[Prompt: You are the devil and you have been summoned via a satanic ritual. As you manifest you find yourself in a quaint living room and meet a sweet old lady who just wants some company.]
I stepped forward, parting the thick veil of smoke masking my surroundings. Soft, shag carpet unexpectedly cradled my hooves. My brow furrowed beneath my horns as I looked around. Photos of cats in mismatched frames peppered the wood paneled walls. Heavy, mustard colored curtains dressed the solitary window in the room, pulled closed to block the exterior darkness.The room was dimly lit, the only light provided by a television and standing lamp nearby. The center of the room was dominated by an old floral couch with wooden arms and legs, the plastic covering reflecting a distorted version of the television newscaster’s face among the blooms.
A loud hiss snapped my attention to the far end of the couch, a fluffy creature streaked past my peripheral vision, but my gaze remained locked with cool blue eyes. Her white hair was pulled back into a bun, stray wisps sticking out in all directions. The red, cat-eyed glasses rested low on the bridge of her nose, a gold chain connected to each end, encircling her neck. A lacy, white cardigan was draped over her shoulders obscuring the top of her ankle length nightgown. Her eyes sparkled as our gazes met. I paused before taking another step. As the corners of her mouth pull upwards into a curious smile, her weathered face appeared youthful for a split second. Letting out a small sigh of relief, I smiled back, my pointed teeth gleaming.
“Hello,” she said, her voice slow and deliberate, but kind and welcoming.
“Hello,” I responded.
“I wasn’t expecting anyone, but I’m so glad you’ve stopped by,” she said, her smile persisting.
I bent at the waist, bowing slightly, “Thank you for having me.”
“Come, have a seat,” she patted the couch next to her, the plastic crinkling beneath the motion.
It only took me three steps forward to join her. The plastic squealed as my full weight settled on the other end of the couch. A pair of glowing eyes low to the ground caught my attention. A silver, hairy, heavyset cat glares from the hallway across the room, a low growl permeating the room.
“Oh hush, Maribelle, be nice to our guest!” the old woman shook her finger at the cat, which had no effect on the persistent growling.
I returned my attention to the old woman as she continued to speak.
“My name is Edna, Edna Williams,” her warm smile morphed into a disapproving frown, “That is Maribelle, she’s usually more well behaved.”
A deep chuckle preceded my response, “Cats have always been wary of me, much to my disappointment. It’s so nice to make your acquaintance, Edna. I’m… Lucy, as my friends know me.”
Edna smile and nodded, reaching up to adjust her glasses. She pushed them further up her nose and blinked deliberatly, “What a lovely name. Well, Lucy…” Her eyes widened slightly as her sightline flickered up to my horns, down to my hooves, and then openly stared at my tail hanging off the side of the couch.
“Yes, Edna?” I grinned, bearing my teeth.
Her eyes returned to mine, her demeanor matching their cool tone.
“You wouldn’t happen to know Fred Williams, would you?” Her eyebrows raised questioningly, she fiddled with her hands, if I wasn’t mistaken she seemed anxious.
“Fred…” I stretched the word as I looked upwards thoughtfully. I reached up and tapped my temple, searching my memory of ‘Freds’.
“I’m afraid I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Fred Williams,” I replied.
The smile that broke her worried face made a small warmth grow within my chest, “Well, that’s great news.” She glanced across the room to a small side table, I followed her gaze. The table was covered in an obnoxious amount of knick-knacks, but in the center was a large frame with a photograph of herself along with a man I assumed to be Fred. I turned back to her.
She was silent for a moment, oblivious to the world around her as she gazed at the photo. With a grunt she looked back at me, a scowl on her face, “What about Gretta Jones?”
I smirked, and answered, “Oh yes, I do recall a Gretta Jones.”
“Good,” Edna replied, nodding to herself, “serves her right.”
I liked Edna. It wasn’t often that I encountered someone above elevation that I didn’t automatically detest and set on fire.
Leaning towards her as I spoke, I grinned like a wolf, “So, Edna, what’s a fine young lady like yourself do on a night such as this?”
Edna reached out a slapped my knee lightly, making a huffing noise before replying, “Oh Lucy, none of that now. You’ll give an old lady the wrong idea.” She adjusted her cardigan then cleared her throat before she continued, “Tonight is Jeopardy night, would you like to watch with me?”
Straightening up, I leaned back against the couch and stretched my arms up and backwards, cupping the back of my head and then crossed my legs at the ankle. The plastic couch cried in protest as Maribelle continued to growl from the hallway.
“I would like nothing more in the world, Edna.”