Flash fiction – 492 words

Tim has to go

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

“What the Hell, dude?”

Sharing your body with a demon sucks. You never know what he’s been doing with it until you wake up and find a pig tattoo on your leg or a chicken scratching around in your kitchen that wasn’t there the night before.

My demon’s name is Tim. Tim is the worst. Tim waits for me to fall asleep and then takes my body out for a spin. And he hammers it like a teenager driving his mother’s car—over-revving the engine, driving fast, squealing the tyres, backing into other cars in the Kmart carpark because he can’t be bothered to look behind.

This morning my living room has gained an expensive-looking oil painting of the ocean. A violet sky and banana sun overlook massive emerald waves that menace people clinging desperately to a broken mast. A shipwreck. That describes my life perfectly.

“Is this stolen?” I know Tim can’t hear me but I yell at him anyway and look for the note. Tim always leaves a note.

We can’t talk directly. We communicate by leaving notes for each other. I shift a bunch of unpaid bills around on the table to find the latest Tim epic.

Morning Mikey! Bet you’re wondering if the painting is stolen? Yes, it is. Me and a couple of the guys went to that new gallery, just down from the pub, and, well you know how it is, one thing led to another and ta-da…you have a new painting. You should probably cover it up or stick it in the attic. Just in case someone’s looking for it, you know? Anyway, have a great day!

I sigh and make myself some toast, mildly grateful that Tim has left me any bread. I feed crumbs to the chicken while I think about what to do.

Tim’s been nothing but trouble since he moved in. His note said he only needed somewhere to bunk down for a couple of days. It’s going on a year now and he’s not showing any sign of moving out.

Tim has to go. I want my body back. I need to not be exhausted from doing god-knows-what all night. I want to not worry about going to jail. Is that too much to ask?

I’ve tried leaving him notes but he just rolls them and smokes them. It’s time to do something about it.

I pull my laptop over and google: ‘How to get rid of a demon from your body’.

Huh. Here’s a church that says you can cough them out. I click through and skim the article. Sounds easy enough. So I cough really hard until my eyes water and my throat hurts. The chicken stares at me and I think I’m going to be sick.

I hope it worked but I won’t know until tomorrow.

I hide the painting and leave a note for Tim, just like I do every day: Get the f— out, Tim!