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The cellar walls and ceiling were painted an even matt black, absorbing the light from the mounted candelabra that were dotted around the room. The floor was covered, wall to wall, in a thick burgundy carpet, the soft warmth of which contrasted sharply with the cold black walls. The room was devoid of furniture except for a small narrow pedestal, upon which was mounted an intricately decorated glass sphere. On the floor in the centre of the room were five lengths of wood, painted white and slotted together to form a pentagram. Each point of the star held a short white candle in a finely engraved silver holder. The flickering light cast eerie shadows that lost themselves in the cold blackness of the walls.
A young attractive woman entered through the one and only doorway, carefully locking it behind her. She wore only a short silk slip of vibrant white, that seemed almost to glow against the dark surroundings. Her nakedness beneath was evident as the material swayed and glided with her movements, outlining the smooth youthful curves of her body.
She stopped before the pedestal and contemplated the glass sphere resting there. This orb of protection was her only defence against the demon that she would soon summon. It seemed a meagre protection but its power was deceptive. Ordinarily she only dared summon simple spirits, weak beings that could be easily held by the power of the pentagram alone. Tonight she was forced to call upon one that was terrifying and powerful. It was a task she had sworn she would never do but this was not a mission of greed or self fulfilment, it was her last defence against an adversary she was otherwise powerless against. She simply had no choice.
"Well, Alicia" she said to herself, her voice sounding small and frail in the large empty room. "Let's get on with it."
With that, she began to chant a peculiar and lyrical incantation, softly at first as if singing to herself but with growing strength and conviction. She had long ago dispensed with the theatrics of the older days and now kept only to the necessities of the ritual. The revealing clothing was her own invention however, a ploy that seemed to be helpful with many of the male beings she had summoned. It also gave the proceedings an element of excitement which she always found hard to resist, even on this occasion.
As she endlessly repeated the chant, she had time once again to dwell on the significance of what she was attempting. Demons of this calibre were known to be dangerous and cunning, and she felt inadequately prepared for the task. Fear was her biggest enemy, however, and she refused to give in to it.
Her musical voice echoed across the empty room, seeming to have no effect other than to unnerve her. Self doubt gnawed at her confidence but she continued on, knowing how dangerous it would be to stop now.
As fatigue began to set in, her eyes started to play tricks on her in the dim light. One moment it seemed that the walls and ceiling were closing in upon her, almost close enough to touch, and then suddenly they receded far away, so far that the room appeared as large and as vast as a mighty cathedral. She was so engrossed and confused by the illusion that she didn't notice the presence within the pentagram.
"You may stop your chanting any time you wish." the demon declared blandly.
Alicia gasped in surprise, startled by the voice that echoed around the impossibly distant walls. She stared in amazement at the creature before her. It was so unlike any of the other beings she had summoned. A sharp hard face regarded her darkly with piercing red eyes; eyes that glowed with a fierce red light of their own. Coarse black hair covered its head, flowing down into a thick beard. The rest of its body was free from hair and its hard reddish brown skin glistened hotly in the candlelight. Its nakedness disturbed her, and she suddenly regretted the way she had dressed.
Gathering her courage, she commenced the proceedings by affirming her authority.
"It is I who have summoned you here tonight," she called out. "You are bound to me by the laws of life and death. I offer your freedom in exchange for my bidding. Behold the Orb of Protection which guards me. Challenge its power and you will be destroyed."
The demon would be well aware of this, she knew. Her purpose was simply to prove that she would not be easy prey to his deceptions.
His reply was immediate and angry.
"You mock me with your blatant teasing!' accused the demon, clearly in reference to her attire. "You are a fool to play such games with me. I could squash you like an insect."
"If you were capable, you would have done so by now," replied Alicia, flinching inwardly at what she felt was a clumsy reply.
The demon chuckled horribly. "Is this a challenge? Shall we put it to the test?"
Alicia bit back her next comment just in time. She was suddenly scared by how easily he manipulated her. This demon was taunting her, playing his own games and she would have to keep her wits about her. She knew that as long as she had the orb he must remain in the pentagram and do her biddingbut her bidding could also work against her and she would have to watch out for his tricks.
"No." she said carefully. "That is not why I have summoned you."
The demon bowed low in a mocking gesture. "As you wish Mistress. And what is it that you desire of your humble servant?"
"There is a man who is threatening me. A powerful man who will not give up until he has his way. There must be a fatal accident involving only him. It must happen before midday tomorrow."
"And if I refuse?" enquired the demon.
The question caught her completely off guard. She faltered momentarily before gathering her wits again.
"You cannot," she stated simply, attempting to sound confident.
But her confidence was eroding rapidly. He had to obey her, she was sure of it, unless... unless she had not summoned him correctly! If that were the case, she could be vulnerable to his powers right this very minute and he could just be playing with her.
