I got The Abridged Manual of Evil as a prize in my first exorcism kit.
I pored over it night and day, highlighting all the passages that dealt with demons and monsters. What ten year old boy doesn't lie in his bed at night and dream of the day when he can master the things in the closet and make them do his bidding? The things that lived in my closet were the ordinary run of the mill, big, leggy, hairy, toothy things until the day Reginald showed up. Reginald was different. Reginald had an attitude. And a fake British accent. He thought it made him sound posh. I thought it made him sound like a twit. A big glowing, oozing, purple tentacled twit.
Reginald was a problem from day one. He made the closet SMELL, and by extension, my clothes and my room and eventually, well, me. My mother made me take three showers a day and I was really cheesed that she kept coming in and opening the window and spraying Lysol everywhere. She'd look at me and shake her head. There were a lot of muffled conversations with my father where the phrase "early puberty" drifted down the hallway to my stinky room.
When I went to college I left the childhood monsters behind with my toys, my yearbooks and my fascination with the occult. But Reginald didn't stay behind. Oh no, he came with me, ruining my chances with girls and roommates, living in and stinking up the bathroom of my first dorm, the oven of my first apartment, and the broom closet of my current open-floor-plan loft. From which I am just about to be evicted.
I have no choice. Tonight is the night I kill Reginald.
It's not a decision I came to lightly. I've pleaded with Reginald for months to leave, patiently explained that he's ruined the last eighteen years of my life, taken him to abandoned buildings, mostly crack houses, and introduced him to other glowy, throbby, twittish, tentacled creatures, but he refuses to go.
He says his place is with me and I just have to live with it. Well I can't and I won't. Not anymore. Now I just need to hatch a plan that works. In the last three hours I've tried glue traps, which he ate, poisoned bait, which he ate and asked for seconds, stabbing him, which he said tickled, shooting him, which made him belch, slicing him in two with a samurai sword, which actually made him quite peeved for an hour or so, but then he pulled himself together. I'm at my wits end. And frankly I think I may have been just half a wit to begin with. I realize now that I have been thinking about this situation all wrong. Reginald isn't human, so why am I trying to kill him like I would something made of flesh and blood instead of like something made of ooze and spongy tentacles?
Frustrated that I just couldn't seem to commit monstercide, I left the apartment and walked in the rain for a time to clear my head.
After a while walking the wet streets lifted my mood a bit. I decided that I'd even like a bite to eat. Eggrolls sounded good. I went that direction and right next to the Chinese take away I noticed a tiny bookstore wedged in at an odd angle. I don't remember ever seeing it before.
I thought aha! Just like in the movies. An occult shop shows up just when the hero needs it and inside there's a wizened old man who will have all the answers.
I opened the door.
"Ewwww, you have a Reginald." She said as she advanced on me carrying a spray bottle and some chimes. She soaked me with the spray bottle, and chimed the chimes around me in a circle chanting something that sounded like "smelly smelly jelly belly." Mercifully, for the first time in eighteen years the smell of Reginald was gone.
I could smell the Chinese take away next door, the rain, the lovely smell of old books, the wet wool smell of my coat, the rather manky cat sitting in the corner and the entrancing young woman standing in front of me with her head tipped to the side waiting for me to say something.
"Yes, it takes people that way. Sit down and breathe into this paper bag for a minute. When you're done, if you don't have to throw up, you can answer a few questions and we'll get started."
Well, I did throw up, but after that I felt quite myself again and gave Jelia –that's her name – Jelia my full attention.
"Born in 1982? 1983? Got a copy of The Manual of Evil long about the time you were ten? Yeah, thought so. That's how the Reginalds breached this dimension. I just need to know a few more things and then we can figure out what to do. Can anyone else see or hear him?"
"No, my mom used to stand in my closet and tsk. Reginald would stick his tentacles up her nose and out her ears and she didn't even flinch. It was gruesome to watch but she never seemed to get a headache or anything from it. For a while I saw a psychiatrist because I thought Reginald was only in my mind, but he's just so real, and the stink is like a physical blow, I don't see how he could be only a figment of my imagination. "
"Well the short answer is he's not. Are you hooked up to the internet? Ok, got your IP, sending….scooping….got him!"
"But what did you do?"
"Well you know how people are always saying that twitter stinks on ice?"
Somehow it makes perfect sense. Twitter and Reginald. Sounds like a comedy duo made in hell.