Caged Demon

I had insomnia last night/this morning and read some old stuff. I decided to share an unfinished story with you. This story annoys me as I like it, but CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. And I’d like to finish it. Feel free to comment on it. Yes, there will be typos.

Here it is:

The wind blew hard, knocking the branches in the trees and on the ground. The leaves protested in their quiet way, brushing against each other and creating an almost shushing sound. The wrought iron gate creaked and moaned as it was forced open. It banged loudly against itself then sprung back and clanged closed. The owl screeched loudly in the trees and flew off as a dark presence alighted on the wooden porch.

Inside the kitchen a young woman stirred some soup in the large pot and turned her head sharply as the wind blew something against the house. She pulled the wooden spoon out of the pot and headed to the window to see what was going on. As she reached the window, a loud knocking came from her kitchen door. She jumped, the scowled as she yanked the door open.

Before her stood a tall, lanky crimson creature, with long horns that curled down the back of its head. His black eyes stared at her. He reached out with his claws and caressed her cheek.

She slapped his hand with her wooden spoon.

He pulled his hand back. “Ow.”

“Get inside. Someone might see you.”

He grumbled, but did as told. He had to duck to enter the kitchen, as he was taller than the doorway. Once inside, he turned to his mistress and waited. She spared him a glare and went back to the stove.

“You hungry?”

He gave himself a more human appearance and sat down at the round kitchen table. “I am. What’s cooking?”

“Lamb stew. Use all the bits.”

“That’s a small pot.”

She gave a short laugh. “You always say that.” She turned to look at him. He was still tall, but instead of being crimson, was pale white with a smattering of freckles across his crooked nose. His green eyes flashed mischief as he ran a hand through his red hair. “What do you have for me?”

“Someone did curse you.”

“And?”

“With one of our boys.”

Her eyes grew wide and she placed her hand on her chest. “Someone cursed me with one of MY boys?”

“Yep.” He leaned back and slipped his feet onto one of the other chairs.

“Wow. Do you know who?”

“Who cursed you? No, haven’t found that out yet, but I did catch the one she cursed you with.”

“Who?”

“Frank.”

She rolled her eyes. “Perhaps you should give me his real name. Ten of you go by the name ‘Frank.’ I have no idea why you demons think it’s a good name.”

“The Lover’s Demon.”

“Oh good Lucifer, help me.” She shook her head. “Really? Someone who can summon demons and curse people used THAT one? But he’s so useless.”

The demon who called himself Bishop shrugged. “He’s in a cage out back. I have a couple others watching him.” He held his hands up to stop her triad. “They’re hidden. I used a spell.”

“Fine. Take him downstairs. Then you can eat.”

He rolled his eyes, but left the room quickly in a puff of crimson smoke. In a moment, there was a large noise in the cellar. She shook her head, but prepared three bowls of stew. By the time she was done, the kitchen seemed filled with hungry demons scurrying to the table. They were all in human form, but she could still see their true bodies. She was their mistress, their leader, and no matter what could identify them on sight. As they settled in and thanked her, she left the kitchen for the cellar.

The cellar has more rooms then this house could actually have. It was bigger down here. Each room belonged to a demon that she had power over. Some of the demons were free to go as they pleased. Others were chained, some were in cages, depending on their current status. She went quickly to the room where the Lover’s Demon waited. He was in a cage that was smaller than his demon form. It hung from the ceiling on a very thick rope. It made him look huge and tiny at the same time.

Frank looked at her with sad, sad eyes. His horns kept hooking onto the bars as he tried to look around. He whimpered. “I’m sorry, mistress. You know once I’ve been summoned through a curse, I can’t back away.”

“And you know that if one of mine are used in a curse, they are to report to me immediately, especially if they are used to curse someone I know. Did you not think this applied to your mistress?”

He cowered from her, making the cafe swing away from her. It swung closer to her and she grabbed the bars. He shied away from her hand. “Mistress…”

“No. You are not to speak unless it is to tell me who did this to me? Who defies me and tries to use one of my own against me?”

“She is no one.”

“What grants her the power of demons?”

“Gypsy blood.”

“Damnation!”

Gypsies were the only humans granted permission to curse people, to really curse other humans. They outwitted a few too many demons and were seen as grudging allies rather than pests. There were other humans that could summon demons and use them for curses, but only gypsies were respected for this act. It meant she could not simply track the person down and kill them. Miariam had to go talk to the gypsy and find out what she did to offend her.

