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This is another story from my flash fiction period and a potential candidate for a future collection.

Tied

     By Ronald Cypress

The Hardys had been married for nearly a year when Maria’s demon came to vex her again. She had told Joe about the demon before they married and promised to guide him through what he would have to do when she became possessed again. Maria took Joe into the small guest bedroom that was adjacent to their room.

“You’ll have to tie me down,” Maria said. “There are some ropes in the closet. You’ll have to take those and tie me down real good. This demon is going put up a fight. You can’t trust me to be free at all.”

Joe did as his wife instructed him and tied her down to the bed. After Maria was secured, she told Joe about what to expect. He couldn’t be in the room with her. He couldn’t let her up except to go to the bathroom. She would take her meals while tied to the bed. The demon would stay for about fortnight. That was how long it stayed the last time it arose.

“This thing will eventually be gone, and I’ll go back to being a good wife to you,” Maria said. “I just got to sweat it out real good.”

Joe left his wife alone most of the time while she was tied. During the day, he went off to his job at a roof contracting company. Maria would remain tied and unable to get up from the bed. Sometimes Joe would have to clean up around her when he got home. She was often hungry when he returned, so he fed her. The two would talk a bit while he was giving her food.

“You don’t look like you’re possessed by a spirit,” Joe told his wife on the third day that she was tied. “You’re sweating a lot, but other than that you look fine.”

“The demon ain’t easy to see,” Maria said. “But it’s in me. It’s been in me since I was little.”

“What does the demon do?”

“It will get me into all kinds of trouble. Back home, it made me do all kinds of horrible things. I became disobedient. I began running off with some of the troubled kids in the town, doing all kinds of nasty things. I went off with my friend Lisa. We did all kinds of disgusting things with each other. Oh, Joey, if I told you about the sickening stuff this demon made me do, you would be disgusted. You would wonder why you even bothered marrying me in the first place.”

Maria’s face began to contort and sweat secreted from her entire face.

“You should get out of here, Joey. Get out of here before the demon comes out and tells you all about what I used to do with Lisa. It wants to mock you and torment me. I’m tied up nice and good now. Don’t worry about leaving me alone with this thing. Just go ahead and get out of here.”

Joe did as his wife told him.

Maria was mostly quiet while she was tied up and alone in the room. She would softly call out to her husband whenever she needed to go to the bathroom or wanted something to eat or drink. Those were rare occurrences. Joe barely heard from her. The door to the guest room was closed most of the time, but Joe could still hear what was happening on the other side. It was mostly silent. Six nights into Maria being tied to the bed, Joe went by the room and heard crying. He considered going into the room but knew it was best to leave her alone.

That demon was bad.

The fortnight was a few days away from being over when Maria told Joe more about how they used to frequently tie people up back home.

“They knew when someone had the demon,” Maria said. “The demons are drawn to each other. They always trick people into doing vile acts with each other. Some people let their demons take over. Lisa ran away. She took off with her demon. But they taught me how to fight mine. All I have to do is be tied down to fight it, and you got me tied down real good.”

Joe kissed his wife on the forehead and promised her that he would always be there to tie her down when she needed to be.

The day that Maria was supposed to be released from the room arrived. Joe quietly entered the room while his wife was sleeping and began to untie her. Maria awoke.

“No!” she yelled. “It’s still inside of me.”

Joe backed away from her.

“I’m sorry, Joey, but it’s still here. It’s really strong this time, Joe. I’ll need more time. Maybe just a few more days. I promise I can get rid of this thing. Go on and get out of here before it starts talking to you and telling you lies about me. Go on, Joey. I’ll be your wife again in a few days, my love. My good man.”

Joe followed his wife’s instructions and left the room. He didn’t like doing it, but he had to leave her tied. It was what he had to do as her husband, her only good man.

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