A Demon’s Favor by Karen Thrower

Tranur appeared in a ring of fire, large, black and ominous. He immediately saw the one who summoned him, kneeling just outside the circle. Duncan was one of his most devout worshippers. He hardly ever asked for anything and was enthusiastic in his offerings. Tranur was particularly fond of the way Duncan tricked people into following him. He was handsome and charismatic, which made it easy.
++++ “Duncan, what do you want?” He walked from the fire and sat in a nearby chair. It sizzled a bit when his hard, demonic skin came in contact with the soft cotton.
++++ Duncan looked up and Tranur saw he was crying. “Please, great Tranur, my wife, she’s dying.”
++++ “Elisabeth? I quite like her. Why is she dying?” He asked and rested his large head in his hand.
++++ “There was a car wreck,” Duncan said, still prostrating himself on the ground. “She has bleeding on her brain and they say her organs are shutting down. Please, save her, I will give you anything.”
++++ Tranur nodded and tapped his fingernails on the other armrest. “I can do this. Get to your feet.” Duncan quickly did as the demon said. “Get that lovely silver knife you used to summon me and give it to me.” He looked around, almost frantic that he lost the knife, but picked it up from the floor and gave it to Tranur. “Hold out your hands.” He did, but Tranur whacked the top of them. “Not that way, show me your wrists.” He nodded and exposed his wrists to the demon. “I will help your wife, know this and be comforted,” Duncan sighed with relief. “For the moment, anyway.” Tranur flashed the knife across Duncan’s wrists and blood poured from the wound and he dropped to his knees.
++++ “What is this, life for a life?” He asked, desperately trying to stay calm.
++++ Tranur shook his head. “Not quite.”

*

++++ Duncan walked into the hospital room where his wife was on life support. The machines beeped and the ventilator hissed. He locked the door and walked next to the bed.
++++ “Soon my love.” Duncan turned the machines off and violently unplugged anything he could find. He pulled out the silver knife and cut open her hospital gown, exposing her chest. He put the tip on her skin and was amazed that she wasn’t screaming. “I’m not used to the bodies not screaming at this part.” He said and started carving into her skin, three jagged lines with a straight line running through them. “I quite miss the screaming. Oh well.” He laid his hand on the symbol and began chanting. It was guttural and something no human mouth had uttered.
++++ Her eyes opened and she quickly sat up, pulling the tube from her throat. She coughed and gagged for a moment before she saw Duncan standing next to the bed. Her hand gently touched the symbol that was carved in her chest and she winced slightly.
++++ “Tranur?” She whispered, her voice scratchy from the tube.
++++ He smiled and sat on the bed and held her hand. “It’s me, Solun. I finally found a way to get us both out of Hell.”
++++ She smiled and kissed his hand. “Finally.” There was pounding and yelling at the door and Tranur quickly unlocked it for the hospital staff.
++++ “What on earth do you think you’re doing Mr.,” The nurse looked past him and saw Elisabeth sitting up in bed and gasped. “Oh my lord Mrs. Thread, you’re awake! Oh praise the Lord, I’ll be right back with the doctors!” She rushed out and the couple smiled at each other.
++++ “Yes, praise the lord indeed.” Tranur mocked the nurse and they laughed together for the first time in almost a thousand years.

 


Karen Thrower lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband and daughter.  She works at the local CBS affiliate, KOTV as a Master Control Operator.  She is also a member of Oklahoma Science Fiction Writers, (OSFW) and serves as the Vice-President as well as Facebook ‘Wizard’ which she suspects has something to do with her being the youngest member of the group.

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