Story & artwork
“He was a total asshole, you know.”
“I know. You know. Everybody knows. It's not my job to write what everybody already knows.”
You might think writing an obit about someone semi-famous would be an easy thing, but guess again. Tanquan was big and scary and loud (so loud), which are qualities much admired in my world. But, Christ, the choices he made sometimes. Writing something to soothe his elderly relatives (the only family he had left) but also give him a little bit of a legacy...that was not going to be easy. No way was he going to be a legend, but I didn't want him remembered as a fool, either.
“Holy shit, Remm, you're not gonna make him out to be a warrior or something, are you?” My pal (but obviously not Tanquan's) Landis was not going to let this go.
“So you're saying he ate bowls of puppies slathered in French dressing?"
“Of course not!” Landis said, smirking. “French dressing. Seriously? I mean, he was weird, yes. He had taste for shit. He dressed like he was going golfing with that other asshole. You know the one. But he wasn't a sicko.”
We both laughed.
“Well, I'm glad it's your job and not mine,” he said. “I gotta go. Gotta pick up Ellena and round up the kidlings. They're probably in the backyard torturing something with wings. They've got a thing about wings this week. Kids.” He chuckled, and his forked, Gene Simmons-length tongue shot out and flickered in the air for a few seconds, then disappeared behind those enormous fangs he kept sharpened to pinpoints. He swung his tail around and started toward the door. “I'll meet you at the Feast. Our table's down by the Narrow Chasm fire pit. My little Benn loves the smell of charred humans in the morning, what can I say? Haha!”
I smiled, knowing that his little demon son was the baddest-ass youngster I'd ever seen, and now that he was walking, would in all likelihood kill every one of his siblings before his second birthday, and maybe his lovely, nurturing mama not long after that. A chip off the ol' block. What more could you ask for in an offspring?
Now that my friend had left, it was time for me to buckle down and get this thing written before the deadline, or I was going to miss the Pre-Apocalypse Sinners Feast. I did so love sinners. Unlike sweet-tasting saintly humans, who'd done only one horrendously bad thing in their lives that qualified them to end up down here for a roast, sinners had been screwing over other humans and doing all sorts of bad shit their whole lives, which built up a sort of...tangy...flavor. No wonder the line was always so long for politician-kebabs and Wall Street wieners.
As my fingers started flying across the keyboard, my grumbling stomach was all the incentive I needed.
DEMON DIMENSION DAILY GAZETTE
TANQUAN THE FIREKEEPER
8,284 years old
by Remm the Ripper
What can one say about the passing of such a giant as Tanquan the Firekeeper? What would life be like in our world without the heat that warms our soulless selves, the smell of scorched flesh, the roar of the flames?
True, Tanquan's marriages never lasted long enough to produce offspring, because he kept, well, dining on his brides. And, granted, he wasn't much of a warrior. To be honest, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” reruns scared the undead shit out of him. Maybe he did occasionally lop off a limb of someone's human prey without asking first. We all know he loved to snack. And maybe he didn't always get down on one knee and bow his head when the Great Dark One passed by. But let's face it--he wasn't exactly sleek and agile. Those huge horns alone weighed a ton, and his knees were not in great shape, so it wouldn't hurt to cut him a little slack.
He came from a long line of Firekeepers, which is a noble profession. And of course, back in the day, he was a true hero. I remember when I was young and he saved those two little kidlings from falling into that miles-deep pit, down by the lava flow. Okay, so one of the little ones bit his finger and Tanquan ate him, but his heart was in the right place.
Anyway, the next time you walk or fly or slither past those explosive flames, or doze off in bed while listening to the heartwarming sound of humans begging not to be thrown in, remember Tanquan, and curse his name. He'd like that.
Copyright ©2017 Nik Barnabee All Rights Reserved