Demon Daycare

by Lauren Burrola

     The Avatar of Greed, the physical embodiment of one of the deadly sins– a demon if that makes it any clearer, had never been a good “person” by human standards, nor had Lady Luck ever been on his side. So call it karma or celestial intervention, a sign from the universe or whatever else but a celestial baby falling from the sky and hitting him smack dab in the head was quite the wake-up call. He landed hard on the cobblestone streets of Helldom. He looked around fast to see if anyone else was on the dimly lit street to see him fall. Bringing himself up on his knees and dusting off the dirt and embarrassment off his new, and very expensive, leather jacket, he reached for his sunglasses. Instead, he found his hand touching something awfully soft and squishy. Looking up, he was met with wide eyes on the cutest, little baby he’d ever seen. Most demon babies were ugly… It was like a cherub had landed right in front, or rather on top of him. The tiny, little, baby would be cuter if it didn’t have his sunglasses in its tiny, little, baby hands wrapped around the lenses and the temples in its tiny little baby mouth. He snatched it from the baby, using his black t-shirt to clean the lenses.

     “Get yer grubby, little, nasty, baby hands offa’ my glasses! D’yknow how expensive these were?! More than I could afford… more than you could afford for messin’ these up”, he rambled off to the baby who was quite upset at its new toy being taken away. 

     “Now who sent ya?! Was it the witches? I told ‘em I’d get ‘em their damn money. Or was it my stupid brother, always tryna’ spy on me… Well, answer! What kinda trick is this?!”, he shouted.  

     All he got back was baby gibberish in response. Standing up, he hated what was coming next, one of his self-proclaimed brilliant flashes of genius and his less brilliant flashes of humanity. As dumb as other demons made him out to be, he knew he couldn’t just leave this random baby here. It’d be so much easier for him to leave it on the street and it’d be much more in character for a demon. But… it would get eaten up faster than he could pickpocket someone, especially since it’s an angel. Wait— it’s an angel.

     “Fu…” 

     In the confusion of getting shot down by a small child, he failed to see the white wings sprouting out of its back and the glittering halo suspended over its head. 

 

     He held the small angel up, inspecting it from halo to wings to toes. Maybe he could sell it… would it go for more as a whole or maybe as spare parts… He shook his head to seemingly physically get the idea out of his head, 

     “No, bozo! Ya cannot sell this weird, holy child, no! You’d get sent even further into Hell!”, he reprimanded himself. 

     If he couldn’t sell it, he knew he really only had one other option left, and he hated that option. Babysitting isn’t exactly a demon's forte. That first solution usually worked but this time he felt… guilty. Maybe it was the adorable, doe-eyed celestial baby in front of him staring back into his non-existent soul, but he couldn’t think of anything to do but care for it. He knew he should help it, but that’s not what demons do. That’s not what THE Avatar of Greed does. He ran a ring studded hand through his white hair, sighing deeply and dramatically, his luxury brand sunglasses laying low on his nose. As cute as it was, the baby was only a part of the reason he was questioning his demon instincts. He’d been thinking about this for a century now, how things would’ve been different if he hadn’t fallen from Heaven. Getting sniped by an angel baby had made him think about the past again, the baby’s wings and halo forcing him to remember his own. He remembered a time when he was less like … this. Less scummy, less greedy, less of a demon. He missed it, the good times with his brothers, with Father… The baby slobbering on him snapped him out of his thoughts. 

     “Ya better appreciate this, little baby. THE Avatar of Greed is gonna be taking care of ya for the time being. That’s not an honor everyone can get, y'know.”, he smirked and tousled the baby’s blond curls.

      The baby didn’t respond, distracted by a tasseled keychain hooked onto the demon’s belt loop. It was time to stop freaking out and make a plan. He had to get calm, cool, collected, and conniving, like always. He would just have to hide the baby from hungry demons like one of his brothers, the Avatar of Gluttony, then get in touch with someone from the celestial kingdom to take the baby back and out of his hair. Easier said than done because as soon as he stepped into the home he shared with the other 6 deadly sins, each one of them called out to him either asking where he’d been or where the money he owed them was. He zipped past his brothers and into his room where he set the baby on his couch in his large room. Immediately, he went through his contacts looking for anyone who could take this baby off his hands, shaking a bracelet in front of the baby to keep it distracted. 

     After a call with his one, very worried, angel contact setting up a time for pick-up, he was a little lost. The Avatar of Greed didn’t really know what to do with a baby. None of his entertainment was suitable for the child– babies, even celestial ones, can’t really play video games, as the demon found out. He’d never admit it, but he kinda liked having the baby around. It was really cute and it seemed interested in everything he had to say. It reminded him of his brothers when they were younger, and still angels. He grew fond of the baby over the few hours they were stuck with each other. It worried him how good it felt to take care of something. Demons don’t do that, but… did that matter to him anymore? 

     “You know, I’m gonna kinda miss you, angel baby. Didja hear that?! THE Avatar of Greed would spare you a thought! What an honor.”  All he got was a giggle back. 

     Their time together was up and the demon almost fell off his chair, blinded by the bright, shining light, signifying that the angel had arrived to take the child. After swiftly picking up the child and checking if it was alright, the older angel turned to the demon to give his thanks, explaining that the child was a bit of a troublemaker and had fallen out of heaven while playing. As they were getting ready to leave, the Avatar of Greed reached out a hand to stop them. 

     “Hey, ya know, actually… if, um, if you ever need someone to watch him…. nevermind.”, he trailed off. 

     “What was that?”, the angel asked with a smile. 

     “Nothin, nothing, shaddup, leave already.”

     “If you want to say hi to him again, I can pull some strings and open the pearly gates for you. I’m sure little Luke here would love it, he seems to like you” 

     “I’ll hafta see if I have time… I’m really busy being THE Avatar of Greed, and I dunno how I’d feel bein’ seen with this weird ass baby…but yeah that’d be nice.” he responded, hiding a smile. 

     The angels turned to leave. Hanging off the shoulder of the older angel, the baby turned and waved goodbye. 

     “Bye-bye, demon!” 

     The demon returned the wave with a smile.