Let That Be a Lesson to You

By: Mark Onspaugh

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Astaroth has ordered a book on demonology from Amazon in an effort to learn how to contain a demon who is causing him grief. But when he doesn’t find the answers he’s seeking, he must feed the beast anyway.


"Let That Be a Lesson to You" is a very short story of just under six pages. The first-person narrator has just received a book on demonology that he ordered from Amazon. He rapidly leafs through it, looking for answers on how to apparently contain some kind of demon. Not finding the information he needs, he must then go feed this creature who I guess is supposed to be a parody of a wealthy, aging, Hollywood star.

This story started off OK. I was wondering what the main character might be trying to accomplish with his demonology book and the entries he reads from the book were mildly amusing. However, the final page and a half of the story couldn't have been more offensive if it tried. In that short space, the reader get assaulted by animal cruelty, racism, ableism, and misogyny. I'm sure the author thought it was somehow funny, but I didn't find any humor in this at all and don't know why anyone would. Granted the main character turns out to be a demon himself, but even taking that into account, I thought it was over the top. I also wasn't sure what the point of the story was. I guess it was that the narrator demon got the tables turned on him or something, but I certainly didn't sympathize with him, especially after the abhorrent and appalling things he does to an innocent baby and kittens. "Let That Be a Lesson to You" can be found in the anthology Blood Lite III: Aftertaste.


Mark Onspaugh