‘This is Misha!’ Thomas proudly gestures to the empty air beside him. He smiles, a wide grin that makes his blue eyes twinkle. ‘Misha says hello.’
‘Hello Misha. Would you like to come and play?’ Thomas whispers conspiratorially to the gap in the air.
‘Misha would like that. Can we have milk?’ Thomas swings his feet from side to side as he sits on the decking. I smile, telling him that of course they can. Thomas launches into a big long description about Misha, one of those long rambling speeches that children love to make describing everything from Misha’s bright blue eyes, Misha’s jet-black hair, Misha’s hooves and horns. I drifted off a little as I poured two glasses of milk, putting them to one side of a plate of biscuits. I tilted my head to one side, trying to clear the insistent buzzing. It had been plaguing me for days. Just a relentless humming that wasn’t going away.
I just put it down to those concerts in the eighties finally catching up with me. My hearing never was the same after Metallica at the Hammersmith 1988. That was intense.
‘Mishaaa. Come out, come out, wherever you are.’ Thomas sang from the sun-drenched veranda. He rushed into the kitchen, accompanied by clip-clopping hooves. Hold on…
‘Thomas. Is Misha human?’ I asked, fear rising in my throat. The buzzing was louder now, as if a swarm of bees had invaded my skull. Thomas just laughed, as if I’d made a ridiculous comment.
‘Don’t be silly Daddy. He says he’s a… a sub-purg… sub… sub-purgate mali… malifi… malificence?’
A voice clicked in my ear, . ‘It means I’m a demon. Ta-daa!’
The Idiot in Tin Foil