“Are you sure, Daddy?” Lucy looked up at her mother, then back to Harold. “He's a skeleton.”She pronounced it 'skel-ing-ton' as children tend to do before they learn to spell, and despite Lucy being advanced for her age, she was still at the Millwall Supporter's level of reading.
“Yes, love. He's given us his word and I think, in his heart of hearts, he's not a bad man.”
“He hasn't got a heart. He's a skeleton.” Lucy's eyes held the beseeching slant of Margaret Thatcher urging the Britain of 1981 to go to war with Argentina.
“Nevertheless.” The word was enough. Gillian let go of her hand and gave her an encouraging push toward the pistol-wielding demon-host. Lust stumped across to him with all the enthusiasm of a ten year old going to the dentist when there was a filling marked on the appointment card.
“Thank you, Mr Waterman. She'll be returned unharmed.” Manoach hesitated, the pistol still raised as he waited for the child to cross the intervening twenty yards. “You know, in other circumstances we could have been friends.”
“If I'd been willing to stab my father in the back, you mean?” Harold shook his head. “You may have shared a body with demons for two thousand years, sir, but the base line is you're human, and humans are rarely content with their lot. You could have found contentment another way, surely?”
“Believe me, I tried.” Manoach reached for Lucy's hand as she reached him. It was over so fast he probably didn't even recognise what had happened to him.