My Demon Queen
Standing outside the shaded veranda, taking in the cold wet wind from the ever lasting rain. Lighting would crack, lighting up the world.
The sky rumbled, blue and red sparks running across the fluffy black cotton that is the cloud. It was really an odd sight to behold. Especially when you view it with the pitch black city below. I wouldn't say it was entirely black because some buildings remained in function-- like that hospital there and the shopping complex there-- for example. Probably thanks to the backup generators.
I turned to look behind me. Liliath and Prune sitting silently on the sofa as Nine got the 'game' ready. A large pengram mat-- which I had no clue when she prepared. Orange flame wax candles that gave off a distinctive smell in contrast to the mellow scent of the rain.
"Liliath, Prune. Did something happen just now?" I made sure my voice was loud enough so that they could hear me through the rain.
Prune shook her head left and right, Liliath nodded up and down. Huh?
"Well… If it's something concerning you, feel free to share it alright?" How curious.
I almost had a heart attack just now because of their weird antics-- must have something to do with that. Did they cry? Prune's eyes were slightly red if I remember correctly.
"All done!" Nine came holding a piece of scratch paper and two pencils.
The living room was quite bright in fact, 5 candlesticks and two phones with the flashlight running placed into a funnel-like paper cut out to spread the light out like a lamp. That said, the pitch dark places where the light could not reach still gave off an extremely eerie vibe-- as if something could leak out from within-- like a strand of hair or something.
If anything, even if a ghost were to appear, everyone would be safe-- Liliath had the ability to obliterate anything-- and I mean ANYTHING in her path.
Let's just hope it doesn't come to that-- I don't want the apartment to come crumbling down.
"Nine, what is this?" Prune asked.
"Have you ever heard of the Charlie Charlie challenge?"
"I don't know if this is even the right era to play it anymore. The trend is gone. And-- isn't this like the worst possible time to play such a dangerous thing?!"
"What could this challenge be about? Looks to me like something eerie," Liliath asked.
"You'll see, you'll see."
Charlie Charlie Challenge. Basically it's like the Ouija board except it's not. You could say it's a 'kind' of ritual to summon a paranormal event. Honestly, I've never tried it before but when Nine suggested it I can't believe I agreed with it.
I wouldn't have so readily accepted it if not for the failsafe that is Liliath.
Though, it's very possible we might meet a cute ghost-- no.
Nine on the paper divided into quadrants with 'NO' and 'YES' written on it, she balanced two pencils on top of each other. Coupled with the pentagram map underneath and five candles placed at five different places in the living room, you could say this would be one of the most immersively creepy games I'm going to play to date.
Why do something so reckless? Why not? If anything, I should be surprised that Nine was willing to play this sort of scary game. I thought she was someone who gets spooked easily.
"S-shouldn't we go to bed already? It's 11PM now and we still have school tomorrow," Prune said, showing us the time on her phone.
"It should be fine. A little loss of sleep is nothing. Come on, just once," Nine prodded.
Prune turned to me for salvation-- that I couldn't give. She had no choice but to resort to an alternative.
"I'll just watch from here."
"Suit yourself. Okay, to give a brief explanation to the greenhorn Liliath, the Charlie Charlie challenge is a game that summons a mexican ghost called Charlie. You ask a yes no question and Charlie will give an answer depending on the question. Actually, if you trace it to its roots, the game began as something you play using beer bottles, not pencils. Moreover, it was unknown how it evolved into the current game but Charlie would've not been the name of the ghost if it really originated from Mexico-- the ghost would've been called Charliotte, not Charlie. Some say the game originated from some other place and we got the whole history wrong but who cares! It's fun so let's start asking questions!"
"All we do is ask questions to the supernatural being called Charlie?"
The pencil shifted to the 'YES' quadrant. Ooo-- how creepy.
"That must have been the wind, the window is still open," Prune tried to rationalize.
"Then Noel, close the window!"
"I'll leave a small opening."
Nine repositioned the pencil and then beckoned Liliath to ask a question. Leaning close to the table, she asked:
"Will Nine marry Noel in the future?"
"Hey!" the hell kind of question is that?!
The pencil didn't move.
"See, it's fake," Prune said, hugging the pillow.
"Do I need to use magic on it?"
"No. no. You're supposed to let it run it's thing naturally-- look!"
The pencil shifted to the NO quadrant.
Liliath and Prune let loose a relieved sigh. I look at them alternately. They naturally shifted their gaze right back at me-- What?
"Noel, your turn," Nine repositioned the pencil again.
"Okay, Charlie Charlie will Nine fall off a cliff."
The pencil instantly shifted to the NO quadrant. Heh.
"Looks like you're safe."
Nine didn't reply and could only look at the pencil in silence.
"T-that's really bad you know Noel? What if it turned out to be yes?" Prune's voice quivered.
"Yeah.. sorry. My bad."
Nine shook her head and slapped her cheeks with both her hands to come back to herself.
"Prune, are you sure you don't want to try?" Nine tiled her head and asked with a grin.
"A-alright. Just one." Prune replied with a serious expression on her face.
Repositioning the pencil, Prune presented her question.
"Will Liliath marry Noel in the future."
At those words the pencil instantly shifted to the YES quadrant.
