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Why Mom Did Not Get to Finish Lunch This Time, a Short Horror Story

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.

While putting my favorite condiment on a sandwich, I accidentally made an occult symbol and summoned a demon. I was dead silent for a moment, wondering if the sleep deprivation that comes with sleep-fighting children had finally driven me mad.

As the realization it was real sank in, my young children ran in. The chatter started as to what it was, what could it do, and I tried to tell them not to do anything. I almost begged the demon to leave and then wondered if that request would cost me my soul. And if that was worse than another night of toddler and baby with strep. I didn’t dare ask it to cure their croup, since I actually want to keep my firstborn.

I didn’t hear the demon speak over the children’s chatter, but I did see the results before it departed. I’m pretty sure my son was the one who asked to be able to fly. I think the unicorn was the oldest daughter. The baby didn’t seem capable of talking, but one of her siblings might have made a wish on her behalf. The walking talking teddy bear is something out of a horror movie, but so is SHE if I take it away from her.

Then my eldest started to poop on the carpet, and good lord, it was worse than when she regressed to skipping diapers after the youngest was born. It was like I was in Hell. Was that the demon’s intent? Some old proverb came to mind and left just as fast as my son threw up prodigiously on the walls because he’d tried holding on the ceiling fans for a ride.

I pulled him down to the floor, not sure if I had to clean up that high on the wall right now. I shooed my eldest daughter into the laundry room. I didn’t dare put her outside, just in case some neighborhood children freaked out if they saw her.

I watched my youngest daughter play with the teddy bear and started to worry about her soul, but she’s so young she can’t say much more than Mommy, Daddy, uh-oh, teddy. Is the demon in the teddy bear, or did it just make the thing super-powered but not super-evil? My son said he felt better and announced he was superman. He shot up and gave himself a hard bonk on his head before knocking me over trying to fly into my arms. He’s not dead, but Good Lord, he could have given himself a concussion that CPS would never believe … actually, dealing with their investigation after this crap would be Hell.

I went into my youngest daughter’s room and found the baby leash. I hugged my son the budding super hero and snuck on a baby leash. He’s almost 2 but still hasn’t figured it out. I fastened the parent’s end to a piece of furniture he shouldn’t be able to lift and warned him not to fly in such small circles he could choke himself. Go in slow wide circles like a tricycle so we know you can safely ride a bike.

Now for the possessed teddy bear. Yeah, the possession thing is spreading, because even in this state, I would have noticed my youngest taking her first steps. What on Earth do I do?

I looked down at the sandwhich I started to make when the demon was summoned. The pattern was so obvious … did it matter what condiment I used since I was running out of that honey mustard? I looked in the fridge for every squirtable condiment left and put them on the counter. I took the last of the honey mustard and started the shape and had to squeeze out the rest of the pattern in sweet relish.

A demon appeared, but not the same one as last time. I almost said a cuss word but the baby was watching me unnaturally intent. You just KNOW she’s going to repeat anything I say, especially the D-word. I sighed and tried to tell myself at least here was someone I could have a conversation with. A corner in the back of my mind said if I needed a soul to sacrifice to get a solution, my mother in law would come if I said there was an emergency with the children, and this certainly counted as one.

And I wouldn’t have to explain to her this time why I wanted her help so I could just sit down and finish lunch in peace for once.

© 2017 Tamara Wilhite

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