Decorating a cake while Trying to sing along with the radio and accidentally summoning a demon. -- Bard2dBone
There are some songs you just can't sing. Or bits of them that only the singer can manage. And in those moments, the rest of the world just utters a string of gibberish that sort of almost fits what's really there. The most popular examples of this are Felize Navidad and the middle bit of One Week. There are always others. You know the ones.
Alek was in the middle of some intricate design for a customer when one such song was playing on the radio. And since he loved to whistle -and more- whilst he worked, the gibberish came out just as he finished the red-toned circle. There was something of a bang, if one could use such a bland, four-letter word for the cacophony of noise that resulted.
The cake was ruined, and there was a confused someone standing in the middle of it. Despite the horns, the fangs, and the general redness of skin, as well as the soot and grime of burned brimstone, their face was an open book and the current page said, What the fuck? They took in the scenery of the back room of a cake shop, the sprawled figure of Alek, and the general mess that was once a very pretty cake and said, "Uhm... who... dares summon me? Please?"
They sounded young. Heck, they looked young. A scrawny teenager type who was obviously going with whatever their grandma had taught them and had absolutely no idea what to do next.
Alek blurted, "I don't have time to start over on that cake..."
The demon hopped off the workbench and said, "Oh, I can reverse that. No probs." A twirl of a clawed finger, and the cake was back to normal. "Wow. So that's what my summoning circle's s'posed'a look like. Coooool..." And at that moment, Alek realised that this was (a) a girl demon, (b) naked, and (c) very, very underage. She cleared her throat. "Uuuhhh... what is your... um. Desire?"
Alek put a hand over his eyes. "Please clean up and put some clothes on?"
She looked down at herself. Looked back at him. "I'm not... tempting you? Even just a little?"
"Gross," said Alek. "No. Can you please clean up and get dressed? That's... what counts as my desire, right now. Okay?"
Sigh. "Okay." When Alek looked again, she was clean and had essentially copied the jeans, shirt, gloves and apron that Alek was wearing. She looked... very upset. "I'm getting this all wrong..." Sniffle. "I'm s'posed'a lead people down th' dark path."
Alex got up, and got rid of the gloves, since they'd touched the floor. "Hey. Hey. It's okay. I'm sure you'll find something to tempt me with. It's just... never going to be your body. I'm ace. It's not you. You're doing good, considering." Alek vaguely remembered that reassurance went best with some fortifying foodstuffs. So he gave her one of his Devils' Food Cupcakes. Always a hot seller. "Here. You sit and have this, and then we can talk about what's going on, because I sure as sugar didn't mean to summon you. Mistakes were made all around, I guess."
She sat on one of the few chairs in the kitchen with a meek, "...'nk you..." And proceeded to unwrap and eat.
Neither of them were aware, at the time, that a demon's first sacrifice shapes what happens with their magics for the rest of their nigh-eternal lives. Or how and in what way their temptations will manifest. Nor that Devil's Food Cake is actually an invention of Heaven. In brief, this was the moment that something went terribly, terribly wrong.
The noise that came out of the very junior demon was equal parts whimper, sob, and expression of utter joy. And when Alek was able to look at her again, she appeared to be way more human than previously. In the place of hooves were oddly leathery-looking sneakers. In the place of wings was a bat-winged backpack. Only the very subtle points to her ears and something weird with her eyebrows would ever give away the fact that she was not quite human. That and the slightly elongated canines.
At least the cake was done and ready for his customer to pick it up. He kept the design, with the idea that it could be helpful at a later date.
"Okay," said Alek. "Let's recap. I summoned you by accident, and you're here until..."
"Until I secure a mortal soul for the pits of Hell, or I'm banished," she picked crumbs out of the paper her cupcake had been in. "Hi. I'm Tartofel, bane of something and, uhm, still in elemental school. So... I guess... a fuckup of a demon?"
"Alek Knight," he shook her hand. "Owner and sole staff member of Ace Bakery. And yes, I have heard all the jokes. Do you have any idea how to banish you."
"Sure. You say whatever you said to summon me, only backwards."
Well, fuck. "Yeah. I don't even know what I was saying."
Tartofel sighed, "Well, fuck. I guess I serve you? Or something? I dunno. This is advanced shit. I'm still on the basics of literal and demonic interpretation of commands." She blushed. "I got a C minus on my last review..."
"We'll play it by ear," decided Alek. "I have a spare room I let some of my nonbinary friends crash in, and I've always needed someone to run the till while I'm in the back," the bright idea came like sunshine. "And I literally stock my store with the kind of temptation everyone can enjoy."
"Sweet," said Tartofel.
"Just. Uh. No seducing my clients. Okay? That is just pure squick. In fact... no seducing anyone until you're at least eighteen." And that counted as her first command. Which, with the first sacrifice, really messed everything up.
"It's a deal," said Tartofel. They shook again. And thus began a junior demon's slow and hilarious climb up to becoming an angel.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / valzan]
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