Mother May I?

Mothers, the world's heroines and caretakers, keeping everything held together. What would we do without them, these icons of safety and homes. And for little Thomas Barker, his mother was the entire world to him. His father ran off when he was born and left he and his mother to fend for themselves. Thomas and his mother had been kicked to the streets multiple times and were living the pathetic life of a low-class family. The day was November 25th, Thomas' 8th birthday and as Thomas came into the kitchen and measly cupcake sat on a dirty plate in the middle of the small table. His mother smiled sweetly, her smile radiating throughout the room like the one heavenly thing in hell, "Happy Birthday Tommy Dear!" Thomas ran into his mother's arms and hugged her so tightly his arms went pale. As he sat down to eat his sugary treat and open his solitary gift his mother could do nothing but turn and shed a tear. All she could think about was how much her son must hate his life, never able to play with new toys or indulge in a large, professionally made cake.

But as Thomas licked his lips and began to brush his hands over the bright blue paper covering his present he was happier than any child ever had been. He knew deep down in his heart they couldn't afford even this cupcake and present, but his mother cared enough for him to make the sacrifice. Thomas was a smart lad for his age and secretly looked up at his mother with a warm grin before her tore through the paper and opened the box. As he laid his hands on the soft fur of a new teddy bear he began to overflow with joy. Up until now his only toy had been an old beat up superhero action figure, which was difficult to hug. But now he had this perfect new bear with which he could curl up on his cot with and whispers stories to.

Thomas threw the bear into his arms and ran into his mother's body, covering her in his hug, the teddy bear clung to Thomas. "Mommy I'm going to name him Mr. Cuddles, and he's going to be my best friend forever, thank you Mommy!" Thomas ran off to his small closet of a room to play while his mother sat herself down on a chair, not even thinking about what her son had said, she was preoccupied.

If only I could give him a better life, a life without limitations, a perfect birthday, then I'd be truly happy. Then he'd be truly happy. And I'll do anything for that chance at perfection, anything at all. She thought to herself.

As the day passed and Thomas was tucked into bed with Mr. Cuddles curled under his arm, his mother made her way to the couch where she slept. As she lay down and eerie chill ran over her and she shuddered, turning into the cushions for warmth.

"Hello Joan, I couldn't help but overhear you earlier. Your cries for help, although in your head, were surprisingly loud and I had no other option but to answer them…" rasped the cracking voice of a sinister presence.

"Do not be alarmed my dear, for I wish only to give you what you want. I am the Prince of Darkness, Lord of Nothingness, Master of Chaos and Bringer of Nightmares. It is I, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Satan, and I have come to give you my offer. I will make you rich, popular and grant your every beckoning, and all you have to do is sign over to me, your soul."

Joan stared at the tall man; his cloven feet, muscular physique, burnt and sooty skin and blood red eyes. She wasn't even the tiniest bit flustered and just stood there, gazing into his sinister eyes. She dropped to her knees and began to cry into his legs.

"Please, I'll do it, I'll do anything for the chance to see my boy truly happy. Take my soul, take it!" she wailed, clutching at his skin, her naive eyes staring up at him, welled up with tears.

He grinned and gently patted Joan's soft hair. His thick eyebrows slanted and his goatee and mustache wrinkled with his grin. Horns grew from his mop like mane and his fangs jutted out from a blood washed maw. Claws formed on his old yet flawless hands as a deep blue glow formed around them. He grasped Joan's head in both his hands and began to call out her soul. The soul, a white mist sparkling with mystical power, pour out from her body and was sucked into the blue vortex of Satan's hand. To small burn marks remained on her skull as Satan vanished into the darkness. Joan staggered and fell, face down into the musty couch cushions.

***

The world fluttered in and out of Joan's morning eyes. When she finally awoke from her early stupor, she saw Thomas smiling and jumping around next to her on the bed. Bed?! Joan leapt up and looked around, she was sitting on a pure white king sized canopy bed in the middle of a large bedroom, and open door leading into a sparkling clean bathroom.