“Damnation. And I was having so much fun here!” She looked the Lover’s Demon up and down as it continued to try to cower from her. “You can’t tell me who did this?”

“No, mistress.” It sounded unsure of why she asked.

A chilling smile came to her face. “Well, I’ll just have to torture it out of you.”

His mouth dropped. “No, mistress! Please I beg you!”

“That’s not the last screech you’ll make tonight.”

She smiled as she advanced. The demon screamed long into the night.

                                                            *****

Miariam fell into the couch, an exasperated sigh escaping her lips. Bishop, in human form, moved closer and licked a bit of blood off her cheek. There was blood splattered in her hair, on her face and down the front of her shirt. She shoved him away before he could lick anything else.

“Did you have fun?”

“No.” She thought about it for a moment. “Well, I mean, yes, but I didn’t get much. I have coordinates.”

“Would you like me to go?”

“No.” She sounded as if she wanted to say yes. “She’s a gypsy. I’ve pretty much been summoned. I swear, if it’s some kid trying things out, I’m not going to be happy.”

“I can come with you. Teach the brat a thing or two.”

She shook her head. “Not giving them more ammunition. If they see a demon, they can learn its name and use it for curses. I don’t want to give them more than they have.”

He frowned at her. “Can they use you for curses?”

“Demons can be used for curses, not devils.”

“I thought they could. I’ve heard of it happening.”

“Very low level demons. Very, very powerful human. Almost never happens. If we’re used in curses, its usually another devil that asked us to do them a favor.”

“Ah.” He reached out to caress her arm. “How long before you have to leave?”

“Need to be there at midnight. What time is it?”

He made an annoyed noise. “11:30.”

She got up from the couch and shook her body. In a moment, she had clean clothing. There was not a trace of blood left on her skin or hair either. “See you tomorrow morning.”

“You sure about that?”

“Yes. I’ll be back. Take care of things until then.”

He stood and bowed to her. “Yes, mistress.”

Miariam caressed his cheek and vanished.

                                                            *****

The room smelled heavily of incense. She could see numerous candles flickering in the smoke. Miariam took a deep breath and smiled slightly. She could detect the faintest whiff of brimstone. The devil stepped forward and bowed to the old gypsy woman laying in the sick bed.

“Greetings. May your death be quick.”

“Quick? Ha! It’s taken enough time to come. Tell it to hurry!”

The others in the room, mourners praying for her, frowned at the old woman. One even tried to come closer, but she waved them all away and yelled at them in Romanian. They settled in their seats and continued to pray. Miariam moved closer.

“Why have I been cursed?”

“Your first assumption was correct.” She coughed a bit, but calmed and looked back to Miariam. “It is the only way I know to summon you, Messanger.”

Miariam, Messenger of Devil’s bowed low. The others in the room were starting to act up again. The devil spared her a look and the old woman yelled at the others to leave the room. They looked to her as if they didn’t understand. This was possibly her last hour on this planet. They had to pray for her until the last moment, to ensure her soul went to heaven. To leave now was risking much. The old woman scolwed at her family and let fly a string of words said in a very, very old language. The older ones gasped, grabbed the younger ones and fled the room.

“That’s better. Now my dear, please sit.”

Miariam took tentative steps toward a chair, never taking her eyes off the old woman. “That is an old language. Noe many humans know it.”

“I was given the knowledge of that languge when I bested a certain devil.”

Miariam sat in the chair and locked eyes with the old woman. She exhaled slowly. “What do you want?”

“Long ago, when I was still young, I made a pact, bested a devil and angered him beyond reason. He had to hold his part of the bargain, but was very angry with him. I told him I would make it up to him, if he could best me at a game. He argreed, but I won. This went on for quite some time until he gathered all his power and threatened to kill all my family. I goaded him and told him he would never dare.”

The old woman stopped for a moment and looked off into the distance. She took a deep, slow breath before looking at Miariam. “He killed my youngest son. He let me experience his death. It is the worst thing I have ever had to endure in my long, long life.”

Miariam was sitting on the edge of her chair, listening intently. She was beginning to undderstand who this woman was.

“I begged the devil for mercy and realized I had not beted him; my vicories were hallow. The devil would never hold to anything he said. I fell to my knees and offered him my first born. He turned angrily to me and told me that my first born was already dead. He was right. I told him that if he honored everything I won, on the day I died I would give him the first born of my first born.”

“It’s you. I can’t believe it’s you.” Miarim

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