My Wife, The Devil
Just from the sight of him, it would seem like David Moreno was simply a dead-eyed programmer with nothing in his soul. Completely stoic.
Yet, as he stared at the picture of his ex and former best friend in their newest post announcing their marriage, he threw his head back and accidentally slammed it against the subway car’s windows, reeling in and holding his head in pain. He looked back to see that he left a decent-sized crack across it.
“Dammit, not again…”
He rubbed the back of his head, checking his palm for any blood. Nothing. He sighed in relief. Getting off at the next stop, he looked through his phone. His favorite bar was nearby and according to the time, it was still Toss Out Time: free booze for helping the owner.
He bolted through the streets, avoiding people as best as he could before arriving at a seedy brick building with The Trash Heap blazing in neon letters above the door.
David kicked the door down with conviction and pointed to the burly man behind the counter. His glare showed he wasn't playing around. The man rolled his eyes but nodded in response with a smirk. He grabbed two large mugs and filled them to the brim with cool, heady beer.
Clock in, clock out. Day in, day out.
The monotony and grind that was software development were enough to crush the soul of your average college graduate. What made it worse was the dreaded crunch time. For hours, the team at Synoware had done nothing but stare at their screens and work until the company legally couldn’t make them work, and even then, some stayed in the office of their own will, fearing they were going to lose their jobs otherwise. At the end of the Week of Hell, they were quietly told their next project along with a big fat bonus for keeping quiet.
At this moment, nothing mattered to David more than downing pisswater like his life depended on it. Alternating between the two pints, he didn’t stop until the mugs were cleaned out before slamming them down.
“Harold!! Another Two-Fister!”
The burly man followed the drunken programmer’s orders, filling up the mugs while keeping an eye on him. They chatted as he drank, the noise of another Friday night mixing with their conversation.
“So that’s where you’ve been, huh…” He chuckled, pointing to a missing poster with David’s drunken expression plastered on it. “Guess I can take these down.”
“Oh hahahaaaaaaaa…” David muttered, blowing a raspberry at the barkeep. He gulped down more low-grade booze and let loose a burp. “Whatever, I could vanish the next day and no one would give a damn.”
“Hey, you got friends here…” Harold motioned to the drunk bikers, frat boys, and other bottom-feeding scum. “Doesn’t he, boys??”
“AAAAAAAAYYYYYY~!!!” The crowd cheered, laughing as they did. the drunk programmer just responded by slamming his head on the counter with a sigh.
“Man… I just wanted to find someone to be happy with… And I don’t know what I’m doing wrong…”
Rolling his eyes, Harold slammed down two more pints. “Alright kid, you want my advice? Your priorities are wrong. You gotta figure out what’s important.”
“Yeah, but money isn’t everything, my man.”
“Oh, so you’d be fine with me paying you in compliments for your booze?”
The two just stared at each other, their glares locked in eternal combat as David smugly chugged his next two pints.
The night would crawl along, and the pain that stayed within David’s heart was slowly drowned. It was instead replaced with a quiet, bubbly numbness. He stopped talking to the barkeep for a bit, feeling like there was nothing left to talk about. All he could do was listen to the variety of hard metal and shitty EDM music that blasted from the digital jukebox while he rested his head on the bar counter. Before he could drift off, he felt a tapping on his head.
“Hey, get up,” Harold commanded, David looking up with an expression that can only be described as completely inebriated. “You got work.” The burly man pointed across the bar, where David saw a tall woman in a black-and-red dress suit, a red undershirt, and high heel boots. Standing to her right, a very cocky-looking man was talking with her, biting his lip suggestively. The expression on the woman's face showed she did not feel the same way
“Awww, come on, baby~ What do ya say we ditch this trash pile and go back to my place? I got a thing for bigger women.”
“I swear, if you don’t back off…” The woman muttered, staring down at her whiskey on the rocks.
“Hey!” Harold shouted, glaring at the sleazy man. “You’re out of line. Back off, or we’re going to kick you out.”
“Pffft, please. Like I’m scared of you dumbass leatherheads.” The guy flicked his wrist, revealing a switchblade with a cruel smirk. With no one intimidated in the slightest, Harold shrugged. “Alright. Dave, you know what to do.”
The creep looked at the scrawny man who stumbled towards him. “Wow… This is gonna be easier than I thought!” He proclaimed with a laugh, rushing in with a stabbing motion.
David, in an act of pure drunken buffoonery, stumbled to the side with a foot out, causing the man to trip and the onlookers to burst out laughing.
Gritting his teeth, he hopped back on his feet and tried once more. “You piece of shit!” he shouted before taking a slash at David’s face. Even this wasn’t enough, as David simply swayed out of the way and grabbed the assailant’s arm, squeezing it before flipping him onto his back. Landing with a loud THUD, the man barely had time to groan in pain before his stabbing arm was trapped in a very tight and secure armbar. He squirmed and struggled, but every time he did, David would pull his arm back further and further until…
Everyone looked in shock as David released the guy, who simply lied there and looked in shock at his limp, pained arm. The drunken programmer concluded the little show by picking him up and chucking him out the door to the cheers of the bikers and other drunks.
The woman raised an eyebrow, finishing her drink as David sat next to her and rested his head in his own arms. Harold sighed, turning to his patron. “I’m really sorry about that guy. Every so often, a piece of trash like that gets in…”
“It’s fine,” she said, rubbing the bridge of her nose as she stood up. “I should really be heading back to work.”
