Author’s note: This is part of the “Diana’s Life Tips” story series where the stories are all stand-alone with relevant info I will provide.
Relevant info: Daemon is a demon Diana accidentally summoned. They think Satan’s ex-wife is planning an invasion so they went to ask an ancient demon what happened during the last demonic invasion (AKA the Great Demon War).
Dry heaving, Diana collapsing outside the passenger’s side door of the latest Jeep Daemon stole. She’s never been more happy from skipping lunch or else she’d be actually heaving. Wiping her mouth, she stood on jelly legs, dusting off stones and dirt from the pavement that impressed on her red knees. “I don’t know why I agreed to get in a car with you driving after what happened last time,” she said.
“It wasn’t that bad,” Daemon said as he got out.
“We crashed into a tree,” Diana screeched.
“But wasn’t that mostly your fault?”
She stared daggers at him.
“Okay, okay. Point taken. But we’re here, so stop trying to murder me with your eyes.”
“Oh, don’t worry. I can murder you with something else. I’m flexible.”
Wiping the sweat from his forehead, Daemon said, “Anyway, we’re here in one piece so there’s no need to go chopping out anyone into… more pieces?”
“Where is here?”
Daemon pointed at the giant billboard that read “Legal Demon Intuition”. “Context clues, Diana. Context clues. I thought you were a journalist, how can you be this bad at putting things together?”
“And suddenly we’re back to murder.”
Daemon took a step back.
“Are you sure this is the right guy?” She asked as she stretched out her sore arms from the long arms.
“Yup, Carbraken. He’s an ancient demonic giant from the age of Mayans. He’s existed longer than Christianity. If anyone can tell us about the last demon invasion attempt, it’s him.” Daemon slid closer to Diana. “And if you want to pay me back for this critical information by say… creating a contract with me?”
Diana smirked. “But you’re already helping me. Why would I buy the cow when I can get the milk for free?”
He cocked his head to the side. “I thought that was about sex?”
“It can be applied to other things.”
Daemon looked unconvinced. “Can it? Come on, let’s go inside.”
Legal Demon Intuition was on the top floor of a five story office building nestled in between a butcher’s shop, bakery, and fruit stand out front. Inside, Daemon breathed in the smell of rotting blood, moldy oranges, and vanilla. “Ah, smells like home.”
“Why would this smell like your home? I thought you were a Christian demon? And if he’s older than Christianity…”
“There are multiple different versions of hell based on different human cultures that all live bunched together inside the earth called the hell realms. When a significant enough culture or religion is created with their version of hell, it gets added. As you can imagine, it’s pretty crowded down there. The hell realms are basically a New York apartment building inside the earth. Hot, sticky, terrible neighbors, and the faint scent of death which is—”
“Rotting blood, moldy oranges, and vanilla,” a male voice with a Mexican accent from behind answered.
The pair spun around on their heels to meet a seven foot tall Mexican man with grey, spiky hair in a pinstripe suit. Wrinkles dominated his face making into the human version of a bulldog. He hunched over at a slight degree, but otherwise was looking pretty good for an ancient demon that was thousands of years old. A real silver fox type.
The man smiled at Daemon’s tiny holes barely peeking through his curly red hair. “Ah, it's always nice to see another demon. Lawyers are good evil company, sure, but it’s good to see a true kindred spirit. Where are you from?”
“Christianity,” Daemon answered.
“Ah,” he said. “And you little lady? Where are your horns?”
“Actually—” Diana began.
“She’s Christian, too.” Daemon interrupted with a lie. “Lost her horns in a freak buzzsaw accident.” He mimed a buzzsaw going over his head. “A really funny, semi-tragic accident.”
The man chuckled. “I bet.”
Grabbing Daemon’s arm, Diana leaned in and whispered in his ear, “Why did you lie? I’m human.”
“I doubt many demons want to spill ancient demonic history to humans. Especially ancient ones. They’re set in their old ways.”
Diana rolled her eyes. “Whatever. Let’s just get the info.”
Daemon cleared his throat. “I take it you’re Cabrakan?”
“The one and only. I run this law firm with my brother, Zipanca, and some interns we underpay and overwork. What did you come here for? I doubt it was legal counsel.”
Rolling back on his heels, Daemon said, “Actually, we were hoping you could tell us about the Great Demon War.”
Before Daemon could finish the words ‘Great Demon War’, Cabrakan’s face fell and his gaze turned to ice. “I’d think we should step inside my office for privacy.”
To say Cabrakan’s office was earth themed would be an understatement.
Everything. Was. Brown.
The walls? Brown. Carpet? Brown. The ceiling? A slightly lighter shade of brown. Why? Probably to keep it spicy even though brown is the second most boring color in the world. The first is beige and that’s brown’s pale sister that’s never seen the sun.
The only pop of color was framed pictures of green mountains and canyons that hung on the walls. And strangest of all, was Cabrakan’s desk that had a mess of papers and a wooden tray with just a pile of dirt on it. A worm popped up in it and wiggled a little. Diana took it as a hello and named him Melvin in her head.
Cabrakan took a seat behind the desk while Daemon took the only seat in front of the desk meant for clients. Diana stood awkwardly, pretending to be interested in a photo on the wall so she wouldn’t have to look at Cabrakan and face the reality that he was still taller than she was standing.