"Oh mother finally you're awake, you've been out for a day now, but the nurse told me not to worry. Look at this mommy; it's our new house. We got it from a family member who recently passed away, the nurse told me so. He said his name was Uncle Lucien. I prayed for him last night and thanked him for this blessing; he must have been a very good man. Come on mom get up come explore with me! There are two whole floors; two giant bedrooms, a guest room, a kitchen, a dining room, a den, a study, a library, a playroom, a family room and three bathrooms! The nurse lady took me on a tour since you were sleeping. Oh mother there are so many rooms I doubt we'll ever use them all! Mr. Cuddles could have his own room now, but I think he'd get lost!" Thomas was talking so incessantly and fast that he had to stop and catch his breath.

As Thomas led his mother around the house, Joan could only think about one thing, Satan. Uncle Lucien? Lucifer? You'd think the Prince of Darkness would be a little more discrete. Where did this house come from, how'd she and Thomas get there, where was the explanation for the sudden fortune, who was this nurse? Then she laid her eyes on the lakefront view from the glass doors the lead out to a garden. Immediately she stopped asking question and the materialistic lust took over her soul, just as Satan had wanted. The nurse walked I silently behind them, her demonic grin covered in shadow, her dark soul camouflaged beneath the fake visage of a nurse's uniform. Satan was watching, and waiting to pounce, and he'd do it through his little demonic minion. No deal with the Devil goes unpunished.

***

A month into their new lives, Joan had become a snobby elitist, becoming popular in town and throwing parties for her new "friends". She relaxed in the gorgeous hammock hanging between two mighty oaks, overlooking the crystal clear lake and multiple animals of the surrounding wood and beach. Her sleek white dress fit snug over the "perfect" body of the "unaging" mother. Her couture sunglasses (which cost $268 in case you were wondering, because she just loved to tell people) lay gently on her soft nose as she flipped through one of her many mindless magazines. When Thomas came outside, wearing a collared polo and new corduroys, Mr. Cuddles hanging in the air by his furry arm, clutched in Thomas's little hand, Joan barely even noticed.

"Mom… will you play Adventure with me. Mr. Cuddles and I want to explore the garden, but we need someone else to come with us…" Thomas trailed off staring at his mother who hadn't even lifted her eyes from the page she was reading. Apparently the 5lbs some anorexic actress gained was such a 'scandal' to his mother that Thomas was ignored. Thomas sighed and rolled his eyes, walking off into the garden, turning once again to his Mother. She had her "OMG, No way!" face on; Thomas guessed some actor was dating so nobody and another 'scandal' in Hollywood was arising. Grumbling he ran off under trees and over bushes, pretending to be exploring the jungles of South America.

At that point, the nurse made her way outside and over to Joan, where she sat next to the hammock on a lawn chair. "Mrs. Barker, you need to take your daily medicine." The nurse's voice rang funny, as if with every word she was laughing.

"Delilah dear, how many times must I tell you call me Joan? And yes I almost forgot about those, thank you." Joan took the glass of water Delilah was holding and popped the small pink pill in her mouth, swallowing it with a gulp of water. According to

Delilah, Joan has suffered a minor stroke the night before receiving the house, and this pill would help out. In reality Joan had suffered loss of a soul, and the pill was sheer sugar with pink coloring. Delilah was only there to watch and wait, and little did Joan know that tonight was the night Satan would begin his fun.

As the sun set on the chilly evening of December 30th, the left over smells of Christmas lingered in the air; gingerbread, Christmas pines, candles burning and the fresh wooden on the fireplace. Thomas was till in the garden but he was a smart boy, and he'd start towards home in a few minutes, because he knew that it got very cold on the waterfront at night.

Meanwhile Joan and Delilah headed to the kitchen to figure out what dinner would be. A cold chill ran through the heavily heated house, which Joan disregarded as a draft. Delilah grinned, knowing that was her signal to reveal her true form and begin the game. Delilah smiled and laid her hand on Joan's shoulder. "Tell me Joan, when you made your pact with Satan did you think it'd really be as easy as giving up your soul?"

