For months he doesn’t touch himself. He doesn’t dare. It’s not that he doesn’t want to — at twelve you don’t have a whole lot of choice one way or the other — but every time he starts to, every time, he remembers Izapon rising out of a hole in the linoleum and he just withers. Usually he whimpers a little, too. It’s kind of pathetic.

His dreams are shameless, though. He dreams first of girls at school, then of cartoon characters (he woke up breathless after a particularly turgid clinching between one of the Sailor Scouts and a Saiyan), then of anyone at all. His grandmother, the pastor’s wife, the bus driver whose eyes don’t point in the same direction.

Finally he wakes up to find Izapon flickering by the side of his bed, tiny on the bedside table and smelling of almond blossoms.

“Masssssster,” says the demon.

“No no no no no,” Perry moans, and tries to sit up but the sheet is stuck to his legs. “Go away, shit, just go away…”

Izapon bows. Just before he leaves he flickers into Sailor Moon and chirps. “Yatta!”

“Oh, fuck me.”

Two nights later he gives in and the demon comes back. Like the tide.