"See! Have more trust in yourself and Noel," Prune shot a look at Liliath-- who could only hang her head.
"What? What has this got to do with me?"
"What do you mean it doesn't!" Prune huffed. Her face was visibly red. She was genuinely angry-- what happened? Was it to do with something previously?
"Okay okay. Next one is Liliath."
"Nine, how many rounds of this are we going to play? We have to get to bed if we're going to wake up early tomorrow," Prune said with a stern voice. Hm? How rare. Prune is actually mad.
"How about this round as out last then?" Nine said, slightly annoyed.
A short game. Welp, two more questions before ending this. Last one is mine--I better ask a good one then.
Prune curled back up on the sofa. Nine readjusted the pencil and came Liliath's question.
"Here's my question Charlie-- can you show yourself?"
The candle light furthest away flickered and went out. The sound of rain seemed to drown into the distance all of a sudden. I felt goosebumps crawl up on my skin.
"Oi LIliath.. you.." Nine's voice was quivering.
"Should I have not asked that.. sorry," Liliath's shoulders dropped.
"No.. it's alright," I brought myself closer and petted her head.
"No really.. it's alright."
Turning to the paper, the pencil was seen visibly shaking wildly.
Another candle went out, the one closest to Prune.
"Hiikh!" Prune climbed down the sofa and quickly snuggled up to Liliath's side.
Surprisingly, Liliath remained unfazed or should I say that she's looking at something within the darkness.
"H-hey! Don't just leave me out!" Nine quickly rushed over to our side. So it's now a four person sandwich. Liliath in the middle.
I brought up the UI. And typed 'Holy Water' in the search bar in preparation for the worst.
"Liliath, holy water is e-effective against ghosts right?"
"Usually that would be the case for wraiths however for the ghosts from your world.. I'm not too sure." Liliath's eyes were glued to something-- the pitch black kitchen area.
"Is there something there?"
To be honest, I'm seriously shaking. I'm pretty sure it's obvious from my voice but I'm trying my best to keep my calm. Now I regret trying this game. WHY THE FUCK DID I AGREE WITH THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE!?
The pencil fell off the table-- no answer was shown to Liliath's question.
With three candles left and one last question.
"Nine.. is it a custom to give a closing to this game? Like saying can we leave or thank you or something?"
"I-it depends. Some say yes, others don't.. w-what do we do now? Liliath, you're not lying right? Is there really something there?!" Nine asked with her teeth clattering.
Liliath nodded. Prune leaned squeezed closer to Liliath.
Should I close this?
What should I ask?
I took the pencil from underneath the table and placed it back on top of the other pencil.
"Are you alright if we end this game here? I would appreciate it if you don't trouble us too much.."
Another candle went out, and then..
"Fu. Fu. Fu. Sou jian da yo. Mada owaremasen no. Demo, daijyou bu, abunai tokoro mou inakunata."
I felt a tickling sensation behind my ear.. a soft child-like voice-- Japanese?!
Charlie is Mexican isn't she?! Why Japanese? I speak english and have a clue as to what the fuck she just said.. Don't tell me my biggest worries came true?!
To turn around or not turn around-- Liliath's gaze was still glued to something in the kitchen while Prune and Nine were doing the same. Nobody was looking my way-- and my back was facing the sliding door to the veranda. Did they not hear it?
No harem please.. No harem.. Don't just drop another girl into my life without my consent SYSTEM!
I turned around…
A black fabric came into view-- raising my head, what greeted me was a pair of glowing eyes. One blood red, the other gold. Four horns, velvet hair-- Liliath?
Seeing me, she smiled and placed her fingers on her lips before melted back into the darkness.
"The hell did I just.. huh?"
They disappeared. the phone flashlight, gone-- Liliath, Prune and Nine-- gone. The only thing left were two candles and the paper and pencil that had yet to move.
"N-no.. the fuck is this?"
Did I fall unconscious?
"Just leave us alone can you Charlie? P-please?" I said in a strained voice.
In the barely visible darkness I saw the pencil shift-- I didn't know what quadrant it landed on but I felt something grip my heart as footsteps came close. The candles went out entirely and plunged me in utter darkness.
A light chuckle, and the sound of thristhy breaths-- I felt my heart race as I retreated a few meters back until I hit the sliding door.
Two hands clasped onto my shoulders.
I blinked-- and saw Liliath?
The lights in the room were back on, Prune and Nine looked at me with the same worried look.
"You passed out.." Liliath pulled me into her embrace.
"H-Huh? T-this isn't a dream right?" I couldn't help but bury myself closer to her to calm myself down. I was shaking really badly, heart pounding so hard it was as if it would jump out of my chest and a cold clammy sweat poured out of my skin.
"You're seriously out of it.. the moment you asked that last question the lights came back on. Gave us quite the fright," Nine laughed, "But that's it for tonight-- this was on hella scary night… Prune, can I sleep in your room tonight? I'm still shaking."
"We'll keep the lights on as we sleep," Prune nodded fervently.
Liliath pulled away and looked right at me-- a pair of crimson eyes, different from the Liliath I was with the golden iris.
"Should we do the same? The danger still remains."
She whispers the second half of her words.
Honestly. I don't know if I could bring myself to say no.
The hell is up with that last part? Danger? Did Liliath just save me from Charlie?