Friday, August 31, 2018

#FridayFlash - The Summoning

Once upon a time, I presented a new flash story every week. That was back in the days when I worked in a call center, thus could write while helping people reset their phones. Kept me from going too crazy.

I plan to resurrect those posts, and will start bringing you readers new fiction on a weekly basis.

***


The scents of her garden filled Eliza's room, matching the warm scent of the candles burning on her altar. She breathed it in deep, centering herself, preparing for the ritual.

“Winds of the North, carry my voice,” Eliza began.

“Winds of the East, carry my intent.” She sprinkled sea salt into the crystal bowl of spring water in the center of the altar.

“Winds of the South, carry my need.” Eliza pricked her finger and squeezed four drops of blood into the bowl.

“Winds of the West, carry my command.” She dropped a match into the bowl, and flames burst to life, completing the summoning.

Gusts of wind from the four corners of the room blew out the candles and slammed the door. A melange of scents filled her nostrils, causing various scenes to dance within her mind's eye. Her other senses stirred and woke, ready for the arrival of the family demon.

Netyl arrived in an instant, one moment not there, the next perched on the far side of the altar, staring at Eliza with unblinking goat's eyes. He smiled slowly when he realized whom had summoned him. “Miss Eliza. That took much less effort than last time.”

“Save the flattery for the weak-willed,” the young woman said, hiding her inner joy. The last time she'd summoned Netyl had required opening a vein and calling the corners twice. Gramma Anne always said she would be the strongest sorceress in a century, but Eliza sometimes doubted.

“Of course, my mistress. What is it that your humble servant may do for you?” He bowed his head and placed his hand over his heart, in an exaggerated mockery of subservience.

Eliza ignored his teasing and reached for the text book at her side. “I need the answers to the math final.”

“Wait, what?” Netyl's head snapped up, his brows drawn into a tight frown.

She handed him the book. “The answers, so I can pass algebra.” Spells and rituals might be easy for Eliza, but basic equations escaped her no matter how hard she studied.

The demon took it tentatively. “Don't you want something...better? Money? Fame? The heads of your rivals?”

Eliza shook her head. “Just the answers.”

“But you took all the effort to summon me. Can't I get you an ancient grimoire or something?”

The young woman lifted her chin and glared. “Math. Answers.”

Netyl lowered his head in true obedience. “As my mistress commands.”

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