Andrea looked around the room in growing desperation. The place wasn't messy per se, but it was not what the others would expect. She knew full well that when the Counsel arrived for a feast they would demand nothing less than perfection. With powers beyond imagining they could easily accomplish this task while Andrea could do little to change the state of her home. Physically she had done what she could to clean up and decorate her small house, but even she realized that by evening's end she would not have a home; it would be torn apart.
She sat down on the floor and began to cry softly. She was a goddess, born of the Creator; but, by his will, she had little power of her own. Her house was a tree that happened to grow in the shape of a hut-like house. In Eden anything was possible, including such trees.
Andy shook her head sadly and whispered, "I wish I had some help."
A puff of smoke made her look up; she found herself looking at a person. He didn't glow, like a god, but he looked sweet and harmless. He smiled and bowed while she just stared. She had never seen anyone like him before.
"At you service milady. I'm Daemonius, your appointed demon servant. I have been charged to help you with any problems that may cause you concern," he said.
Andy stood up and looked the demon over, top to bottom, wondering who charged him and why. He seemed confident that everything would be all right, which was better than Andy's current state of mind.
"So, what is your problem, and how may I help," he asked after a few moments.
Andy answered, "Well, if you want the truth, important guests are going to come here in a few hours, and this place is still messy. After they leave it'll look even worse, I guess."
The demon seemed confused for a moment. Andrea walked into the house and he followed. He honestly could not imagine why anyone would want to make such a party or invite such horrid company.
"Why invite them, then?"
Andy shrugged sadly. "I don't have a choice. Everyone living on Eden has to have this sort of party once a human year. It's some sort of unbreakable custom made by the Creator," she explained patiently while watching the stew. The only other explanation she could offer was a shrug.
"Do you know this individual?"
Andy took the stew off the stove and set it on the table. Quickly she covered it with a heavy lid and went to the near-by closet. Out of it she took plates, cups, and eating utensils. Plus she found some napkins; she did not honestly think they would be useful as anything but polite décor.
"Yeah. He's mean. People have stood up to him before but no one ever lived to tell about it," she said between trips to the closet. Her long dress made the task more complicated than it had to be, but she was used to it.
The demon settled down at the edge of the table and watched the girl work. She looked like she was really angry and hiding it. He had to wonder why.
"Can we start a non-violent revolution?"
"Not against the counsel. That's like asking to be chained on a mountaintop for all eternity. And, yeah, they all follow his rule, happily. How about we just make this place look neat?" She sighed and ran her hand through her long violet hair.
"Okay." Daemonius waved an arm and the room was covered in purple glow. When the glow went away, everything was different. The dishes stood on the table, neatly with the napkins and everything in their places. The decorations seemed to shine with god-like light. The whole house looked like it was in celebration.
Andy smiled in pure happiness and hugged her new friend. Her face glowed as she smiled. She thanked him for the pretty rooms and for the decorations and just for being so kind. The demon smiled and Andy liked the smile; it made her feel safe.
"It's not difficult for one with my powers. Being a goddess, surely you could have performed this yourself," he asked gently.
Andy looked at the floor for a few moments while her face turned bright red; she did not like blushing. She swallowed her feelings and took a few deep breaths.
"Probably not. Being a goddess means nothing if your parents don't grant you the power," she said sadly and began braiding her long hair. It fell down past her knees and the Creator never let her cut it; he liked pulling on the long braid.
"Then what is the purpose of your existence?" The demon looked genuinely confused.
"To please my father," she said and remembered what it was that her father considered pleasing. Instinctively her body began to ache and she turned away from the demon in shame.
"Can you look like a mortal," the demon asked. Andy nodded after a moment of thought; she was fairly sure about that.
Daemonius continued, "Have you ever contemplated the idea of travelling into the mortal sphere, to experience that kind of existence?"
Andy shook her head in fear. "And disobey the Creator? Of course not," she said firmly. She was still afraid of her father, though she was nearly twenty and, by all means, an adult.
"Why would he be against it?"
Andy sighed sadly and said, "The things he wants shouldn't be discussed because they are sick, hurtful things."
Wanting badly to end the conversation before it got any farther, she walked out of the kitchen and settled on the couch in the main room. She curled up and looked out the window, then at the clock. The demon vanished and Andy wished that she could do the same. Silent tears fell down her cheeks and onto her white dress. The Creator had requested that dress, for whatever reason.
The demon appeared again, worry on his young face. Andy quickly explained her tears and told the being to leave before the Counsel's arrival. She did not want to see the demon hurt because of her.
"My form is mechanical, Andrea. I do not possess life," he explained and used the girl's name for the first time.
"You mean you are a robot? Where do you come from anyway?" She posed the questions out of curiosity. Even if the demon was from hell, he would still be her friend.
"I was created from the nightmares of mortals," he said finally and with sadness. Andy wondered if all beings that were not Counsel suffered. She wished passionately that this would not be true.
