Personal Demons Excerpt: Family Dysfunction
Saturday, October 14, 2023

There are plenty of reasons Mira has avoided going home, and not all of them have to do with dead bodies...


The pounding on her door matched the pounding in her head as Mira startled awake. She threw off her comforter and rolled out of bed. Her knees hit the floor at the same time as her feet. Her hands were a second behind. She sat back and rubbed one hand across her sleep-crusted eyes. The bedroom door burst open.

Mira’s right hand slipped under her pillow by instinct, clutching the hilt of her kukri and drawing the blade in one smooth motion. She barely managed to stop the arc of the blade before it bit into the side of her tia Marta’s neck.

Marta’s eyes went wide. She stumbled back, colliding with a small wooden dresser to the side of the door.

“Put that away.” Abuela flapped a hand at Mira from the open doorway.

Mira sheepishly lowered her knife to the floor.

“And you. . . .” Abuela turned on Marta, somehow managing to look severe despite the large curlers wobbling in her hair. “I told you not to barge in like that. Honestly, it’s like no one in this house has any manners these days.” She crossed herself over the pink paisley of her nightgown, apparently taking the lack of manners in her household as a far worse transgression than the near decapitation of her eldest daughter.

<Ha! I love your family.> The demon chortled. <Stuff like this never happens when we stay in motels.>

Mira rose to her feet. “Sorry, tia, you startled me.”

“Who sleeps with a knife under their pillow?”

<Who doesn’t?>

Marta waved the words away as soon as she said them. “It doesn’t matter.” She strode forward and grabbed Mira’s arms, giving her a little shake.

This close, Mira could see that Marta’s eyes were red-rimmed. She wore no makeup, and her hair was tousled. No self-respecting woman raised by abuela would leave the house in such a state unless something was seriously wrong.

<So the possession of practical protection is looked down on, but lack of face paint is a cause for concern? Talk about backward.>

“You’re a detective now, right?” Marta gave Mira another little shake.

<Seriously, with all the craziness that happens in this world, shouldn’t everyone sleep with a knife?>

Let it go.

“You have to help me.” Marta shouted the words into Mira face.

<I’ll bet Ty sleeps with a knife.>

“Drop it!” Mira brought her hands up in impotent defense from the verbal onslaught, knocking Marta away in the process.

Marta stiffened, her bloodshot eyes going wide again.

<Fine, whatever. But makeup over knife seems like skewed priorities. That’s all I’m saying.>

Abuela crossed herself again and opened her mouth, probably with another comment on the lack of manners being shown in her house, but Mira beat her to the punch.

“Sorry, tia.” Mira rubbed her arms. The older woman’s grip had been tight enough to bruise. “Please, just calm down and tell me what’s going on. What do you need help with?”

Start reading Personal Demons today!
 Order now: