Catch A Body


A friend reposted this tweet on Facebook. In its original context “catch a body” was meant to mean “hook up with a partner”, but being Halloween all I could think was that it was describing some form of socially responsible demon possession. And thus this flash fiction was born.

Zeppie? Is that you?”

It was. I could tell by the way the woman was walking. Zepar always preferred possessing women, but even after centuries of practice hadn’t mastered the art of balancing on high heels. Great duke of Hell. Lousy strut.

Sallie?”

Zeppie pulled the host’s head around too quickly, nearly snapping the poor lambs neck. She lost her balance and I caught her, suavely- like a gentleman. I could see her attraction begin to settle on my host like clockwork. I’d chosen a delectable morsel for my own possession, if I could be permitted to so boast- broad shouldered and square jawed. Not particularly bright. Generally quite pliable but occasionally-

“I’m Ted-” the dolt said to the woman in his arms before I got ahold of his tongue.

-occasionally impulsive. Impulsive hosts were a nightmare- every demon knows that the heart of possession lies in anticipating a host’s impulses- the impulsive the host, the more difficult they were to control.

Yes, it’s me- Saleos.” I managed.

Sallie, old boy!” Zeppie seemed to have better control of his host than I had of mine, but that was no surprise- his speciality was making women fall in love, and here we had handed her the meet-cute of her dreams. She righted herself, still standing too close to be casual. My host did not object. He wore a ring on his left hand, but I gently batted his thoughts away from the thought. Zeppie and I both worked in Attractions, and our paths often crossed.

“I should warn you,” Zeppie was saying. “Your host should not engage this host in intimate acts-“

But his host had other ideas.

“I’m Kim!” She cut Zeppie short in her eagerness to connect with Ted.

“You’re gorgeous.”

“Sorry I’m a klutz- I’m pretty drunk.”

“You wanna get out of here?”

Giggles. Fluttering lashes. Zeppie fumbled for control and Kim belched woozily, and then spoke in his voice:

Don’t let her engage your host, old boy, she’s caught a wicked rash!”

Kim was looking ill and Ted had taken over once again without thinking about it.

“Quick! Get to the bathroom!”

He grabbed Kim buy the wrist and plowed through the crowd shouting “she’s gonna be sick!” Until he made it to the bathroom at the back of the bar and closed the two of them inside.

What did you mean don’t let them engage-?” I started to ask, but the hosts had other ideas and were already kissing breathlessly and tearing at each other’s clothes.

Curse these humans.

Attractions was a tricky occupation: human hosts fell in love easily, naturally causing all manner of delightful sin along the way, but once their animal impulses took over, there was just no controlling them.

There was currently no controlling Ted nor Kim. Zeppie and I would just have to wait until they finished.

Unsurprisingly, Ted finished first.

What did you mean a wicked rash?” I asked, regaining control.

Kim was glaring at him, ruffled and clearly unsatisfied. There would be hell to pay if she had any say about it, which I supposed meant that this little encounter wouldn’t have been in vain.

“That’s it?” She demanded.

“Why? Wasn’t it good for you?” It had been good for Ted. He didn’t have the imagination to consider that his performance had been ungainly and brief.

His words were, evidently, a splash of cold water on Kim’s ardor and Zeppie managed once again to gain control.

I’m so sorry, old boy! She caught a scorching case of chlamydia off my last host and refuses to get tested!”

Lucifer help us all. I shuddered at the very thought of being trapped in a poxxy host until my next exorcism. Exorcisms were becoming more and more difficult to come by now that humans controlled their disordered brains with medication. I’d heard of demons trapped in medicated hosts for decades living out quiet sin-less lives in the suburbs until saved by the sweet freedom of death.

NO.”

I went Full Biblical and yanked all the controls out of Ted’s brain until his eyes went dull and his body became a drone.

I AM GOING TO GET TESTED. YOU ARE GOING TO GET TESTED. ALL HOSTS ARE GOING TO GET TESTED FROM NOW ON.”

Poor Kim stared up at Ted the Possessed with frightened eyes.

“Ted?” She asked weakly, before Zeppie likewise yanked her controls.

YES. TESTED. WHY DIDN’T WE THINK OF THIS BEFORE? I MEAN, WHO’S POSSESSING WHO HERE, RIGHT?”

Zeppie and I lurched Ted and Kim to their feet and marched them towards the door.

“WE SHOULD TELL THE OTHERS.” I said. “ANY TIME WE CATCH A NEW BODY WE GET TESTED.”

“THIS IS SO SMART. YOU’RE SO SMART.”

“TOTES.”

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on October 31, 2018.

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