The Unlikeable Demon Hunter
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A study in tasteful shades of white, the large formal room was off-limits unless we had special guests. Mom had set that rule when my twin brother Ari and I were little tornados running around the place and while there was no longer a baby gate baring our way, conditioning and several memorable scoldings kept us out.
Hmmm. Could Ari be entertaining an actual human boy? Le gasp.
I beelined for the back of the house, past the row of identically framed family photos hanging in a neat grid, my head cocked. Listening for more voices, but all was quiet. Maybe I’d been wrong? I hoped not. Both finding my brother with a crush–blackmail dirt–and helping myself to the liquor cabinet were positive prospects. What better way to lose that hangover headache than get drunk again? Oh, the joys of being Canadian with socialized health care and legal drinking age of nineteen. After a year (officially) honing that skill, I imbibed at an Olympic level.
The red wine on the modular coffee table gleamed in a shaft of sunlight like its position had been ordained by the gods. I snatched up the crystal decanter, sloshing the liquid into the glass conveniently placed next to it. Once in a while, a girl could actually catch a break.
I fanned myself with one hand. The myriad of lit candles seemed a bit much for Ari’s romantic encounter, but wine drinking trumped curiosity so I chugged the booze back. My entire body cheered as the cloyingly-sweet alcohol hit my system, though I hoped it wasn’t Manischewitz because hangovers on that were a bitch. I’d slugged back half the contents when I saw my mom on the far side of the room clutch her throat, eyes wide with horror. Not her usual, “you need an intervention” horror. No, her expression indicated I’d reached a whole new level of fuck-up.
“Nava Liron Katz,” she gasped in full name outrage.
My cheeks still bulging with wine, I properly scoped out the room. Mom? Check. Dad? Check. Ari? Check? Rabbi Abrams, here to perform the ceremony to induct my brother as the latest member in the Brotherhood of David, the chosen demon hunters?
I spit the wine back into what I now realized was a silver chalice and handed it to the elderly bearded rabbi. “Carry on,” I told him. Then I threw up on his shoes.