Joan froze in her tracks, her clouded eyes slowly rolling up to look over at Delilah. The nurse grinned, but the grin grew into a fanged flurry of pointy teeth. Her gorgeous skin shifted and lurched as her tight, white nurse uniform began to tear and fall off. No longer sweet Delilah, the nurse morphed into a red skinned demon girl. Her hair became a black flurry of shadows and her eyes sunk back into her head, now white, glazed, zombified eyes. Clawed and horned, the lurking beast made her way, tail swaying, around Joan in circles. Joan squeezed her eyes shut as to avoid looking at this nude creature. Delilah giggled and caught Joan's neck, shoving her up against the counter, staring her up and down.

"Well now, I've never possessed a female before, usually at this point I've gotten the boys all flustered and excited, they're like toys under my claws. You could even say I get them a bit horny?" she giggled like a teenage drama queen, fingers running over her twisted horns, growing from her head. "Ok bad pun, my bad, but come on now, what did you expect? Eh enough talking, time to play, although I assume Satan is enjoying this show." Delilah snarled and faced her victim, slicing open Joan's arm, wrist to elbow, lapping up the blood. Delilah laughed and held Joan's head tightly, kissing her with fierce passion. Just then a flash of fire emitted from Delilah, and the demonic entity entered Joan's body. The limp, mortal body of the nurse, back in human form now, fell to the kitchen floor with a thump.

Bones cracked and Joan twisted her neck, the demon soul settling into it's new home. It was just then Thomas slid open the glass doors. Joan snapped her eyes over to the door and ran over to it, shutting it behind her, not wanting Thomas to see the corpse. Thomas walked over to his mother and smiled, "Hi mom, is dinner ready?"

"I thought maybe you and I would go out to eat tonight, so go get into a clean shirt and pants dear. I'll be up in a few minutes… go on, get going" she pushed him from behind and waved at him to go. Thomas stared oddly at the red ring around his mother's lips and figured her 'madly expensive' lipstick had smudged. So much for being expensive. Thomas trudged upstairs with Mr. Cuddles in tow, grumbling about how his mother has changed.

Joan ran back into the kitchen and stared at the corpse, eyeing the carving utensils and large pot she began to smile sickly. Using her new strength she tossed the body on the kitchen table and grabbed the stainless steal cleaver. Like a smith working metal with his hammer, Joan lunged her arms, armed with the cleaver at the body and started to hack it into little bits. Every crunch and rip of skin lead to a splatter of blood in a different direction as vein after vein gushed with red-hot fluids. Joan was becoming the canvas of her own macabre art, blood stained and speckled with chunks of flesh. As piles of bloody mush formed she scooped them into the boiling water of the cooking pot while the bones got tossed into the trash. At first this had been a way for Joan to cover up the death of the nurse, but now it was simply fun killing. Joan finished her dirty deeds and headed up to find Thomas, cleaver and carving knife tucked away in her bloody apron. Once she arrived at his door she knocked gently on the thick wood.

"Darling, are you decent, can I come?" she said with her most innocent and motherly voice.

Thomas straightened out his hair and finished brushing out Mr. Cuddles' hair, placing the teddy bear on his bed. He never wanted his mother to know he still played with that bear more than anything else. "Yes mom, come in." He sighed and walked over to his desk to put on his watch.

His mother opened the door and stared at him dangerously through her muddled hair, blood crusting under her eyes. Thomas turned and screeched, "Oh my goodness, mother are you alright, what happened to you?" Thomas was shuddering and shaking, looking at the crimson colored clothes that were once perfect and white.

"Oh I'm fine, sadly Delilah isn't doing to well. She's all steamed up at this point, I'd say." She slammed the door behind her and slowly approached the shaking child. Her wild eyes and wicked expression haunted Thomas as he backed up into his desk trembling.

