Today was another boring day, like all the other boring days. I was almost done with my commute to the office, not looking forward to spending another day working on the same spreadsheet. I don't believe in monsters, ghosts or spirits, but I do believe that thing is haunted.
"Next stop is Broughton Junction, end of the line!"
That was my stop. I thought I got it easy by getting an apartment right next to the train, but I never thought that my job would move so far away. I got up with the others and walked my way to the exit of the station. The crowd was lifeless and dead today. The usual morning rush of the station I got on the train at had turned into a lazy slump towards the exit.
The only solace from these doldrums was the barista at the coffee shop by the doors. She had such a lovely smile; sometimes it was the only thing that kept me going. I wonder what her name is, I thought to myself as I breached the darkness of the station and was enveloped in the light of the outside world. Nubypool was the financial hub of the province. My work was in the Ministry of Accounting, taming the beast that was their spreadsheets. As I walked towards the entrance of the building I looked around, seeing the gray, drab skyscrapers around me sully the lively deep blue above them.
I crossed the street and walked to the double doors, but then there was a noise. I looked up and saw something falling towards me, then suddenly there was a loud noise and everything went dark.
The darkness persisted for a while, I couldn't touch, see or hear myself. I was alone in a silent hell with only my thoughts to break the sheer emptiness of it all. Suddenly, it hit me. I'm dead, aren't I? I'm never going to get that barista's number, am I?
A noise filled my awareness. I couldn't recognize it, but it came with a friendly presence. It felt like my best friend, mother, and more all in one. I felt like I knew this person intimately even though we had never spoken before. I could pick out that there were words, but nothing usable other than that.
The words stopped after a while, and that was the saddest part of the whole thing. I was so alone without the words, but I didn't feel like I had any control over when they started. They started and stopped without any indication of where or when they were coming from.
Then they started again and I knew that I needed to capitalize on this. The voice was going to go away if I didn't do anything about it. All I could do was think, so I decided to think as loud and hard as I could. I screamed in my mind. I would have woke the neighbors if this was in the apartment back home. Those thin walls would have made the entire floor wake up. I shouted and shouted like my life depended on it. As I shouted and screamed the darkness started to gain color. There was a small pinhole of light that expanded and filled my awareness until it grew to everywhere I could see. Is this reincarnation?
As if a blindfold had been lifted, I could finally get to see myself in some level of detail. I looked down and all I saw was a bright poster with what looked like words on it. I looked behind me and I saw what appeared to be a poster with more smaller words. I looked to the sides and saw what appeared to be clear plastic with a blue liquid in it.
I started panicking. I didn't know what was going on. Aren't I supposed to be some kind of animal? Why am I this?
The voice started again, a lot more clearly. I could pick out the words: "So that's why they call it a 'head pressure'! Wow I don't even know how to describe this feeling other than that!"
I looked ahead and I saw a young boy, something like 18 years old. I was in some kind of small apartment. There was a ritual circle of some kind, I was right in the middle of it. Looking around there was a pentagram made out of a white and blue powder, cards I've never seen before and a bottle of red liquid. There was a mirror to the side of me though. I took a long and detailed look at myself.
I saw an orange nozzle look back at me. There was what appeared to be a handle under the nozzle, looking like it was screwed on top of a bottle of...
No, this can't be!
It was screwed on top of a bottle of window cleaner.
"I'M A BOTTLE OF WINDOW CLEANER????"
The boy in front of me winced and grunted, my shouting must have hurt him. I suddenly got a feeling of fear washing over me. I felt the tip of my nozzle screw itself shut and my self-image vanished from the mirror. Had I interrupted the ritual?
The boy composed himself and looked down at me. "So, you're the succubus I summoned? What's wrong with you?"
"S...succubus? I'm not a succubus, I could swear that a few days ago I was... well not this. I don't know what I am other than apparently..."
I tried to gesture at my own body but only ended up making my handle flail about meaninglessly, spraying a bit of blue fluid out of my nozzle. It felt like it had come out of my mouth. It had no taste initially, but it left a slightly sour taste after a moment.
"A bottle of window cleaner??"
"...What. How did this happen?"
"Why are you asking me? You apparently summoned me. What did you expect to get?"
The boy looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears. Assuming I had ears that were big enough for lobsters crawling out of them that is.
There was suddenly a knock at the door. "SHIT!", the boy said to himself without saying it. He started scrambling around and frantically trying to clean things.
He swept up the white powder and put away the playing cards, but try as he might he couldn't grab me to put me away. His hand phased through me like I wasn't there. He got up and let the other person in. It was a pizza delivery person. The boy handed over some money and then took the pizza and placed it on top of a clear spot of his desk.
I suddenly found myself on top of a metal surface. I could feel something spinning under me and heard the soft hum of an idle fan. I had just teleported across the room. "W..what, why am I here?"
"I didn't...know that would do anything. I thought it would be nice if you were on top of my computer and you just appeared there." Another knock came at the door. There was a female voice.
"Shit, play it cool."
"I don't know how I can do anything other than what I am doing now, but okay."
A woman entered the room. She appeared to be in a very skimpy outfit, showing off her curves. She also seemed to have a pair of demonic looking wings that she let open in the middle of the room. The boy awkwardly made conversation with her for a while. I tried to get the boy's attention by spraying at him. I definitely got his attention. "What're you looking at, roomie? Aren't you gonna give your poor roomie some pizza?"
I didn't think she could see me. I tried spraying more. The boy looked over at me angrily. "Cut it out bottle, I'll throw you out with the trash if you keep that up!"
"What are you talking about? I'm not a bottle, I'm hungry." She walked over to the pizza and grabbed a slice, pushing the boy into his desk. She looked dead at me when she had her slice. I don't think she saw me. She turned around and bumped one of her wings into the boy, causing them to fall off. "Nooo! My costume!"
"That's what you get for wearing a succubus costume in a dorm hall."
She stuck her tongue out sarcastically at the boy and picked up her wing. "Okay sarcasm boy, you're gonna help me get this on~. If you do I may have a fun time planned for you~."
"I know what you're planning Mike. I'm not going to bang you. We agreed that I wouldn't before you did this."
Her name is Mike? I thought about it and decided that it was better to leave things be.
"Hey, dude, I don't really know what's going on. Where am I? Who am I? What am I? Are you just gonna keep me in the dark about all of this?" I tried to direct this to the boy with a burst of energy, spraying him to be sure I got his attention.
He looked over at me like I was cock-blocking him. I felt myself blush and backed off. It looks like there would be plenty of time later to get those questions answered.
"Hey Conner, when are you going to get into your costume? Did the ritual I gave you work?"
Elsewhere at a random cleaning product factory, it was business as usual. The production lines were running smoothly. The trucks of cleaner continued as normal and every bottle was being filled at the normal rate.
A woman in a skimpy outfit suddenly appeared on the production line, causing one of the workers to hit the "emergency stop" button. The woman had a demonic aura about her. Her bewitching gaze stunned the factory floor. She got off the production line and walked out of the building, with that worker in tow; seemingly enamored with her. This is going to be fun~, she thought to herself.
This article was posted on M09 24 2021. Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication. Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.
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The art for Mara was drawn by Selicre.
The art for Cadey was drawn by ArtZora Studios.