A demon learns first-hand why human life is so precious; to be revised as screenplay later
Once Upon an Empty Body
Once upon a time, there was a lone demon spawn, lying in the dark, waiting. Every day, he waited for his chance; his chance to strike, his chance to live, his chance to be. One day, tragedy struck for two parents of an ailing child in the Midwest. Their precious babe had passed in the night. The spawn drew near from shadows cold and watched the little soul float off into the light, and when the body was cold and blue, he took it for his own. The babe drew breath, and his cheeks pinked, as did the parents' when he let out a shrill cry.
The relationship quickly proved to be mutually beneficial. The elated parents got to take home their precious bundle of joy, and the demon inside got to know what this "life" thing was all about. He knew it's what made people different from the other beings and that it was desired by all of the darklings of The Abyss. What it was and why it was so precious was beyond him, but he knew one thing. He wanted it, and with the little body and the love of its parents, he would have it. They named their healthy, beautiful baby Lucious and took him home post-haste to start their new life as a complete family.
Lucious' childhood was very normal, considering he was a lesser demon. He had never possessed anyone before, so it worked out well for him that the first few years of human life is spent learning basic skills like walking and talking among others that would surely become useful later in life. Though the language of his new people was one of the most complicated in the human realm, it had its charms and proved to be sufficient for expressing his needs. He also very much enjoyed the Latin alphabet and he suspected that the humans were quite pleased with it as well. After all, there was an entire song dedicated to it that children and parents alike sang over and over again and then practiced drawing the letters in their various forms, and he found it absolutely exhilarating.
Despite his infernal heritage, Lucious was a well-behaved child. His parents both worked, which meant that he spent a fair amount of time under the care of a babysitter, and even then, he fussed very little over rules and bedtimes. It seemed to Lucious that stirring up trouble would only make his mission to study humans that much harder. No data could be gathered if he was ordered to stand in the corner and think about what he had done. The corner could tell him no more about humans than that damned time-out chair or his bed, which he could be ordered to go to if his parents felt that he had no reason to be fussy. A waste of time if there ever was one, Lucious thought. Behaving afforded him good things like cookies and outings. Outings were the most valuable of the prizes given by the parents. On these trips, they often went to museums, public monuments, or sometimes theme parks; all places where he could learn more about the humans, watch other humans interact with each other, and even have a little fun.
As he got older, Lucious became more active in his new human community, including taking part in smaller communities within it. He attended seminars for young humans, wherein they worshipped their fantastic letters some more and learned the skills of sharing and playing. A few years later, his parents enlisted him to be on a team of young warriors who wore spiked shoes and did battle using only a shared ball that was to be kicked into a guarded net. After the battles, all of the warriors would be rewarded with slices of citrus and sugary drinks. His parents reveled in the sound of the cheering crowds and Lucious' shiny little participation trophies.
Then the day came when his parents wanted something he could not give them. A little over a decade into his humanity, they wanted him to be baptized and confirmed in their faith, a sure-fire cure for the demonic infestation they were blissfully unaware of. He tried in vain to think of a good reason why not, to plead with his parents against it, but to no avail. The day was fast-approaching. He had to try again.
"Mom. I don't want to."
Lucious' mom sighed as she crossed his room and started putting his laundry away in his dresser drawers.
"What harm could it possibly do?" she asked in her usual "almost too positive for her own good"-tone.
"None of my friends ever have to go to church."
"Jenny's mom doesn't make her go to church."
"Mathew's mom doesn't either, and his parents go like three times a week!"
His mom turned and sat on the bed next to him.
"Well, Mathew's parents may be going to the church, but they aren't there three times a week to worship."
Lucious' face screwed up in confusion as he looked up at her and said, "Huh?"
"Never mind," she said. "You'll understand when you're older. Anyway, I just think it would be a great idea for you to be a part of our faith and get baptized."
"Mom," Lucious sighed, "I just...I think this is a bad idea."
She laughed. "Oh, honey. You're just nervous. It'll be fun. You get to dress up nice and go meet other people who believe in the same things. You'll like it."
She tousled his hair and kissed his forehead as she stood up to leave. He had tried desperately to convince her that he shouldn't--couldn't go to church. He couldn't think of any possible way to tell her his terrible secret. What would they think if he admitted that going to church would literally kill him? How heartbroken they would be to learn that their son had been dead for so long. That the beast they had been raising was not of this world. The entire community would be in an uproar. The church would send men to extract him from the body, and then it would all be over. Sad, empty parents and a cold, empty body.
The day arrived, and Lucious was no closer to getting out of the ceremony. His efforts to blend in and live life like a normal person instead of taking a body and raising hell were all for naught. Either he would tell someone and be extracted, or he would die trying to be a good son to the parents who loved him so much. Damned if he did, damned if he didn't. At least this way, his parents wouldn't have to go through the pain of watching the body slowly deteriorate as the priests prayed over him ad nauseum and sent him back to where he had come from, back into the darkness. This way would be much faster.
When they arrived at the church, all of the kids were gathered outside the front doors, waiting for the ceremony to start. Lucious even recognized a few of them from school and sports. His parents both hugged and kissed him and made their way inside to find their seats. The kids were all milling about looking more bored than nervous. This is no big deal to them, Lucious thought and reflected on how strong and versatile these beings really were. Not even a commitment to blind faith could make them flinch--could make their young flinch.
The nuns began to organize the children into a line and opened the doors to the church. They slowly walked toward the pulpit, their parents waving frantically as they passed, cameras flashing and smiles beaming. They were all so happy. Once the head of the line reached the front line of pews, they stopped and called them forward one by one to be blessed in the pool of holy water set into the floor. It wasn't long before Luscious found himself at the front of the line.
He stood before the pool of blessed water and reflected on the great gift that had been his life. All of those fond memories. All of those smiles. He finally understood what human life was all about. While he dreaded the pain the parents would bear, completely unaware of what they had done, the worst part was the pain that he wouldn't be there to share it. Maybe there is something to this "blind faith" thing, he decided. Maybe that's what makes these people so strong.
He gazed into the crystal-clear waters as the priest beckoned him in before the congregation, and as he stepped in, he prayed. The cool water soaked into his clothes, weighing down his shoes almost instantly as he stepped in, and soaked his fair skin in holy water. His physical body didn't seem to take any damage, but he could feel the water diluting his soul like watercolor paints washing out what little was there until nothing was left. He gasped, more out of panic than pain, and felt himself start to fade away. Perhaps that is what prayer had done for him. Perhaps prayer had saved the parents from the horror of boils and sores appearing all over their little boy and from trying to save the soul that was already long gone. And so, it was that things had returned to the way they had been on that fateful day he had arrived: A pair of grieving parents, a lonely creature lurking in the dark, and an empty body.