The Worst of Humanity’s Creations: The Absolutely Horrendous, and Downright Ghastly, Tuesday is a short story by Hopewell Valley Central High School sophomore Samiyah Syed & was published in Panorama, the literary arts magazine.
The Worst of Humanity’s Creations: The Absolutely Horrendous, and Downright Ghastly, Tuesday
It was a Tuesday, and like all Tuesdays, it was absolutely insufferable.
At 18 summers, Esejk had lived through her fair share of Tuesdays, and she was completely certain that they were the day of the devil. Sure, it was a bright morning, a slight autumn chill in the air, but bright blue skies, and the chirping of birds who hadn’t quite gotten the memo that winter was soon approaching. Be that as it may, it was still a Tuesday, and Tuesday’s as has been established, are downright evil.
She was right of course, but by the time she realized just how right she was, well, by then she had quite a few other things on her mind.
Let’s backtrack a bit, shall we? See, for Esejk, everything bad in her life seemed to fall on a Tuesday. Her brother’s birth date, her mother’s death, and the day she was taken by the Ashfa demons. In hindsight, the first wasn’t nearly as bad as the latter, but her brother could be particularly annoying at times, like all younger siblings, so it was best to give the impression that he ranked up there in the major annoyances of her life.
On this particular Tuesday in question, Esejk had a particularly normal itinerary, though she was prepared for it all to be ruined by whatever the universe sought right to throw at her. It was as she was walking to her school (for even demons don’t want custody of children all day, and they too thought that one of the best ways of suffering is being sent to school) that she felt it, just a slight raise of the hairs on her neck, a feeling in her gut that told her that she was, as usual, right. Most people would dismiss these gut feelings as just unusual, or her being paranoid. But after years of living in the Demon Realm, and worse going to a human school, she knew better.
Crouching down to her brother, who at 10 years was positively tiny, (though still able to be a major pain in the, well you know), she told him to run along. At his protests, she merely gave him the Look, and he took off running, though not without sticking his tongue out in clear rebelliousness as most children are wont to do at their siblings.
Straightening up, she rolled back her shoulders, balancing her weight on the balls of her feet, as she turned around, trying to find the source of the Disturbance. Letting her claws grow out, silver sheen glinting in the morning light, and her canines poke through her lips, she closed her eyes, before following the scent of enemies. The promise of violence. The chase was on.
She strolled through the neighborhood, the townhouses on either side of the road, along with the cars zipping by, showing how truly human it all was, if not for the stench. They didn’t smell bad, perse, these humans. Just not necessarily good, what with the expensive amounts of waste and pollution that they had dumped around all their settlements. Once, long ago, she wouldn’t have turned up her nose at the scents, probably wouldn’t have noticed it, to be honest. Now, though, it would have been harder to pay it no mind, it was instinctive. She sped up, her gait still unhurried, she knew she would be able to catch them, they wouldn’t be able to escape her, no matter how far they ran, it would only be a matter of time before she caught them. Anyway, the hunt was the fun bit.
The houses were thinning, forest cover growing thicker, as she turned away from the main road, deeper into the back alley roads. The scent growing stronger, she took in a long inhale, before hearing it, the unmistakably clumsy human figures stumbling over the forest ground, breaking what seemed to be every stick in the forest. She curled her lips into a smile, as she began running, gliding really, over the ground, feet barely touching the leaves, silent as a whisper.
As she got closer she could hear their heartbeats pick up, their mumbled curses as they realized that they were being pursued. Until- with a snarl, she pounced on them, landing on the ground before the two whose presence she had sensed. They had been turned around, trying to look back in fear of her presence, but with her dull thump, they turned around, eyes wide, and mouths open in silent screams of terror, at the imposing figure she posed; Pitchblack wings, completely spread out, hands curled into claws able to shred steel like paper, and fangs barred in a wide grin. “And what do we have here?” She purred, before making her move, charging at them.
They put up a good resistance, she admitted, good for humans. But against one of the Ashfa, even a half one as her? They never stood a chance.
Later on, as she picked up her brother from school, she conceded that maybe not all Tuesdays were bad. At least not this one.