I found myself sitting, abruptly and unexpectedly, in my father’s chair, in that room that was exactly as it had always been, that I must transform, firstly into a sanitised memory of itself, and then into an empty shell. When I felt able, I returned to the mantelpiece, and to that hideous, twisted, little wrought iron sculpture of the devil in a thorn patch. I had hated it since before I knew what hate was. I’d imagined, many times, the joy with which I’d destroy it one day. It was the thought that I might now do so, of course, that had undone me.
I cleaned it though, and replaced it just as I had found it. My father had cursed the devil every time he rose from his chair, and now I understood. Every time he cursed, by some trick of the light, the devil had winked back.
This was rather loosely inspired by this week’s VisDare prompt, and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the creator of the original artifact, which was not little or hideous, and for that matter was probably never intended to represent the devil in a thorn patch. As ever I urge you to follow the link and see both the original prompt and the other tales it has inspired.