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Seven Parties Illyana Should Not Have Attended, And The One She Didn’t

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Woke up on the bathroom floor. On my face. Somewhere my phone buzzed like a million flies fleeing an ancient tomb of horrors. Found it and many texts from Kitty that I was late for a staff meeting and where was I and was I okay?

Felt like someone had taken all my teeth out and put them in the wrong sockets.

Made it in time to teach class. Then walked gracefully down the hall to the bathroom and puked up whatever the hell was in my gut. Some of it might have been alive. I hate alien cuisine.

I should’ve gone to medical but passed out again for a while or maybe just slept because the bathroom tile was so perfectly cooling.

Woke up because Kitty and Storm came in, talking loudly. I tried to teleport home.

Ended up in the 1950s.

I hate the 1950s.

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Woke up wearing someone else’s pants.

Also woke up wearing someone else.

Not anyone I knew.

Crawled out from under and tried to teleport home.

Ended up in Savage Land.

I hate Savage Land.

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I hate the 1400s.

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I hate space.

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Woke up in Spiral’s bed with a cool cloth over my eyes.

Reached across until I felt one left hand, then another, then another. Tugged on that third one a bit, asking, “Devi? What happened last night?”

A soft groan and she said, “Well, we’re not welcome back in Kree space for a while, that’s for sure.”

“What’d we do?”

“What’s the last thing you remember?” she asked.

“I was eating the color rapture while music punched me in the brain.”

“I’m sorry I let you take that stuff,” she said, sounding more regretful than she ever is.

“What stuff? What happened?”

“A bunch of us were getting high and you had the Limbo vodka, which was a huge hit with the Kree. Then they wanted to do a bunch of their hallucinogens, which I’m used to and you’re really not. But you were wasted and said, ‘why the hell not?’ which got answered about a half hour later when you said, ‘It’s not a party without demons!’”

“Oh gods, who did I summon?” I groaned.

“Who’s the really big one that’s mostly mouth? She brought friends.”

“How many?”

“Enough to trash the party barge we were on and then trash the battlecruiser that came to save the party barge. Good thing we weren’t near any of the homeworlds. Anyway, you really need to avoid the Kree now.”

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Woke up in Spiral’s bed, no covers on, damp.

Said, “Fuck me, not again.”

“You’re alive!” Spiral sounding too cheerful from across the room.

I did not open my eyes. I couldn’t remember where they were.

“Am I?” I asked. “Tell me I didn’t summon anything.”

“What’s the last thing you remember?”

“You dancing. Your hair was violet fire and all your hands glowed,” I told her.

“Someone blew who-knows-what into the AC system and everyone lost their mind. I danced for a while and you watched me like you were going to eat me, and then the DJ put on that Shi’ar war music—you know with the beat that just goes on and on for an hour—and you went all demon and fucked me on the dance floor. I did not know your demon anatomy could do all that, by the way. Everybody loved it. We kept going until everyone in club came, except you and me. Then I teleported us back here and came all over you.”

“Oh. Good. I was afraid I was lying in puke.”

“Like I’d leave you in that, Babe,” she said.

“I haven’t found my eyes yet, you could be collapsed in a corner.”

“I’ve been doing laundry. You did get some puke on your jeans. Your eyes are one hand up from your mouth,” she said.

That was going to make sense as soon as I remembered what hands were.

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“What’s the last thing you remember?” Spiral asked.

“Tuesday.”

“Oh. You’re kind of a lightweight, Babe.”

“I can’t keep doing this,” I said and rolled off the side of the bed into a stepping disc to Limbo.

I arrived near the lake of fire, turned as demon as I can and walked into it. Soaked until everything that wasn’t me had burned away.

When I got out, S’ym was waiting for me, sitting on a big rock, filing his claws. “You look like something Dormammu crapped out of his great, cosmic colon, Boss. Take us back to the palace, I’ll oil your scales.”

“Thanks,” I grumbled and did.

Miraculously, we arrived in my palace in what passed for present time in Limbo. S’ym got the oil and did my scales and then made me sit so he could braid my hair and ensure that none of it was still fire. Demon hair is thicker than human hair and holds certain braids well, including the eight-strand style that S’ym’s kids liked.

He got some of the little demons to come file and oil my hooves, and I did my own claws.

“I’m the fucking Demon Queen of Limbo and she can party me to death, how is that possible?” I asked.

“Not your strength, Boss,” he said. “Do what you do best.”

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I did not go.

Spiral came home with eyes painted on all her hands, front and back, and hands painted over her eyes. She said, “You missed a great party.”

I sighed, patted the couch cushion next to me, and said, “Tell me about it.”

Of all the parties, that’s the one I remember best.