Folding his hands on his desk, Cabrakan broke the silence. “Why do you want to know about the Great Demon War?”
“We have reason to believe that Satan’s ex-wife may be planning an invasion,” Daemon explained.
“And that reason would be?” Cabrakan asked.
“We found a piece of paper with a partial part of a plan written in pencil on a desk in my school’s main office.”
Cabrakan cracked a smile, leaned back, and chuckled. “So nothing serious then. That’s a relief.”
Diana pouted. “It is a big deal.”
“Kid, look, no offense, but it isn’t and you don’t want it to be. Demon invasions from any culture are bad news for everyone involved.”
“What do you mean?”
Cabrakan sighed. “Basically, the human world, earth, the surface—whatever you want to call it; it means the same—is a huge neutral zone. Demons of any hell realm or culture can come here to prey on humans that we all need to survive. Human cultures create and feed demons. Demons make deals to ‘improve human life’, as the propaganda goes. Humans and demons are intertwined and need each other. Now, if a demon or group or demons were to try and take over the human world, then that would be bad news for all other demons. All hell would break loose as everyone would scramble to secure their stakes or fight to gain more.”
“Is that what happened during the Great Demon War?”
With a grim expression, Cabrakan nodded.
“And we have officially circled back to the reason we’re here,” Daemon said. “Care to tell us about it?”
Cabrakan swished his head from side to side, trying to make up his mind. “Ah, what the hell. For a couple of love birds like you, I’ll do it.”
“We’re not—” Diana began.
Daemon cut her off. “My wife and I are so gracious.”
She glared at him. As she leaned into his ear, she said, “I’m beginning to think this is just about you having a lying problem as big as your stealing problem.”
Daemon shrugged and whispered back. His hot breath on her ear made Diana flinch; she swore he did it on purpose. “Probably. I am a demon, wifey. Besides, he’s talking now. Let’s just let him believe what he wants to believe.”
“Fine.” She raised her voice to speak to Cabrakan. “You were talking about the Great Demon War?”
Cabrakan closed his eyes as he imagined the memories before him. “It was roughly twenty-one to twenty-two hundred years ago. The Mayan empire was doing great, but on the other side of the world… not so much. I heard this new guy, Hades, god of the Greek underworld was causing trouble with Pluto, god of the Roman underworld. Both wanted to upstage the other since they were so similar. And the feud between Romans and Greeks certainly didn’t help.
“Eventually, Pluto wanted Hades out of the game, so he launched an invasion on the surface and—as mentioned before—all hell broke loose. Everyone got involved seeing this as an opportunity or the end of the world. Most demons joined the fight—regardless of wanting to or not. They struggled over the humans and limited space for the hell realms. Millions of demons were destroyed in the process. It was a bloodbath.”
Daemon swallowed. “So, hypothetically speaking, if another invasion were to break out…”
“Satan would draft your butt and a skinny lad like you would get killed the first day,” Cabrakan said.
“Oh man, we need to stop this invasion, Diana.”
“You finally got on my page, huh?” Diana remarked.
Cabarkan continued. “My brother and I fought for the Mayan mythology, though we didn’t have a lot of demonic beings on our side. The fighting didn’t come to an end due to some demons winning—no. The Romans conquered the Greeks and the demonic world stopped shortly after due to that. Not a lot of pride or power to defend when your culture gets dominated. However, the demonic war surely did have an effect on the humans’ battle because—”
“Humans and demons are intertwined,” Diana finished.
“Exactly.” Cabrakan said. “In the end, nothing good came of the Great Demon War. Few gained anything and over the years, the hell realms shifted back to normal. This really stops the idiots from trying. What stops them is other demons with more than one brain cell not wanting to go through all this again. The human world must stay neutral.” Cabrakan relaxed into his chair. “I hope that satisfies your thirst for knowledge.”
“So… the world was almost destroyed so two gods could hold a d*ck measuring contest?” Diana asked.
“Pretty much,” Daemon agreed.
“Demons really aren’t the rational type, are they?”
“Why did you say that like you’re not one?” Cabrakan asked.
A panicking red blush spread across Diana’s cheeks. “I just talk about myself in the third person sometimes. It’s a perfectly normal thing for Diana to do.”
“Look who’s lying now,” Daemon whispered in her ear.
“Only to cover yours.”
“Wives and husbands have to stick together.”
“Wives also kill their annoying husbands. Ever seen Snapped?”
“Again with the murder? Don’t you think you’re repeating yourself too much?”
Diana pressed her lips together. “Let’s just go.”
“Whatever you say, wifey.”
As she strapped her seatbelt in for the trip back, Diana paused. “Wait, so all we learned is that we have to stop the invasion or things could get bad? I could have inferred that from the words ‘demons’ and ‘invasion’. We still don’t know how to stop the invasion. This trip was a huge waste. I got car sick for nothing.”
“Not true. Now, you have me on your side,” Daemon chipped in.
“You were already doing what I wanted you to do.”
“Yes, but now I will do it with a n x i e t y because my ass is suddenly on the line.”
“Great. So, it was pointless.”
“If I stop for a plate of nachos on the way back, will that make it less pointless?”
“Better make it two. If I’m gonna throw the first one up, I can at least find the silver lining with the fact that I get to each more.”