Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Flashback: The Summons

Through the end of the year, Kurt is re-running some of his favorite Friday Flash Fiction stories. If you like this one, it--and a hundred similar stories--can be purchased on Kindle in a new collection.

The Summons
Word Count: 595
Published 12/7/12

“By the dark light of Apollyon, by the eternal fire, I command you to appear before me, servant of evil.”

As he spoke, the robed figure’s hands shook from the power coursing through his body.

“From the unholy depths, I summon thee. Awaken, scourge of creation!

Flames erupted in the center of the summoning circle and coalesced into the form of a demon. Its black skin glistened in the firelight. Its hideous face was crowned by a pair of twisted, barbed horns. It looked around the room with malice and growled.

The woman in the robe sat down and rapped her gavel for order. “Bailiff,” she said.

The bailiff approached with a Bible. “Place your hand on the Bible,” he said.

The demon growled.

“The summoning circle prevents him from interacting with the physical plane,” said the judge.

“Very well,” said the bailiff. “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you… um… God?”

The demon growled again.

“Close enough,” said the judge.

One of the attorneys rose. “State your name for the record,” he said.

“I am Khral-Doorvis The Abhorred, Sworn Enemy of Mankind, Smiter of the Light Eternal, and Faithless Servant of the Dark Lord.”

“May I call you Khral?” asked the attorney.

“Yes, that’d be fine,” growled the demon.

“Where were you on the morning of, by your calendar, the 563rd day of Lozgaar?”

The demon looked up thoughtfully. “That would have been a Tuesday,” he said.

“That’s correct,” said the attorney.

“Tuesdays are usually my goat-sacrifice days,” growled Khral. “Let’s see, the 563rd, the 563rd… Yes, I remember, now. I met a youth in a hollow for a Rite of Sacrilege.”

“Is that youth in the courtroom today?” asked the prosecutor.

The demon pointed at the defendant. “It’s that youth right there.”

“Can you describe this Rite of Sacrilege?” asked the attorney. “In your own words?”

“It is a centuries-old ritual, dating from the Third Desecration of—"

“If you don’t mind, Khral,” said the attorney, “we could skip the history lesson.”

“Oh,” growled Khral. “My apologies. It’s a three-hour ritual that leeches the life from the surrounding environment and infuses the target with virility.”

“So, it’s a masculinity charm?” asked the attorney.

“Your pathetic summation assaults my sensibilities,” said Khral, “but yes, that is basically it.”

“And you say it took three hours?” asked the attorney.

“Yes,” growled Khral.

“When did this ritual begin?” asked the attorney.

Khral leveled an unfriendly gaze at the attorney. “Like all dark rituals, it is most potent when performed at dusk.”

“So you started at dusk or ended at dusk?” asked the attorney.

“We started an hour before dusk. It weakened the infusion, but the youth did not want to miss American Idol.”

“I see. And was the defendant there the whole time?”

“Yes,” growled Khral.

“Nothing further,” said the attorney.

“Would the prosecution like to re-direct?” asked the judge.

Another attorney stood. “We have no questions for this witness, and we renew our objection to the use of supernatural beings for alibis.”

“Noted,” said the judge. “Well, Mr. Doorvis The Abhorred, Sworn Enemy of Mankind, Smiter of the Light Eternal, and Faithless Servant of the Dark Lord. This court thanks you for your service and releases you back to the fiery pit from whence you came. Be gone!

“My pleasure, your honor,” said Khral as he winked out of existence. “And don’t worry about next Friday. It’s in the bag.”

The judge frowned. “I wonder what he meant by that.”

Another story driven by a pun. This was an early entry in a stretch of "humorous stories about demons". The hardest part? Naming them.

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