She took a deep breath, remembering her father's words. They shook her some but mostly left her confused. "The Creator said that all such beings were evil and, yet, you don't look evil," she said quietly.
"My body is composed of 'evil' matter. My mind is not. I was created to serve and in this case I was given to you," he said gently. The demon was trying to soothe the girl and bring her some comfort. "Before this my lord was Trilgriff, the Dark One. This is, in my opinion, a promotion."
Andy sighed. "From horror freak to slave? Sounds like a demotion to me," she said darkly. But then, that varied on opinion.
"The Dark One had me do a number of terrible deeds for him. But now, I am pledged to you," he said and seemed to brighten a little. Andy was glad that he wasn't sad anymore. Sadness was never good and it never brought anybody anything pleasant.
Suddenly she heard footsteps. The demon vanished without prompting; the only thing left was a faint smell of brimstone. Andy opened the door and the guests began to file in. She could name them all and was afraid of most of them.
The Counsel was a group of the greater gods, the first ones to settle Eden. They were a mean-spirited bunch who found pleasure in the horrors of pain. The party rule was mostly of their doing together with other nasty things. Andy feared most of the Counsel with the exception of Walker. He was truly kind because he spent much time on the mortal plane. Sadly he was not around to protect her.
Trickster grabbed Andy by the collar and pulled her back, roughly. She stood up and bowed. "My lord," she whispered fearfully.
The Counsel and a few other gods settled at the table. They made the stew and other dishes float to them, as well as beer and wine. They ate and talked with little regard to their small, gentle hostess. Wanderer beckoned the girl over and pushed her to the ground. Everyone laughed and went back to trashing Andy's home.
Somewhere along the way, Andy noted, Deception managed to knock over the lamp and eat the flowers she put out. Regardless of all else, flowers were not food.
A voice out of nowhere spoke, "Who is this person?" Andy recognized the demon's voice and it brought comfort with it.
"The Wanderer," she whispered over the gods' yelling and fighting. They did not hear her at all.
The demon pointed out that the god seemed plain evil and asked if he could destroy him. Andy begged for him to leave things be. When Daemonius agreed, Andy sighed in relief and moved away from the table. She nicknamed him Dae, for no apparent reason.
"Is the host's house always torn apart," his voice asked.
"No. Most gods have the power to protect their dwellings. And we can't even ask them to leave. The gods to ask are right here, having a fun evening," she said quietly. "There is my father, the Creator." She pointed with her eyes.
"He seems to be doing rudimentary carpentry on your furniture," the demon pointed out.
"Don't say 'carpentry.' It's an insult to true art," Andy said more as a joke than anything. The Creator was turning her cabinets into snake-like strips. The demon fired a small blast at the god and he stopped, for a time.
The Wanderer pulled Andy to him and pulled on her long braid. She whimpered in pain; her hair did not like being pulled. Wanderer's behavior made her think of little children at a mortal preschool.
Daemonius opened a portal behind the god and sent him into infinite dimensions all at once. The God did not live long after that. Even gods did not like being torn into a million pieces at one time in an airless space.
Andy walked over to the Creator and asked him to stop the other patrons from tearing her home to pieces. Creator waved one thick hand and Andy flew backwards, hitting the wall with her back.
The young demon was angry. "He shall be skinned alive if he tries to harm you again," he stated boldly. Andy was too scared to wonder if he could do it.
"Please, friend, don't. Explaining how he died if I'm powerless will not be fun. And if they ever find you, they will take you away," she said, sobbing. She didn't want the demon to get hurt on her account.
The demon relaxed and held his desires at bay, Andy's sake. "I'm sorry. Sometimes my body influences my mind. The dark energy leaks into my head," he explained.
He appeared before her, glowing softly. Andy took his hand and held it tightly. "They'll leave after they get drunk," she said and squeezed his hand gently.
"They will indeed, by their will or by mine," he said menacingly but stayed put. Andy hugged the demon, and they sat there in the corner. Her back hurt and she was tired but at least she was still in one piece with all her clothes on. That was rare and she was pleased.
Finally the Counsel left. They exited much like they arrived, with a bang. Andy looked around sadly. Her house that was a tree looked torn to pieces and the tree was dying. She had another seed to plant, but she did not want to. How could she put anything through that again?
"They have annihilated everything," Dae said angrily.
"No kidding. Hey, can I call you Dae? It's so much shorter."
He nodded while Andy glanced at the rising sun. It looked so beautiful and it covered the destruction. She looked at the demon with his claws; they had calluses on them from working, hard. She wished for nothing more then peace and a friend.
"Maybe we should leave?" the demon had a sense of survival and it was telling him to get out of there. After all the gods could come back and he didn't want to stick around to find out. Worse yet they could summon the girl.
"Probably, and it better be far away," she said and looked at the sky again.
Andy took Dae's hand and started walking away from her home, towards the horizon. Somewhere out there was a path to Earth. The demon seemed happy enough to be travelling. Neither of them had belongings.
They walked, in peace, to their new beginning.