"Mother, you're frightening me, please stop it, what's wrong with you? You're a bloody mess, go away, please just go away!" he cried out. Joan just laughed kneeling down to her son's height, stroking his pale face with her slimy hands.

"Oh Thomas, I only wanted the best for you, and that's what I got you, the best life any young boy could ever ask for. Endless toys, no work to do, a whole new world to explore. Don't you love your mother for that?"

"Love you? How can I, I used to love you, back when we were a true family, when you'd play with me, when you'd sing me lullabies till I fell asleep, when you'd comfort me when I felt sick or sad. But now you ignore me, now you shower me with things I'll never use, did you learn nothing from being poor? Mother, I can't love you anymore, you killed someone, you killed someone trying to make me happy, you've gone crazy! You're insane!" Thomas burst into tears, salty rivers running down his little face as he stared at the evil creature that once was his mom.

"Insane? You think I'm insane, I'm the best fucking mother in the world. I gave my soul up for you, I made you happy, and this is how you repay me you little bitch? Don't fear the blood, I killed that nurse for you, for us, for happiness, I had to. But no you just cry like a little baby, a fucking bastard baby! You're killing me Thomas, there's nothing else I can do to make you happy. Satan was right, he brought me true happiness, and that doesn't include you!" She launched herself at her son, fingers extended ready to strangle him.

Thomas, like lightning, reacted to the situation, punching his mother square in the chin. Thomas ran over to his bed, grabbed Mr. Cuddles and leapt over the mattress, starting off towards the door.

Joan snarled and leapt after him, her giggles filling the air, like a hyena after it's kill. She chased him out the door, down the stairs and out the back door, through the garden, still laughing and howling like a maniac, the demon within having a grand old time.

Thomas jumped over plants, ducked under branches and maneuvered around every obstacle of the garden like a pro; he knew the layout very well. Now truly in a setting that made it seem as if an animal, no, a monster was chasing him, he made his way down to the lake.

Joan followed, breaking and bashing foliage left and right in her lustful hunt for sweet young blood. She got to the end of the garden and leapt up into the air, the night air playing with her hair. Thomas turned and stared up at the looming beast, and he knew it was almost over. The moon's light danced over the face of Joan, playing tricks on Thomas's eyes. This was not his mother; his mother had died long ago when Satan first claimed her soul. Thomas loved his mother, but he didn't love this thing, this Satan in disguise. He said one last prayer and turned back around, making his way to the water.

Joan landed on the soft sand and tackled Thomas, turning him around. So he faced her devilish grin. She giggled and pulled out the carving knife from her apron. Her hair now covered her face as she began to make small cuts all over his body. The young boy cried out in anguish as each slice tore through skin and muscle. Joan pressed the knife deep into the boys gut and tore across his body until organs seeped from the wound. She stuck her hands in and grabbed at his liver and stomach tearing them out and licking them all over for the blood. She grinned and licked his cheek then kissed him on the lips gently, like his mom would before he went to sleep. She shut his eyes with her fingers and hung her head down towards his ear.

"Sweet dreams darling" And just like that the cleaver was brought down into the neck of Thomas and the little boy was beheaded by the lake. His blood ran innocent and pure into the crystal clear lake water. Mr. Cuddles, now red from blood was pounded into the sand until one of his marble eyes fell out, ready to join Thomas in heaven.

Joan laughed wildly and stared at her blood stained hands. But then something overcame her; the demon inside was growing bored and restless. Her hands began to twitch and tremble as she again picked up the carving knife. She drew it's blade slowly towards her heart and plunged it's cold metal into her corrupted heart. Black blood gushed and the demonic spirit was freed. The red demon stood next to her master, Satan who had appeared to watch the fun.

They smile and begin to laugh wildly at each other. "That was quite the game was it not my sweet? But I'm bored already, how's about we play another." They both turn to you, and cock their heads to the side. "How's about you, up for playing with the devil?" They jump at you and laugh wickedly, "GOTCHA!"