Budget Demonology

There are so many unwritten rules of what you should never do when you are drunk. Of course, sometimes a drunk text just shows how much you care, or something…

I think we can add some new things to the list after this.

Budget Demonology

Drip. Drip. Drip. The constant sound, regular pattern, it wormed its way into the hidden reaches of his brain, drug him from the comfortable bliss of sleep. Stan covered his head with a pillow but the drip drip drip continued unabated. At this point he couldn’t fight the urge anymore. He dropped his legs over the side of the bed and then stumbled in the weak light of early morning into the bathroom.

Through bleary eyes he stood in front of the mirror and scratched himself. He had a vague idea that he saw himself in the mirror but the outline wasn’t definite, the features were indistinct. The chill air of morning bit at his naked skin as he stumbled back to his bedroom and climbed into bed.

By this point the drip had already won. He squeezed his eyes shut but to no avail. They popped open and he stared up at the dirty ceiling of his bedroom. Nothing had changed since the night before other than the darkness had slipped back into the crevice it had crawled out of. The room had stopped spinning. That was a good sign. The smell emanating from the bucket beside his bed did not bode well for where his dinner and beers had ended up.

He lay on the bed for a bit more while his eyes adjusted to the world around him. Not the best worlds to wake to, but at least he was still alive. A few stray thoughts crossed his mind of how he begged someone, anyone to kill him, to end the misery as he filled the trashcan with his innards.

First there was the yawn, soft feminine, but definitely a yawn. And then the arm and leg that kicked over him and pinned him to the bed. Deep-red nails graced the hand but no jewelry. The same deep-red covered her toenails as well. The arm and leg both appeared long and graceful, they were human. This was a plus. There had been a few mornings a while back, scared the life from him. He was certain that those hadn’t been human, well, maybe a distant cousin at any rate.

The rest of her had fallen prey to the pillows and blankets. He had to dig through it all to find the rest of the body connected to the pieces weighing him down. Creamy skin, with light freckles trailed up her arm. The freckles grew deeper, more abundant as his gaze climbed to her shoulder. He grabbed at the pillow over her head. A quick breath as he paused.

Stan didn’t want to wake her, at least not yet. The awkward conversation of introductions and names always went bad for him in the past. He liked to have a little more than old bile on his stomach before he put himself in that position. His hesitation cost him.

“Good morning.” She didn’t move, her voice didn’t sound shaky. In fact it almost sounded chipper.

He closed his eyes and gripped the pillow’s edge. They popped open again as he ripped the pillow away and uncovered her face. He swung the pillow back without a word. What was it about her face, he knew her, that was for sure. But from where. Ya, the obvious was the night in his bed, but again, obvious. It was something else.

She pulled the pillow away. “You liked it last night,” she said. “I can’t be that ugly in the day light.”

His tongue grew two sizes too big in his mouth. Stan couldn’t make it work, couldn’t make it form words. He stared at her, his view traveled up and down her body. “Blarg.” Was the closest he could come to an actual word. It said nothing, gave him nothing. The morning light twisted through her red curls and was swallowed by the silken cream of her skin. The freckles that had grown more intense on her arms and shoulders had softened as they traveled up her neck. A light dusting kissed her cheeks and then ended on the tip of her nose.

At first, he had been transfixed by her beauty, but it stopped there and became something else when he looked into her eyes. The fiery red orbs burned him with her gaze. A part of his soul slipped from him and mingled with her gaze. They tugged and pulled at him threatened to devour him. Stan felt himself slipping, a piece of him would be gone, lost forever if he didn’t turn away. She blinked, freed him from the gaze. When his eyes broke free she turned her head and looked out toward the curtained window.

“Who the hell are you?” Stan said. It started as a whisper but as he found his voice again the last burst out, almost stumbled over the rest in its haste to leave him. “Where the hell did we meet?”

“I was afraid of this,” she said. She sat up and pulled a blanket around her naked shoulders. “You got a little creative last night. I admit it was fun. I haven’t seen anything quite like it in, a very long time.”

Stan stared through the back of her head. With her back to him she only offered him her words, and those made little sense. “I don’t remember anything, not from last night, not from yesterday. Why can’t I remember any of it?” he said.

“You had a busy day,” she said. She turned to face him. Her eyes had changed, soft blue like ice. “I only wanted to help.”

This was crazy, ridiculous, why couldn’t he remember anything. His gaze wandered around the room, anywhere but into her eyes. Even then he could still feel a pull and knew he could lose himself. “I still don’t know your name.”

