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The Demon and The Dame

The Demon and The Dame

Edward Constantine loved his wife deeply; the only thing that eclipsed his love for her was his desire to have a child. When the time finally came for him to get that which he desired the most, he would not have it snatched by that nasty thing called the plague. The moment he saw the signs, he wasted no time fetching his 7-month pregnant wife to the village shaman, a man well known for his ‘dark dealings’.

He entered the shaman’s quarters with his wife in his arms and a look of worry on his face, and left a few minutes later, with her walking happily by his side, but still with a worried look. No one but Edward knew what deal was made; all they knew was that in the darkest moments of that same night, the Constantine home went up in flames, with the family still inside. They were burnt to ashes before the fire was put out. That was 20 years ago.

“Come on dad, why do we always have to wear this stuff? They are so not cool! Tell them James.” The tall, brunette cheerleader looked across at her younger brother, hoping he would help plead her case, but he just smiled, “You are such a tool, James! Come on dad, this is going overboard. This is too much. What is all this stuff for anyway?” She pointed to the large, beaded chain her father forced them to wear and the large, strange smelling beads he had sewn into all their outfits.

The girl’s father just smiled and said, “It’s a family tradition dear, nothing more.”

She was livid,”Family tradition? This is the twenty-first century! Who pays attention to traditions anymore, especially ones this dumb? Besides, aren’t you family too? Where are you life ruiners?”

The man just smiled, how could he make her understand? How could he tell her the truth about the ‘life ruiners’? How could he tell her that he had taken a loan from a demon, then faked his own death and escaped, never intending to repay? How could he tell her that her life never belonged to him, her mother or even her? How could he tell her that her mother’s death was no accident; that a demon had possessed her body then walked in front of that truck, just to let him know that repaying the loan he took wasn’t optional? How could he tell her that after her twenty-first birthday, which was 2 days away, Malatok the Demon of Deals would come to claim her, destroying anything or anyone in his path? How could he explain that the 'life ruiners' were really relics blesses by the angel Kentos, the only being powerful enough to vanquish Malatok and that they were supposed to protect her? How could he further ruin her already ruined life and place a further strain on their already strained relationship? He couldn’t, he just couldn’t.

Edward did nothing but smile at his beautiful daughter. He remembered the times they spent together when she was a kid, those moments were long gone. They were gone the moment her mother died. It was almost as if the pain of losing a parent was so great that she removed herself from the remaining one so that she would never have to feel it again. He couldn’t blame her, and he didn’t. He just put up with her temper and tantrums quietly. “Baby, I’m sorry you feel that way. Wearing this stuff was your mother’s idea. I’m just trying to keep her memories alive.” Hearing that statement, she marched out and slammed the door. She never liked hearing about her mother, but he knew that was the only way to really get through to her. Edward turned his attention to his 13-year old son. “Billy. Billy! Get your nose outta that comic book and go, before you sister leaves without you, ... again.”

Edward sighed deeply when they were both gone. He couldn’t quite understand how two children who came from the same parents could be so different. Dani his beautiful daughter had most of his physical features while his handsome Justin had those of his wife. Dani would snap at the simplest things, throwing a tantrum and then retreating to herself, while Justin was as carefree as they come. He would sit with his face buried in a comic book, paying no mind to anything around him. I always wondered if the fact that their mother died when he was just 3 years old played a part, but I could never really tell. How I wish I hadn’t been so selfish all those years ago. My desire to get a child ended up ruining two lives, my wife’s and my daughter’s. How ironic, the same deal that gave my wife and daughter back to me would end up taking them both. It already had one and in 2 days time it would have another.

I didn’t want to lose my daughter, but I knew I was almost helpless. I had no faith in the ‘life ruiners’ I made her wear, so I had to devise a backup plan. On the morning of her birthday I woke up early, I wanted her day to be perfect, just in case my plan failed. I prepared her favorite breakfast, took her to her favorite restaurant for lunch, I even invited her obnoxious friends over for a dinner party, all the while keeping an eye out for Malatok. He never showed up, even when we retired to bed at 10. I was glad, I convinced myself that he had given up, he didn’t want my daughter anymore; she was safe. I fell asleep with a smile on my face, knowing that if he didn’t show before the day was over, the deal was broken.

I awoke when I heard my daughter let out a bloodcurdling scream. I glanced at the clock, it was now 11: 58. ‘Damn you Malatok’ I thought as I rushed to my daughter’s bedroom. The door was open and upon entering I came face to face with Malatok the Demon of Deals, all 7 feet of him, with my daughter slung over his left shoulder, obviously unconscious.

I was petrified, for a moment I could not move. His red eyes felt as though they were burning holes through me. He boomed out, “Edward Constantine many years ago you made a deal with an emissary of mine. I kept my part of that bargain, I returned your wife and unborn child, now it is time for you to keep yours. I am taking your daughter.”

“No please,” I begged, “Take me instead.”

“Foolish human, can you be the wife I desire? Your foolishness will see me kill you. Leave me be.”

“Please Malatok, you’re the demon of deals, come on, let’s make a deal. You let her live and I’ll go in her place.”

“That’s true, I am the demon of deals, but I make no deals that do not benefit me. Your daughter can serve as my bride while I have no use for you. Your soul is worthless to me. “With that, his eyes glowed and what seemed to be a portal started to open to his left.

Edward’s pathetic plan had failed, he could not bait Malatok into making a deal with him, but he kept trying, knowing he would fail, but he could not just look as his baby was taken away. He ran and grabbed onto Malatok’s right hand.

I was just about to materialize a portal to return to my realm with my prize when the human grabbed me. He caught me off guard, not because he was a threat of any kind, but because no one had ever been foolish enough to lay hands on me before. I felt insulted, he had tainted me. With my portal ready, I flung my prize through, knowing my faithful lieutenant would be standing by to catch her on the other side. With my now free left hand, I picked the human up effortlessly. A part of me was intrigued; it had been a while since I visited the realm of the living, since I killed a human. It took me a few seconds to decide how to deal with him. I decided to do something simple. With my other hand, I removed my enchanted dagger and plunged it through his heart. His body dropped with a thud as I stepped through my portal.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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