Sunday, April 20, 2008

Prey (excerpt)

In order to satisfy his own mad thirst for revenge, a bitter modern day sorcerer and his idiosyncratic demon familar plot to allow him to exchange places with fate itself...

Asmodeus was drunk too early in the evening again. Or at least he was getting there. He always drank the same way and at the same rate, no matter what body he was occupying. He never took the health, weight, age or gender of the body in which he was tenant into account. Vodka and soda, always served in separate glasses. And there were two vodkas consumed for every soda.

He was in a woman tonight. At least she wasn’t attractive. I always hated it when my familiar took on a form that I found alluring. It made it hard to concentrate or think of business. Although he was in a woman in what I guessed to be her mid forties, she clearly was used to the kind of binge drinking the demon was putting her form through this evening, which I gathered from her sagging physique. But vodka wasn’t her drink. And Asmodeus’s ability to concentrate on what I needed him to do was suffering as a result.

God! I knew spirits, especially his kind, longed for the pleasures of the flesh, but he constantly used the bodies he occupied for one thing. Vodka and soda. He used to experiment with different foods and how they tasted from different palates when I first invoked him, but now he had become a creature of habit. His growing humanity sickened me.

“So which couple is it?”, I asked.

“The guy who looks like Drew Carey and the girl who looks like Bettie Paige”, he slurred in a feminine voice.

Drew was unmistakable. But the girl with him looked like Carolyn Jones, not Bettie Paige. He was confusing the original Morticia from the Adams Family with the vampy 50’s pin-up girl. The pop culture references were his way of assuring me he was thoroughly modern, despite his ancient origin. I didn’t care really. But I knew the couple he meant.

“So when they break up tonight, you’ll be able to get a lock on the fate who is doing it?”

“Get a lock?”, he quoted me with a raised eyebrow, clearly thinking my word selection was odd.

“Actually the fate hasn’t made his move, so it could cause them to break up, or maybe she’ll stay out a little later then him and kiss another dude, or…”

He stopped, sensing my annoyance.
“Yes, Evans, I will be able to get the scent, the final energy signature we need to tag the fate, and, yes, I’m sure it’s the one we’re looking for. I mean, the one you’re looking for”, he said with a smirk, slurping more vodka.

He had the mannerisms of an actor who was trying too hard to look natural. Why can’t I have a theatrical demon? Critical of him as I might be, he was the only demon who could and would do the job I needed him to do.

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