Scream of the Butterfly
By: T.G. Browning
2: Shutout (cont.)
Kevin was in the study, slaving away on some computer project. She wondered what it was for a moment and then decided it might be the right time to find out. She detoured to the kitchen, grabbed herself a beer and a can of whatever caffeine laced drink Kevin had last purchased and then marched down the short hallway to the study.
She bruised her shoulder when she tried to butt the door open, only to find that it was not only closed – Kevin very rarely bothered to actually close any door – but was also locked. “What the...”
She stepped back from the door, nonplused.
Pam listened intently and made out Kevin’s voice, speaking low and in a language she didn’t recognize. That meant little on the surface; Kevin used a lot of different languages because the references he used spanned not only centuries but continents and cultures. But she cocked her head to one side as she listened and became convinced that it was not even a human language. Some of the sounds seemed to snarls, such as an enraged predator might make. She wasn’t certain that a human being could actually make such sounds.
A second voice interrupted Kevin, a deep one that sounded both hollow and distant, though she knew the study stood only twelve feet by twenty. A chill settled over her as she remembered back to some of the sounds she’d heard in a basement in Philadelphia.
What in hell is going on? Kevin doesn’t have any use for demons. He hates dealing with them and knows damn good and well that they can’t ever be trusted. So why is he having a bloody conference with one?
That explained why the door was not only closed but locked. Any interruption now could result in Kevin losing control of a creature that hated being controlled, even if rewarded.
She sensed, somehow, a fierce wave of heat radiate out from the study, washing over her and leaving her feeling sick to her stomach and even angrier than before.
Damn it. That’s got to be the bloody demon doing that. It wants to goad me into interrupting.
She stepped back from the door and, after regarding it for a moment longer, turned and went into the front room. She found a place to sit, in the corner away from the study where she could keep an eye both on the study door as well as the rest of the hallway and stairs. She’d wait this thing out. And then she’d have a few words with Kevin.
Sweat dripped down Kevin’s face as he struggled against the will of the demon in front of him. Half of the problem in dealing with a higher level demon was the sheer strength and will power it took to keep one under control. No matter what the damn stories said, no demon of any real power could be safely kept in a pentagram if the wizard who had summoned it lost either strength or concentration.
He heard a soft thud come from the door to the hallway and wavered for a moment, only to fight back a concerted effort from the demon to break free. Pam apparently had tried to come in and found the door locked.
He thought he’d heard her say something but wasn’t sure. All he could do was hope she had realized what he was doing and withdraw.
In a stronger voice, he made his final command to the demon, spitting out the impossible words and meaning with difficulty. Even aided by a spell that allowed him to speak a language not developed or used by humanity, he had trouble.
The trouble was in the unspoken commands that underwrote any speech in that language. It was a language of command and obedience and all of Kevin’s will only barely sufficed.
*You will obey. In five days. Repeat.*
*Dream on, mortal. Even if...*
The pause was significant. The demon only now actually realized what Kevin had ordered. What the result could be.
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