"You should stay away from things you cannot control," he said, distastefully. "I am not one of the petty lost souls that you spend your ridiculous time conjuring."
With that final statement, he stepped out of the imprisoning pentagram. It was merely an illusion, such as was permitted by the rules governing their meeting. Alicia was still completely safe at that point but inexperience and self doubt were her downfall.
Screaming with fear, she poured all of her power into the orb, producing a pale white glow that surrounded and protected her. Adrenalin poured through her veins, clouding rational thought. Since she could not run, she would have to fight.
"Then come and test the power of the orb!" she challenged fiercely. "I'll burn you to cinders and send you back to hell for your efforts."
It was the invitation he was waiting for. Raising his arms above his head he began a strange guttural incantation, causing static discharges to crackle noisily in the air around him. His arms began to glow with a vivid blue light and he lowered them to point directly at her. A moment later he let loose with a tremendous bolt of lightning that was aimed straight for her heart.
Alicia's protective aura held however, as the demon knew it would. His intention was not to harm her, since this he knew he could not do, but to scare and confuse her so that she might make a mistake. He had not won such a gambit in a very long time, but the prize of success in this case was worth risking the consequences of failure.
He uttered further ancient words and the onslaught doubled in strength. Alicia's eyes watered from the brightness and her nostrils stung from the sharp smell of ozone. She desperately fought to maintain her protective shield, without which she would instantly perish. This was the first time she had ever had to use such skills and she knew precious little about their limits. One small mistake would surely be the end of her.
In her fear, Alicia had played into the demon's hands. Whilst concentrating on holding off the his attack she had allowed her attention to be drawn away from the orb that was the core of her protection. Fear distorted her judgement and she concentrated her powers too heavily on the region under direct assault, resulting in other regions growing momentarily weak. It was the chance the demon had been waiting for and he acted quickly.
In an instant the demon ceased his attack and stood regarding Alicia with an amused expression. She nearly stumbled from the sudden withdrawal of his energies. A small hollow laugh, more of relief than triumph, burst from her lips as she interpreted his action as a signal of defeat.
Seconds later, the significance of the demon's smile became clear and her blood ran cold with terror. A wry smile spread across the demon's face as she stared in open horror at the orb, which now rested on his upturned palm. A quick glance at the empty pedestal confirmed her fate.
She was now totally unprotected.
With a single gesture he scattered the pentagram to the distant corners of the room and began to make his way slowly toward her. A strangled cry left her throat and she tried to run but her feet were immobilised by his now unshielded powers. Her efforts merely threatened to unbalance her. Step by agonising step he advanced upon her, relishing the moment. Sheer terror blossomed inside her, making her heart thud so fiercely she thought it would burst. She was even denied the small luxury of screaming as he came to stand in front of her. His hard red eyes took in every aspect of her, as he gloated over his prize.
He hooked a single claw under the thin strap of her slip, and gently slid it over her shoulder, exposing her naked breast to his lustful gaze. A strong heat radiated from his hand as it moved close to her skin but he did not touch her. She could do nothing except stand in passive silence as his eyes travelled greedily over her body. His hot breath, smelling of ash and much worse, rasped heavily against her, scorching her. The thick heavy masculine odour pervaded her senses, making her head spin. A forked tongue slid out to occasionally lick his glistening lips.
With cruel slowness, he reached toward her and touched his fingers to her naked breast. Her mind instantly recoiled with horror but her body pulsed with a powerful sexual heat at his touch. Waves of pleasure radiated out from his touch. She moaned and rocked her hips forward unconsciously, finding herself unable to resist the urges of her body. The hot dry skin of his palm moved roughly over her breast and her whole body convulsed in ecstasy. An unbearable heat grew quickly in her loins and her eyes were drawn down to his massive erect penis, huge, solid and heavily veined. She pictured the demon forcing it into her, imagined feeling the power and size of it invading her tenderness.
The demon removed his hands and the effect was immediate. A residual glow of pleasure remained but her revulsion welled up once again and she began to shake uncontrollably. She had been prepared for almost anything but not that. Her eyes were still locked on the huge, cruel penis and she felt sick with disgust at the thought of what she might have let happen.
The demon stepped back and spoke in a deep commanding voice, the intensity of which made her flinch.
"You play with things you know nothing about and now you will pay the price of your foolishness. What I have shown you is but a glimpse of what you will soon experience. I will use you in ways you cannot begin to imagine."
A cruel smile came slowly to his lips the fire left his eyes. "But such prizes are to be savoured and cherished," he continued in a milder tone. "And so I bid you farewell, for now. I will return before the month is out."
Alicia dropped to the floor as he released his hold over her. The air around him began to shimmer as the room contracted to its normal size. His exit was marked by the sound of the orb dropping with a dull thud onto the soft carpet. His words echoed in her head as she felt the dying embers of her arousal glowing in her loins and breasts. She reached out to retrieve the orb and curled herself up in a ball to cradle it soothingly.