What was that noise? I lifted my head groggily. My stomach knotting from hunger. It had been a substantial time since I last partook of food.
Ha, partook. Such a weird word.
I should be a poet. If, yunno, I don’t get savagely murdered. That WOULD put a damper on any writing. Maybe I should muse about a different profession. Like: couch manufacturer.
Craning my neck I watched curiously as the cultists continued their chanting. They were kneeling on an inverted pentagram. Though as you can imagine it’s terribly difficult to gage the the orientation of something when your looking out of the corner of your eye.
Around the circle candles were glinting brightly and the light from the window was now gone.
I sniffed. Was that vanilla? My stomach grumbled, notifying me that I was hungry. So, so hungry.
“We summon thee, Old One. Great Demon of Debauchery. Come forth to partake of our offering.” They continued to chant. I snickered. Partake.
“Whatcha cookin’” I asked, craning my neck. My curiosity was getting the best of me. The woman from before made a grunting noise and ignored me. Focusing instead on the circle of pretty candles. I got another whiff of vanilla, and my stomach once again growled.
The five members swayed, chanting in time as they did so, like some creepy version of an acapella band. Only less cool and more demon-y. Maybe this Demon was also the lord of pound cake. The vanilla kind. Not a total stretch, considering.
As they chanted a growing cloud took form in the center of the ring. It twisted and coiled until it formed a human shape. An attractive human male. Not even kidding. We’re talking supermodel status here. No wonder they used good smelling candles.
I gasped. Did the use of such candles produce higher quality demons? Would adding something like cinnamon hinder or enhance such a summoning? Or would they simply become a cinnamon cake? My stomach groaned at the thought. God. Please, feed me!
The Demon leveled its eyes at me, sparkling red against his snowy skin. Turning the chair with relative ease it looked me over carefully. The same way someone ponders how to cook a steak. I shrugged. I guess being a sizable portion of steak could be a good thing. I mean, I never complained when handed free food.
“Such a fresh offering.” he snickered reaching out to brush my face with his fingers. “What shall I do with such a canvas.” He–or it–chuckled, a deep throaty laugh that was smoother than chocolate. Part of me should have been quaking in fear. Part of me should have been screaming at the top of my lungs. Hell, some part of me should have even been turned on. Because … well … Demon Conjuring is a thing, and it summons extraordinary sexy creatures. But, apart from all of that I simply could NOT get past that intoxicating smell.
“Where on earth did you get these candles!” I exclaimed looking past the demon towards the cultists. “Because, seriously. I can barely get my oil diffuser to fill half my bedroom.” The angry woman’s head dropped suddenly in her hands, and she let out a pained tired groan.
“He just had to speak,” she muttered. I passed her a confusing look and then returned my attention to the Demon before me, who had gone from seductive grin to ghastly appalled. Maybe even irritated. I shrugged and looked back at my favorite cultist who was amused by the exchange, but was trying to hide it. Before he could give an answer however the demon’s deep voice rumbled.
“Claire. I told you to find me someone worthy. Or at the very least sane.” The angry woman, or rather Claire shot me a furious glare. I shivered. Maybe it wasn’t the Demon I was suppose to be afraid of.
“Oh, Great One.” She started carefully. “Please accept my humblest of apologies.” She bowed deeply. Her face touching the stone floor of the basement. The Demon was not having it however. It loomed over her looking menacing and powerful.
“I’m growing weary of your failures. Three times you’ve called me, and three times your sacrifice has been…” the Demon turned back to look me over. I smiled at it and shook my head in an energetic hello. He let out a sigh, deflating. “Underwhelming.”
I frowned. I was underwhelming? What a terrible thing to say. Looking at the Demon I spoke up.
“Hey! I am a magnificent catch, I’ll have you know.” I told It–or him. “I work out. I have a stable nine-to-five. Or… well at least I did. I have no idea how long I’ve actually been down here. So I could be fired. Which I sincerely hope not. I do have a chair I need to buy.” I paused searching myself for more positive traits.
“Oh! I don’t smoke, that’s good right?” Recalling his entrance I doubled back. Had I gone too far? Were demons touchy about the whole fire and brimstone thing? Was it something they chose in order to perpetuate the stereotype? Makes you wonder how much of the Demon realm was suffering from emphysema. “Though,” I chewed over my thoughts “I’m not sure if that is a turn on or off for you. So, like, I could totally start smoking. I may not be very good at it. I mean, it doesn’t seem terribly comfortable to breath in a cloud of hot noxious smoke, but then again you might know more about it. Not that I’m judging you or anything. To each his own I guess. I-”
“Please, stop talking.” Claire hissed. The Demon looked at me. Or rather through me. it’s face was slack with disinterest and carried a spark of self-loathing.
The Demon turned to Claire. It’s/his (to be honest I have no idea what he/it prefers to be called so I’m sticking “The Demon” from now on. Do demons even HAVE genders?) eyes were burning like red coals against a snowy hillside. She flinched away from The Demon’s fiery gaze and bowed deeply once again.
I frowned at a sudden thought.
“Please your Greatness. I-”
“Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Hold on a second. Go back a moment.” I interjected. The Demon turned to me, surprised. “Not that I mind if you eat Claire.” I shrugged in her direction. “I mean, you’re kind of a bitch, and you DID kidnap me.” She nodded slightly to herself. Upset, but couldn’t actually deny it.
“Did you say I was the third sacrifice? Like, why were the last two bad? What happened to them? Did Claire freeze them with her chilly ice queen powers. Did you, Mr. Demon, eat them? Did you let them go. Like, Hello! You can’t just drop a bomb like that and simply leave a person hanging. I’m going to end up getting savagely tortured. You could at least tell me what happened and if, yunno, you want to get some vanilla pound cake too to share around while you tell the story. That would be great.”
The basement went silent and all around gazes settled on me. Some were bewildered and some were angry. Yes, Claire. We know all know it’s you!
And suddenly the Demon smiled.
“Let me tell you of the last two who sat in that very chair.”