by K. Hawley
“We’re going!” Henry called from the front door. Donna heard the minivan beep as it was unlocked.
“Later mom,” Jeff quickly ran outside behind his father. He was a skinny, pale blue blur in his Sky Computer Repair soccer jersey.
“Good luck.” Donna called after him before the door shut. While the van started up and pulled out of the driveway, she smiled fondly and finished folding the laundry. She grabbed another load of dirty clothing from her son’s hamper and proceeded to the basement. After moving a wet comforter to the dryer, she meticulously sorted out the new pile into the washer.
With the machines rumbling contently, she moved for the metal shelf screwed into the far wall. She pulled on its frame. The well-oiled, hidden hinges soundlessly revealed their opening; a rough-hewn staircase cut into the earth leading down into the abyss.
Down the steps and through an old wooden door she went, entering into a cold room devoid of light. By memory, she found the barbecue lighter and lit the candles scattered on the natural ledges along the wall. The orange, flickering glow revealed a broad, white chalk circle in the middle of the room. At the heart of that circle lay a naked form with glossy red skin and four bony horns on its head.
“Awaken Killgoarrex.” Donna commanded.
“I do not slumber. I wait… to eat the flesh of the unborn.” boomed the unmoving mass.
“Grant me boons, demon, and I shall grant you yours.”
The beast snarled and rolled away to the far side of the circle. There was a long pause before it spoke: “What is your wish mortal?”
“For Jeff to score a goal at his game today and at least a B on his math test.”
“For a taste of the unborn… I shall grant this.” There was a soft flash of silver light from hidden eyes.
As Donna moved to the stone steps, she casually glanced over her shoulder: “Do you want your unborn scrambled or poached?”
“Poached, mortal!” cried the demon, “with salt, pepper, and extra ketchup this time!”
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