Before she could turn to leave, she felt a firm grip on her shoulder. Turning, she saw David, who kept his eyes on his own feet. “D-Don’t -hic!- Don’t let one cloud rain on your parade…”
She stared at him, looking into his dull, drunk gaze before raising an eyebrow and chuckling. “What?”
Leaning back, he pointed to her. “Y-You gotta… Gotta enjoy the peace… Before ya deal with all the bullshit at work…”
“Oh really? Tell me, tough guy, what makes you so qualified to tell me about work?”
“Hey!” He snapped back, checking his pint and chugging the foam in it. “I-I’ll have ya know… I just spent a week in Hell… Literal -hic!- Literally just doing nothing but coding and sleeping in my office for a week straight…!”
“Oh, I’m sure you did. No one is that sadistic.”
“Oh no, that happened,” Harold intervened, cleaning off a mug. “It sucked because I had to hire actual bouncers that week. Bunch of muscle-brained morons…” He grumbled, eyeing a dent on the wall.
“Huh… I see…” She looked at the man and smiled, taking a seat. “Well, then, Mister Macho. Tell me more about your job.”
“F-Fiiine… But you gotta do me two favors.”
“And what would that be, little worm?”
David held up a finger. “One… Tell me about yours first…”
The woman blinked in surprise. “My job? Well, I guess you can say I work with the less reputable members of society, much like the patrons of this bar…”
“Alright. I’m guessing a mafia boss. Now second…” David quickly pointed to the barkeep and slapped the counter, who quickly poured four pints of beer for the both of them. “Two Fisters! On me!”
“Oh please, I have drunk far stronger brews back where I’m from,” She scoffed as she held both of the mugs, but David only gave a cocky smirk and leaned in a bit. “Awww, what’s the matter? Chicken? Afraid I’ll out chug you?”
This caused her mind to sharpen, glaring at him before immediately cocking her head back and gulping down the drinks. She struggled, but she managed to take every bit of booze before slamming it down. And there David was, his mugs already finished and wobbling in place. She stared at him in shock, but all he did was hold out a mug. “N-Nice job… Wanna -hic!- r-rematch…?”
Her pale white face quickly turned into a shade of red as she grabbed her mugs, staring at Harold with the intent to win this time. “Fill us up this instant, barkeep.” All Harold could do was close his eyes and take a deep breath, knowing that this was going to be a long night for himself now.
“Ahahaha! Ohhh, you’re so FUNNY~!” the woman shouted, leaning in with pink cheeks as she gave a dorky laugh that David couldn’t help but find adorable. He smiled at her as he clinked their mugs together before downing the last pint. Harold sighed as he nudged the two.
“Alright, you two. Closing time. I need to get this place cleaned up.”
“Ahhh, booo…” David fell back and blew a raspberry, looking up at the ceiling before looking at the woman. “Well… It wash nizz meeting ya… Uhhh…”
She giggled, holding a hand out. “Morgan. You can call me Morgan. And I don’t think it would be responsible to let you walk home alone. I shall help you find somewhere to rest.”
Hiccuping, he slowly reached and grabbed her hand, missing it a few times in the process. “D-David… A-And thanksh…” He smiled at her as he was picked up, trying to hold himself up while he staggered out the door with her.
“A-Anyways, wow… Y-Your dad…” He rubbed his eyes, struggling with the lights in the city blaring down on him. “Y-Your dad… Izza dick…! L-Like, jusht… P-Pushin’ ya in a job… R-Runnin’ a buncha placesh ad onshe… L-Like… You… You deserve to be happy ‘fore ya work…”
She blushed a bit, smiling wide. “Why… Thank you. That is quite nice of you to say, even if it’s just mild flattery on your part.”
“A-Are you kiddin’??” He snapped back, rubbing his mouth of the drool on his mouth. “L-Lookit me!! All this work an’ fer what?? Just drinkin’ til I die!!” He hiccuped, rubbing his face as tears welled up in his eyes. “They… They pushed me… Shooo much… Didn’t even get to…” He didn’t get through his sentence before it seemed like his brain shut off. He didn’t know what he said after, or even if he’d said anything for that matter. Everything simply went dark.
When David awoke the next morning, he had the worst hangover he’d had by far, like someone punching him in the head over and over. He groaned as he slowly rubbed his eyes, opening them to see a fuzzy space. Oh right, contacts… He thought to himself as he slowly reached around for the case. He must have been so blitzed because he didn’t remember anything from the night before, but as he put on his contacts, he saw that the room he was in wasn’t his own. Rather, it was a rather fancy hotel he recalled from a while back. Something was up. He looked and saw he was down to his boxers and blinked before he turned to the balcony, and standing in front of the door to it was Morgan, the woman from last night, looking out the balcony in her dress suit. He smiled a bit, not realizing how lucky he was. He admired her as the sun made a shadow of her: her long red-black hair, her crimson skin, her slender, swishing tail with a tip like a spear, her curved horns, her furry, goat-like legs…
He stopped in his tracks, his mind coming to a very worrying realization. As Morgan turned to him, she smiled brightly, walking over. “Good morning, husband~”
He jolted up as he looked at her hand, seeing a fancy ring on her hand before immediately looking at his own. Sure enough, there was a ring where there wasn’t one before. As everything came crashing down, he immediately fell back onto his pillow, passing out with only one thought in his head.
Why couldn’t she be a mafia boss…?