The Red Demon


The Red Demon

Okay, you can call me crazy! Hey, maybe I am…does a crazy person know he’s crazy? All I can say is ‘I know what I see in the pit of dark night’. Criminy, everything else in my routine life seems normal enough. I rise in the morning, shave, take a shower, dress, drink some orange juice, eat a slice of toast, and take the crappy subway to Manhattan and work all day…

‘What’s up with this guy?’ That’s what you are asking, right? ‘Where’s he leading us?’

Okay, just be patient, stretch your mind a wee bit, and I’m about to tell you. I know how it’s all going to sound, weird, off the wall loony, but I have to tell somebody. It’s driving me…well, crazy!

Three weeks ago, it starts!

I get off work at this mid-town bookstore and have a couple of beers before catching the subway back to my apartment. The bar is a cheap basement joint but the beer doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Anyway, it’s already dark outside…comes early this time of year, you know. As I walk up the short steps of the bar to the sidewalk, people are passing, jabbering and laughing…lots of people, you know. Well, that’s what makes this story so…well, loony!

I’m walking to the subway entrance when I see a guy in a car thrashing about, his blood splashing all around…and, all these people passing on the sidewalk are oblivious to this ugly scene, just jabbering and laughing.

I run to the car, look through the passenger-side window. What I see blows my mind. I’m telling you true! Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true!

There’s this red – yeah, RED – demon in the front seat whaling away on the driver… The demon is all red, I’m telling you, with long pointed ears, a satanic face with wild-glaring eyes. His long tail is pointed like an arrow at the end, and, get this, he’s got wings. He’s small…no more than four feet in height. (Now, I’m saying ‘he’ and ‘his’, just assuming, you know, his gender.)

I’m yelling at the people passing, and they look at me like I’m just another nutty New Yorker. Amid all the action and screaming in the car itself, and these people don’t hear or see anything… Only I see this feral display of snarl and assault.

I open the passenger door and whack the red demon hard with my fist… Now, here’s something else you’re not going to believe. The red smallish ogre just…disappears, poof, into the black of night.

‘What about the driver of the car?’ You ask.

The guy’s got scratches and gashes, blood covering his face. He murmurs to me, “Thank God for you!”

“What the hell was that?” I asked.

He weakly answered, “I saw nothing…just felt the attack…”

“You did not see the little red demon that was attacking you?” I asked, astonished.

“No, I saw nothing, only felt the awful pain.”

“My God! Am I the only one to see it? The people on the sidewalks did nothing, with all my yelling. Did they not see it?”

I took him to the hospital where he was quickly patched up and released. A really good guy, he offered me some money which I did not take. We never saw each other again…guess that’s part of life in the big city.

You want more crazy?

During the past three weeks I saw this red demon attacking others in the Manhattan darkness. Those attacked could remember only the attacks. They saw no red demons. Apparently I was the only person to witness these attacks, the only person to see the red demon, the only person to make him disappear.

Hey, it’s okay if you think I’m crazy… Hell, I think I am as well. I’ve been to doctors, even some psych people, and they can find nothing wrong with me… I’m not a raving beerholic – it’s infrequent I have a beer, but, when I do, it’s Dos Equis…forgive the attempt at lightness. A comedian, I’m not.

So, these days, I go to work and straight home after pushing books all day.

It’s Friday night, and, for lots of people it’s hell-raising night – you know, getting plowed and, just maybe, you meet a sweet companion that races your motor…you know, someone who opens a door to some wakeful day-dreaming, to some possible tomorrows for life-sharing.

Me, I’m home alone, really into this old movie, An Affair to Remember. The syrupy ending is winding down, and I’ve got these tears coming down my cheeks, feeling like a ten on the scale of idiots, and my doorbell rings, loud and often. I’m thinking, ‘who the hell is ringing my doorbell this time of night’?

I mute the movie, probably because I want to cry some more later, go and answer the door.

Okay, time for crazy again!

It’s that damned red demon! He had this weird jerk going with his head and what I believe might have been a smile. In a low, menacing, guttural voice, he says, “Hi, sweet yummy, it’s time we get to know each other…how’s about a little kiss?” (Hey, maybe I was wrong about the ‘gender’ thing! Or, not!)

My heart did a couple of flips and I went into a catatonic seizure! There are only three rooms in my apartment, and I was like a whirling dervish (oops, apologies to Muslims!), or, like a wild human pinball bouncing from room to room, or, like one of those old silent screen ‘krazy kops’, zigzagging all over the place.

The manic behavior stopped when I fell and hit my head on the porcelain tub in the bathroom. I was out like the proverbial light.

When I awoke, the red demon was gone.

Two possibilities: 1) Too much ‘green beer’ at the basement tavern, or, 2) The porcelain tub in the bathroom knocked something in my brain back into its rightful position.

Folks, I had to tell you about this event in my life because it was the most otherworldly and scariest production my sub-conscious brain has ever presented…

Where the hell do they come from?

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood, November 6, 2015


My new book, Stranger Abduction, came out last month – October, 2015 – and it has many ‘red demons’ of a sort. The book was inspired by a true Arizona abduction some years ago… A mother and her fourteen-year old daughter walked three miles to a country store for cigarettes and ice cream. They made it to the store but never made it home.

The story has interesting characters, clarity of writing style, and entertainment value. Hope you read Stranger Abduction and give it an Amazon and/or Goodreads review.


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