Oct 18, 2019 7:00 AM
Sissy summons Demon Jean
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Cecelia isn't overwhelmingly distraught when her great-aunt dies. It's sad, of course, but they weren't especially close, and people die every day. She left everything to her niece Mariel, but Cecelia's mother is in another state, whereas Cecelia happens to be attending college much closer. It's a coincidence, but a convenient one; Mariel deputizes her to do most of the legwork for the estate.

It is while rummaging through the old house for things worth keeping that she finds the books.

The first circle she copies out on a lark, sure that it will do nothing. Instead, it nets her a fairy who's rather annoyed to have such a startled summoner with no specific task. She dismisses him, and thinks.

And studies the books.

She thinks of things she wants done. She summons fairies, and later angels. She tells her family about this, and proves it, and they do not sell the old house.

Eventually, she's confident enough in her bindings to summon a demon (she could have used one of the ones in the book, but all the ones for demons have gags, and that is not a handicap she wants to have to deal with).

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And then there's a demon.

He looks like a demon. His wings are feathered, but unmistakably demonic, so black they swallow the light and look like holes in the air except where the tips of claws peek out among the feathers. He's shirtless; one nipple is pierced with a glinting ring.

When he speaks, there's something unnatural about his tongue.

"Greetings, summoner."

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"Greetings! Can we discuss what kinds of payment you're liable to want first, because my shopping list is kind of long and if I have to go through ten demons to find someone who wants something I'm willing to give them I'd rather not read it out to all of them."

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"Happily. What kind of payment are you offering?"

The way he's eyeing her up and down -- might be described as sizing her up, if the describer were feeling charitable.

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"Well, if I'm lucky I'll find a demon who just wants to listen to me play the flute for a few hours, but I could also get other people I know from the orchestra in on this, or finagle tickets to a live something-or-other, or if I just honestly can't find demons who are willing to take things other than sex or souls I scope out my roommate to see if she wants to have sex with demons in exchange for material objects."

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He smirks. "What fascinating things you have been reading about demons. I think the price depends on what exactly it is you want, and how nicely you ask, and how well you play the flute."

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"Lost plays and unpublished drafts of famous composers' work, mostly. Plus an engagement ring for my brother, he's planning to propose to his girlfriend soon."

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"Well aren't you an interesting one. What's the end goal, then? Fame? Riches? Impressing some pretty boy? Or pretty girl, I don't judge."

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"...No? What am I gonna say, 'oh, I summoned a demon for Shakespeare's lost works'? I just want people to have access to this stuff.

I mean, okay, I'll probably leverage this to make money some, but the point is the art."

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"Mmmm. Tell you what, lovely, I'll do your top three for a piece on your flute, and if I like it I'll answer when you summon me again for more."

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"My top three list items or my top three works, because my list items are mostly 'the complete works of' kinds of things."

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"Top three works. But I play nice, if you don't know what you're missing by someone I'll pick you a good one."

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"That's fair. Alright, do you have a preference for what I play?"

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"Surprise me."

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"Okay!" she says brightly, and gets her flute out of its case, and raises it to her lips and starts to play.

It's a bit of Bach, but not quite as written down anywhere he's seen; she has a talent for improvising. And talent is the word, talent or hours upon hours of practice, or more likely both. She's very, very good. She does not precisely give the impression of playing for an audience, in that she does not quite give the impression of paying any mind whatsoever to the world beyond her breath and her fingers and the flute and the mustic.

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He doesn't have to breathe, so he doesn't, until the last echo of the last note fades away.

Then he applauds, wings fluttering to match, without any perceptible trace of irony to it.

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She grins and bows.

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"A fiddle of gold against your soul..." he murmurs, mostly to himself, smirking. "You'd be safe, if you'd made the bet, summoner. What shall I make for you?"

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"Oh, let's go with Love's Labors Won, unless there's something better by Shakespeare I'll not have heard of, and a recommendation each of Bach and Chopin."

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"As you wish, summoner."

Lucifer snaps his fingers theatrically, and three slim, attractively bound books appear in his hand, their titles embossed in gold lettering on the spines: Love's Labors Won; Froher Tag, verlangte Stunden; Andante Dolente.

Stepping up to the edge of the circle, he offers her the volumes.

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She beams and takes them. "Thank you!"

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"The pleasure is all mine." Smirk. "Do you know how to summon a specific demon?"

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"Well, then. The name's Lucifer."

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"...Think very highly of yourself, don't you?"

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Smirk. "By that sin fell the angels."

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