She placed her right hand on his arm. Her long nails scratched lightly at his chest. Fire, not quite a searing heat spread from his arm to his chest and abdomen. He had heard of sparks flying at a persons touch before but this dug deeper into him. And again the pull, he wanted to give more of himself to her, a primal feeling that reached deep into his core. “Tabbi,” she said. Her voice dropped an octave, throaty and vibrant.

The chills that ripped through his body fought like pin pricks against the heat of her touch. It took him a moment to find his voice again. “How did we end up here?” Stupid question. He was better on his feet than this. Think dammit.

She pulled her hand from his arm. Without another word she walked across the room. Completely naked, he hadn’t thought of it till then. Modesty was lost on her as she wiggled her way into the living room. She returned to the bedroom with a book in her hands. It wasn’t overly large but she held it in front of herself in a way that bared only so much of her body to cause him some eyestrain. The freckles that caressed her upper body traveled down the outside of her legs as well. Stan adjusted the sheet that covered the lower half of his body.

“Do you remember this at all?” She held the book in front of herself like a shield.

Budget Demonology, he mouthed the words as he read the title. Soft cover, cheap mass-market paper back, he remembered when he bought it. Jericho’s Used Books, over on 8th, he had stopped there on the way home from work a few days prior. The guy working behind the counter spoke with an odd accent. Hunched and shakey, the old guy pulled the book from under the counter and insisted that Stan would love it. “Ya, I remember it,” he said. “Stupid book cost me a ten spot. Only bought it cause the guy wouldn’t shut up about it.”

She climbed back onto the bed. Stray flesh, flashed past his eyes, bumped against him. “Excuse me,” she said. She didn’t mean it. She pulled the sheet across her lap as she settled in next to him, her hair fell forward to cover her breasts. That smile again cut into his chest. “I supposed you don’t remember reading anything out of it do you?”

A brief snapshot of the night before flashed into his mind. The beers, how many did he have before he opened the book? Oh ya, he opened the book. Flipped it open to a random page and read it. The stuff didn’t make sense, not a word of it, and then he had read the words out loud. “This is shit,” he said. “I was drunk last night, you’re calling me on a drunken hallucination.” He couldn’t remember anything after he read the words aloud. Some lights and smoke, hazy memory, had to be the beers, the only logical explanation.

She held her right hand palm up in front of him. Might have been a trick of the light but the blood-red color on her nails shifted and swirled. The air between them charged and crackled as fire grew from a spark to a small flame in the center of her palm. “You may not remember much right now, but it did happen.” She snapped her fingers closed and the fire vanished, no smoke, no charred flesh smell, just gone. “I did save you from a horrible mistake. You might say, I’m your hero.”

Stan searched her hand, still in the air, then her arm and her body, then he stopped at her face. The smile was gone, her eyes had softened. An innocent girl looked back at him. This, this more than anything he saw and experienced in the past few minutes, scared the hell out of him. “Who… who… what… who the hell are you?”

“Tabbi,” she said. “We’ve discussed this already.” She picked up the book and flipped the pages with her thumb. Without looking she stopped the motion and placed a finger inside the book to mark the page. “Don’t say the words, just look at it. This is what you did in your drunken haze last night.”

He wedged the book open and scanned the pages. The words swam and skipped around the pages, he couldn’t understand the them. The language was something outside the realm of anything he had learned in school. “I don’t get it, not even a little bit,” he said. “How could I have read this drunk? I can’t make no sense of it sober.”

“It’s right here,” she said. She scraped a finger nail across the page and directed his eyes to a single passage. “You read these words right here, even had perfect pronunciations. You got lucky though.” She directed him to a word toward the bottom of the passage. “If you had said this word in a slightly different tone and inflection…”

“What? I would have died?”

“That would have been merciful,” she said. “If you had sad it a bit differently, you would have summoned someone so very much unlike me.” She closed the book and set it down on the bed between them. “You didn’t bother to put up a circle, no candles, not even incense. What the hell were you thinking? If you had made just a slight mistake we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

Stan scooted and leaned away from her. “This is insane. The book isn’t real and you aren’t any more than you seem, a crazy chick that can do some crazy illusions.”

She shook her head with a soft chuckle. “You still don’t get it do you?” She snapped her fingers and a brown folder dropped onto her lap. She opened the folder to reveal hand written papers. She turned them over one at a time and stopped on the last one. “I am sure you at least recognize this part right here. This is your signature.” She held the paper so he could examine it. “All perfectly legal, it’s even been notarized.” A cloven hoof print had been stamped next to the signature. “I own your ass,” she said. “You sold your soul for a night with me.”

“But… but… I don’t remember anything.”

“You never said you wanted to remember it.”

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