald, how you go about your task is of no concern to me. Just get me the lock of hair. Don’t even think about trying to fool me with just any hair, I will know right away if isn’t what I need, and you will pay, Gerald. Oh how you will pay.”

“What the hell do you want this hair for anyway? You got some kinky fetish?”

The demon’s eyes grew dark and then bright red and wisps of smoke drifted out its ears. It hunched its shoulders and jutted its chin forward.

“You ask too many questions Gerald. I could just turn you into a cockroach and start over. Be thankful that I’m going to give you one more chance. No more questions. You will get me the hair and you will do it with haste.”

With that it disappeared before his eyes, leaving him stunned by what he had just witnessed. He dropped into a seat and stared at the table for a long moment, uncertain what to do.

Where the hell had this thing come from? It occurred to him his question might well contain the answer, however Gerald had never had any use for superstition. Still, the thing was real. It had gotten him beaten up twice and it had threatened to turn him into a cockroach. He had no reason to doubt it could do that.

Perhaps it was time to start thinking about all of the females he knew, which unfortunately wasn’t many. Perhaps a relative or someone a relative might know? He couldn’t think of anyone off hand. He had two sisters, and they both had daughters but he was pretty sure they hadn’t reached puberty yet. Even so, how could he ask them to give him a lock of hair? The situation was looking bleak.

Part 5 Tomorrow


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