The wizard, the knight and the beaver

Written in response to: Write a story about someone making a deal with the devil.... view prompt

0 comments

American

"Forces of darkness, heed my call. Nightmares of the ancients, answer my prayers. Devils of...

Melvin, honey, dinner is ready."

"Shut up, Mom, I'm busy."

"We've talked about this. Come eat dinner like a big boy with your father and me."

"I'm not hungry. Bring me some cereal."

"Cereal for dinner? Not a chance, young man. Come downstairs this instant."

Melvin mumbled down the steps, dressed in his oversized pajamas. His greasy hair locks constantly poked one eye. The black shirt with "Life is pain" smelled like freshly cut flowers.

"What did I tell you about spraying perfume on yourself?"

"Leave him alone, honey. He's a young gentleman now. He needs to smell nice."

"Yeah, Dad, you don't know anything about girls."

"Girls?! You started noticing girls, son? Weren't you a Pokémon master last week?"

"Pokémon grandmaster!"

Melvin's face glowed red.

"Geez, calm down. Sorry, I'll remember next time."

Dad mumbled "fucking nerd" under his breath. That earned him a scoff from Mom, her gaze burning holes in his skull.

"Melvin, sweetie, don't you like Mommy's lasagna?"

"I'm not hungry. I need to go to my room."

"You're not going anywhere until dinner time is over. You should eat more, bulk up. Maybe tomorrow we'll throw my old football around. Me and Coach Dick have known each other since college. Think about joining the team."

"Dad, football is stupid. I hate P.E."

"He just isn't good at sports. He's a gentle soul, an artist."

Mom smiled and ran a finger across Melvin's cheek. The boy reacted like he got punched.

"Artist or not, you'll fail P.E. class if you keep this up. All humans, even you, are supposed to know how to run. Just in case a bear pops up in our backyard."

"Honey, you're being silly. The only natural predator in this part of the country is the beaver. I saw one this big yesterday."

"Maybe tonight you can show me that scary beaver..."

Dad winked, mom blushed, Melvin gagged.

"Son, if you're not hungry, then you may go upstairs. I'll fix you a late snack in case you feel like it."

Melvin ran upstairs, clutching his pants with one hand. He locked the door, kneeled down in the Lego-circle. The cat slept comfortably, smack in the middle of the star. Melvin studied the ancient texts, the second edition Dungeon Master tome, and read the incantation. He discarded his pajamas and dressed his bony figure in a black hooded robe he bought last Halloween. Around his pencil-neck, he fastened an ancient amulet he got in the pack of Crunchy Num Nums. Melvin clutched it and shouted towards the sky. The ancient magic swirled like mist around the circle. The cat stretched its little paws, yawning, and then curled up in a ball. Melvin repeatedly chanted the ancient spell, clutching a pocket knife with a rounded tip in his hands. It read "Love you, Mom and Dad" on the scales. The boy spent one night in the woods and pissed his pants; the scouts' club was not impressed.

Dust and booger balls rose in the air as a whirlwind manifested inside Melvin's smelly room. That cat could not be bothered to move. It flared its little pink nostrils from time to time.

"Obey my command and give me the powers of the ancients! Take this blood sacrifice as payment. I promise you more souls-"

Just then, Dad kicked the door open. He wore a football helmet, and his whole body was padded up with protective gear.

"Dad?"

"Silence, wretch. I am Sir Thrust-a-lot, champion and protector of this land. Your hellish sorcery will not taint this kingdom, not while I live and breathe."

"Geez, calm down. Who's gonna fix that door?"

"Tortured soul, come back to the light."

"Mom? Why are you wearing your wedding dress? How much wine did you have?"

"It's not too late for you to turn from this life of devil worship and bathe in the light. Come, let me cleanse you with the blessings of Michelle and Oprah."

Melvin's amulet glowed red. It sent jolts of energy down his noodle arms. His palms caught ablaze.

"Oh shit!"

"Careful, priestess, he's casting a spell!"

"No wait, I'm not doing anything. What is happening?"

Dad lunged for Melvin's throat, but a stream of fire erupted from the boy's palms. It pushed the knight across the room into the hallway. Mom screamed and rushed to her husband's side, taking his helmet off and caressing his forehead.

"Be still while I heal you."

"I'm beyond saving, priestess. My journey is over."

A tear rode down her rosy cheeks. Melvin was standing there, staring dumbstruck at his palms, pissing his pants.

With a dying breath, Dad said, "Kill that fucking nerd."

Mom went berserk. "No, wait; she's a priestess." Mom cast protection from fire and ice and gripped her mace tightly.

"Mom, I didn't mean it, please wait."

Just as his head was about to be caved in by the mighty blow, the mace glanced off like it struck steel. A shimmer could be seen draping Melvin from head to toe. Without knowing it, he spoke a word of power that obliterated Mom, splattering her fierce beaver all over the ceiling.

"What have I done? What madness is this?"

"Doesn't it live up to your expectations?"

The cat paced the room, slowly morphing into a beast of considerable size and weight. It's safe to say it was thicc. Melvin froze in place, a vice crushing his windpipe.

"Perhaps you don't have what it takes to join the ranks of the truly powerful."

The grip tightened on the child's throat.

"Perhaps you are as weak as they say."

Through red foam, Melvin hissed, "Ignis."

The demon roared its amusement. It released the child from his iron grip and helped him stand. Tears flowed gently down Melvin's cheek, but his eyes were those of a wild animal. It tapped the amulet around the child's neck with its claw and smiled.

"Rise, my warlock."

September 13, 2023 12:35

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

0 comments

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.