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Everyone knows that to cure Devil possession all you need is Holy Water…or the cinnamon challenge.

Dimples. Wide-eyed gazes. Toothy grins. Sticky fingers. Infectious laughs. Oh the sweet joys of children. Mischievous grins, pitter-pattering of feet, and innocent little minds. Most children have that surmounting ability to enrapture their surroundings; they have the gift of making people laugh. With age the infectious laughs and toothy grins disappear; leaving in their wake deep cordial laughter and a full set of teeth. At some point all children lose that sense of innocence, the loss of which all parents fear, and make that transition into preteen, teen, and then finally into adulthood. This is my idea of what fun-loving, well-mannered, and well-rounded children transitions are. At one point, I had no knowledge of how spoiled children transitioned in life; I am just beginning to get a bitter taste of it.

Do you recall Beverly? Jack’s girlfriend?  It is her cooking that sends my stomach running away in terror. And it is she who wags her ring finger around singing “Put a ring on it!” while simultaneously wearing shirts and shorts too short for a woman her age. I had originally thought that she was the single thing that could make me clench, go rigid, and slowly creep backwards all at the same time. I was wrong. We all know that child –children- that are as spoiled as rotten fruit. They have that upturned nose persona and the holier-than-thou complex. Whether if you are glancing over your shoulder because they are closer than you would like them to be or if you are summoning them from the recesses of your memory, allow me to introduce to you Beverly’s two wicked children.

He’s a condemner. A judger. And a little Judas-like. He condemns those with tattoos and persists on saying that they are “trash, and going nowhere.” He judges those who hold signs up as a job and those who cannot find work. And he breaks the Cardinal rule of siblinghood- you never rat on a fellow sibling. As a child, I was raised to sit up proper with my elbows off the table (God made you good and able, keep your elbows off the table!) and to eat properly with a fork and knife. I was raised to have manners. He is the opposite. Where I was taught to eat what I was given and like it, he pushes away anything he has never tried and says it is nasty, disgusting, and all those other adjectives. (1) He puts Ketchup on everything…steak, sweet potatoes, burritos, etc. Ick. (2) When he eats steak, he eats it with his hands while dipping it in ketchup. (3) A messy eater, sending food flying in all directions, doesn’t clean up the mess, and then wears his food stained clothes in public. (4) *Not food related* When he hugs Beverly, he hugs her from the side and turns up his nose in such a pretentious way that it is almost impossible to resist the urge to beat him over the head with a pan. Just turned eleven and at the point where he lingers in the bathroom for two hours at a time…doors locked. Please meet Thing 1.

She is snotty and runs around saying “let’s go be cute!” Can you tell a nine year-old to “bite me?” Jojo is the nickname she dubbed me with. She calls me it incessantly, even though I have told her on countless occasions if she continues I will no longer respond to her… I do not respond to her anymore. Snide and rude. A pathological liar. She cannot sleep by herself, so she either sleeps with Thing 1 or on Mary’s side of the room. She is Thing 2. And like Thing 1, she is a spoiled brat.

So I have a theory. They are possessed. There is no other logical explanation. Maybe it is for that reason that I sleep with a crucifix over my bed and keep a little Holy Water handy. For I am certain that if Thing 1, Thing 2, Beverly, or Beverly’s mother (Lilith) were to come in contact with a crucifix or Holy Water they would convulse and perish in the flames they’d emit. Most nights I half expect to see my bedroom door burst open and four malevolent figures standing on the doorstep chanting “We are the ones who dwell within!”


It is almost sinister, the way they act. Every night I have to pass Thing 1’s bedroom to get to the bathroom and at the slightest bit of noise he will shove his head out the door and watch me as I walk to the bathroom. As I walk back, there he is with Thing 2, watching me walk into my bedroom and shut my door. Perhaps, Thing 2 does a back bend down the stairs, head turned 280 degrees and spouts curses as she crawls down the wooden steps. Lilith claims to have killed Beverly’s boss with her witching circle for her birthday. She actually said “Happy Birthday, you’re welcome,” when Beverly called and told her that her boss died of a heart attack. Plus, Lilith looks like the creepy-ass old lady from Legion. Maybe they opened a Dybbuk box and from it poured those that dwelt within in the Legion, Cain, and Judas. Or perhaps, they spawned from the Devil himself. Not the best parenting, is it? Their black, beady eyes following you as their forked tongue flicks between their teeth…

Like I said, they are possessed. The day will come when their possessions can no longer be snubbed out as a hunch and I will be ready with cinnamon to dump down their throats. And as they hack and gag at the overwhelming cinnamon, hopefully, they will be relieved of what dwells within. “The Devil, can sometimes do a very gentlemanly thing.” Does ridding someone of possession qualify a gentlemanly? Wait…Am I…possessed? Nah, I’ve got my crucifix and cinnamon.