Here is my Flash Fiction prompt for week four of Dice Games
4 – Make a deal with the Devil
Not The Marrying Kind
The years alone hurt. The solitude of the ancient house created a dull buzz over her senses. Meredity poised in front of the full length mirror examining her choices. Red was so obvious. The black made her feel obtuse. What did one wear to an audience with the Devil? Inspiration struck, she ran up the rickety steps -skipping the creaking fifteenth- and tore up the hidden staircase into the attic. A few dusty minutes later she emerged with a wide grin on her face and the perfect solution draped over her arm. Yes, this will do nicely.
The basement was still cold, damp and dreary, there wasn’t much to do about it, honestly a Witch had to keep up some sense of propriety. Image was everything. No, it would never do to take those that saught her service down into a basement of pastel drapery and frilly embroidered pillows no matter how much she wanted to spruce up the place. Clients had certain expectations. When she crossed the threshold her nose perked up, sure she could still detect a faint tinge of singe on the air.
Careful not to marr her poufed skirt, Meredity drew a circle on the pounded earth floor, worn hard as granite over decades of frequent use. She brushed her hands together admiring her handy work. He’d do well to be impressed with that, every line and arch was perfect. She lit black candles for mischeif, red for seduction, a purple to gather the spirits around her. Twigs of rowan burned around the stench of hemlock and lemongrass.
A deep pulse sounded from above followed by eleven others; the witching hour. Meredity’s voice filled the cavernous space as she chanted the spell she had created. The light dimmed, thick shadows skittered up the walls, inside her circle a form took shape. Excitement trilled through her. With the last note of her spell, the form was solid, the lights regained their luminescence.
“This had better be good.” The words rolled from a taut mouth. Meredity sucked in her breath as she looked at her future. He was so tall, with wide shoulders, a thick mane of black hair all shrouded in a devil-may-care attitude. She giggled at that, covering her mouth with her hand. “What’s so funny?”
“Oh, nothing.” She replied. Meredity smoothed her skirt as she sat down.
“Well, what do you want? If it’s something stupid so help your God, you’ll be dead by sunrise.” She could see he was uncomfortable in the circle, his long spiked tail kept getting zapped against the confines of her spell sending blue-white sparks shooting off behind him. It had to have stung but he seemed not to notice.
“It’s not my God, my lord, but my Goddess and I’m fairly certain I don’t have to worry about that. Once you hear my idea I can let you out of the circle but I think it’s best we play this with caution. Don’t you agree?” His narrow eyes narrowed further and lines creased between them as he studied her. He focused on her dress and she beamed. “Do you like it? I picked it out specially for you.”
“It’s…different.” He begrudgingly acknowleged. It was that moment, that one right there, that she knew she had the upper hand and it made up for the nearly unbearable itchiness of the miles of crenoline housed under the pink embroidered dress. It had been her mother’s very special party dress in the human world.
“Now I think it’s time we got down to business, yes? Then we can get you out of that horrid circle. I have tea ready in the parlor upstairs. I’d hate to think it’d get cold because you won’t listen to reason.” The scowl returned bringing with it puckered lips. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Alright then. I am lonely-”
“Ah, so you want me to make the man you want love you? I’m not a matchmaker, I’m the Devil.”
“No. That’s not it at all. Now, if you’d please be quiet.” He opened his mouth but she held up her hand to silence him. “I am lonely and, after many proven hypothesis’ have determined you are as well. I’m a practical sort of Witch and I’ve concluded, after many successful tests, that there is no reason for both of us to continue-”
“This is going to be a very long night if you consistently interrupt me. But, if you I must know, I have interviewed several of your closest confidantes and servants. And I have…sturdied myself for your, um…preferences.” Meredity cursed herself -though she didn’t really because that would be counterproductive- for stumbling. She had this all planned out., there was no reason for her embarassment now. It showed weakness when she could ill afford it. “Anyway, as I was saying, I think we should get married.”
“Don’t be dense. Me. You. Us. I think it’s only logical, a mighty fair trade, you get a lovely little bride and I get a husband that can actually keep up with me. It’s not easy, you know, being the Daughter of Blood. I break so many of them.”
He laughed. He laughed so hard he held his sides in pain, tears streamed down his red-tinged skin. “Oh, little Witch,” he said between gulping breaths as he regained his composure. “I haven’t been this amused in longer than I can recall. What makes you think that I would marry you? I’m the Devil, my dear, not the marrying kind.”
“Well. If that is how you feel, my lord, I suppose I’ll have to progress to Plan B. I’m afraid you won’t like this very much but I think you’ll thank me once you come to your senses.” The air tingled, the lights dimmed and the invisible forcefield sparkled. “You’ll have a little time to think about your future, I’ll be back in a few weeks to see if you’ve changed your mind. Toodles for now, the tea is getting cold.”
Meredity sipped her tea with a small smile on her lips. The screaming would die down eventually, soon he’d see the error of his ways. Maybe she’d keep him like a pet, visit him when she was feeling maudlin. Perhaps this was for the best. Oh, yes, it could be quite fun to have the Devil in her basement.