NEVER TRUST A DEMON – a dark fantasy
Miriam watched the writhing shape of the demon with unease. She had performed the spell exactly as described in the grimoire. She double checked her position within the chalk drawn pentacle on the floor. The lines were thick and unbroken, her feet anchored within its outlines.
“Let me see you,” she demanded, squinting at the amorphous figure before her. “I can’t talk to a blob.”
“Heh, heh, heh,” the demon rumbled in a pleasing basso profundo. The tone of the voice was unnerving, considering the nebulous shape of its source.
“Now why should I do that?” the demon demurred, shifting its shape. “You might not be able to stand the sight of the real me.”
“I don’t mean the real you,” Miriam replied. “Assume some solid form that I can talk to. You can do that, can’t you?”
“Oh, certainly, I can do that and more,” the soothing bass voice replied. “What form would you like me to take, Miriam?”
“You know my name?” she inquired, taken aback. “How? I never told you that.”
“Oh, we demons have our sources,” the demon replied, a hint of amusement in his voice.
“What else do you know about me?” she demanded.
“Well, let’s see,” said the demon. “Your last name is Price, you are twenty-seven years old and unmarried. You live alone. Your only friends, at least the ones you think are your friends, are the other witches in the Arnost coven.” He paused. “You ‘borrowed’ that grimoire from the coven library, where it is never supposed to leave. You summoned me through its pages, allowing me to access all the information the coven has on you. It’s a lot more than you think.”
The demon exhaled with pleasure. “Satisfied, my dear Miriam?”
Miriam was speechless. She knew she shouldn’t have taken the grimoire from the coven library. But the demon couldn’t know that, but it did. It seemed to know a lot more too. All she wanted was a special push for an Adam Brewer who she had obsessed on for the past three months. Adam Brewer who, to all intents and purposes, didn’t seem to realize she existed.
“I had no idea,” she said at last. “But never mind. I have summoned you and I need a favor from you please.”
“A favor?” the demon sounded amused again. “I’m not in the business of doing favors for mortals, dear Miriam. Why should I indulge you?”
“Because I have the power to bind you,” Miriam replied with some slight trepidation. “The spell that called you here also binds you to me until I release you, so you can’t leave until I let you.”
“Oh, is that so?” the demon said, and the note of amusement had disappeared from his voice. “What if I left? Right now?” There was an undercurrent of menace in his tone now, although the timbre still resonated in the room.
For a moment, Miriam wondered if she had missed something in the incantation. Then she caught herself. She had done it exactly as the book instructed. The demon was faking. He had to humor her until she reversed the spell.
“Let’s not quibble,” she said. “It’s only a very small thing I need you to do.”
“Does it involve a certain Adam Brewer?” the demon inquired with a flash of malice. The amusement had returned to his voice. Also, his form was solidifying, taking shape, changing into something recognizable.
Miriam watched, amazed, as a white rabbit resolved from the gloom, complete with top hat and tails. The rabbit stood on his hind legs and nibbled at his front paws.
“How’s this?” The demon said. “You like my new form? You asked.”
“A rabbit?” Miriam could not keep the disdain out of her voice. “Of all the forms you can assume and you became a rabbit?”
“Well, not any rabbit,” said the demon, wiggling his rabbit ears. “I am a special rabbit. Let me grow a bit and I’ll show you.”
The figure of the rabbit stretched and filled out until it was almost seven feet tall. He was no longer cute but terrifying, and he towered over Miriam like an ominous cumulus cloud.
The demon rabbit smiled, revealing a mouth full of pointed teeth. They glittered like daggers in the light of the many candles Miriam had placed around the room. She noticed for the first time that his eyes were ruby red, like drops of blood.
“There now,” the demon said. “That’s better. I was feeling a little cramped. Now, what can I do to Mr. Brewer for you?”
“I don’t want you to do anything to him,” Miriam whispered. “I want you to make him notice me. You know, like take an interest in me, sort of. Do you understand?”
“Perfectly,” the demon said, rolling his eyes. “How intense do you want me to make him?”
“Oh, not too much. Not over the top,” Miriam replied. “Interested enough to flirt with me and so on.”
“Well, that’s easily done,” the demon said, smiling again, “But I need you to come and stand by me while I set this whole thing up.”
“You mean, come over there?” Miriam was incredulous. “No way I’m stepping out of this pentacle, demon. Not even if you go back to tiny rabbit size. I’m staying right here. You stay over there and do your thing and then we can both be on our way.”
“What, you don’t trust me?” the demon said in an aggrieved tone. “That is the height of rudeness.”
“Why should I trust you?” Miriam was adamant. “I don’t trust demons. All you do is destroy.”
“We say the same thing about humans.” The demon’s voice was no longer deep and resonant. Now it was low and sibilant. “At least, we don’t pretend to be nice while doing it.”
“All I wanted was a favor from you,” Miriam protested. “I meant no harm.”
“Never trust a demon,” the rabbit replied, stretching out its left hind paw. He deliberately brushed it across the floor, erasing part of the chalk line, opening a gap in the pentacle.
© Bryan Knower – January 2018