The Demon Helium

After having exhausted all her what-happens-when-you-do-this curiosities on the Cuisinart last Friday night, Sister Madly took herself off to the pub- and, incidentally, into the hands of the Professors.

The discussion eventually turned to the topic of fear, which prompted the Professors to ask Sister Madly what it is she dreads most- she was not to think about it, but to say the first thing that came to mind. Knowing they would read too much into ‘You People,’ Sister Madly said ‘Balloons.’


Balloon are bizarre enough by themselves, but when you fill those balloons with helium, they become downright alien. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a single balloon anywhere in sight that could have triggered this (second) automatic response, which made the Professors curious.

You may recall that Sister Madly’s gluten intolerance was discovered only after she had murdered a sandwich. Several years before that, she did the same to a balloon. It’s a wonder that she is not strumming her lips in a padded cell.

The balloon in question was one of demonic origins, bright yellow, with a cerebral smile. After a week’s stay at the Madly estate, the balloon began to take on certain human-like qualities: hovering at eye-level, it lurked in the doorways and peered round corners, pretending it did not know that Sister Madly was watching; it would appear silently at her side and, always smiling, invade her personal space (which, admittedly, has a greater perimeter than most.)

evil balloon

It wasn’t long before the balloon was following her around the house. Many an evening was spent looking over her shoulder as the balloon swayed gently beside her at the dinner table, as it slipped into the bedroom behind her, or stalked her though the halls. The basement became her only refuge, as navigating the staircase proved to be a challenge for the Demon Helium, but even this did not last. Friends and family insisted that the balloon was simply swept up in the current as she passed by, that this was a natural phenomenon not to be feared.

Yeah, the Professors tried to tell her the same thing. Fools, the lot of them.

She tried locking the beast in the closet, but it always managed to escape. It harnessed the powers of a yet-unknown science by producing an electrical charge, which allowed itself to cling to Sister Madly’s hair and clothes merely at will. Nothing, but nothing seemed to hinder the balloon; rather, all the cursing, running and punching that childlike grin* only fueled the Demon’s hunger.

*Bad idea, by the way, mentioning this part to the Professors.

It was a butter knife that took care of the balloon that final night. Sister Madly had awaken to find it hovering over her bed, watching her sleep- and we all know what logic runs through a terrorized mind at 3 AM. But while she could tear through that cerebral smile, while she could render the balloon to nothing more than shiny, shiny strips of foil, Sister Madly could not kill the Demon Helium. As in all cases of possession, with the host now deceased, the Demon Helium needed to find a new life form to carry out its agenda.

balloon evil

That host was revealed when, in an alien falsetto, Sister Madly declared her victory over the remains of the balloon; yes, the Demon Helium had taken up residence in Sister Madly and was now speaking its high-pitched message of doom through her. She, however, reacted not with the enthusiasm expected of one destined to haunt the whole of the human race, but with the primal instinct ingrained in her since birth: she hid under the bed.

Now this particular exorcism, though not found in religious texts, had a remarkable effect on the Demon Helium. Evil spirits, as a rule, do not like passive hosts; they defeat the purpose of possession. In fact, the only race that thrives in this manner- living under dark furniture- is that of blood-lusting monsters, which is of no use to the demonic realm.

Thus, the Demon Helium departed, leaving Sister Madly to wonder about the creature that was no doubt lurking under the bed with her.

POST’S THEME SONG: Weightless Again, the Handsome Family


12 responses

  1. If the balloon was following you are the house, then you know why it was smiling. It saw things beyond the understanding of mortal man.


    March 26, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Thank God it didn’t speak of these things! Or laugh. Laughing would be worse.


      March 26, 2014 at 7:06 PM

  2. Aw, I don’t know. All the balloons I ever had a conversation with were real sweethearts.


    March 29, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    • Sister Madly

      You are most fortunate. This particular balloon may appear to be all sunshine and daffodils, but deep down, he was ‘Play Misty for Me.’


      March 29, 2014 at 6:33 PM

  3. I am so relieved to know I am not alone in being disturbed by balloons. Admittedly, they are not on my list of top three fears — but certainly in the top five. I’ve been followed about the house one too many times.

    Sweet potato chili. I must say that isn’t something I’d have thought of on my own, but having read through the recipe, I can see how the favors would go well. Yay for another new one to try! 🙂


    March 31, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    • Sister Madly

      When they start to deflate- that is when the creepiness begins.

      I swear, that is when they become alive.


      March 31, 2014 at 11:17 AM

  4. I had no idea that you could be stalked by a balloon. Now that you mention it, it does sound a bit creepy. I think you’re quite lucky actually, I’ve been bludgeoned with a Lego and somebody did try to kill me by scattering marbles about the floor, but I’ve never been stalked by a balloon.


    April 1, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Who are the fiends out to kill us?! The marbles, that’s just cruel- in a classic movie sort of way.

      Still, death by marbles might be more pleasant than merely steeping barefoot on a Lego…


      April 1, 2014 at 1:06 PM

  5. Each artist works in a preferred medium- Michelangelo in marble, Da Vinci in paint. I like to work in chili. From my experience, chili isn’t lacking in aesthetics as much as it is desperately camera shy.


    April 1, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Oh it is, indeed, camera shy. In fact, my chili seems to suffer from chronic social anxiety. It will be seeking therapy in the near future.


      April 1, 2014 at 5:53 PM

  6. unknown

    Balloons, Lego, even dog toys – those ones with rubber bones that have rope going through them with very large knots – there is a universe of inanimate objects waiting to destroy us. Beware…


    April 7, 2014 at 4:57 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Indeed! They plot destruction when we’re not around- I think my garbage can is plotting something right now…


      April 7, 2014 at 10:55 AM

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