Polly and the Demon, Pt. 3
Let’s get one thing straight first: Polly had never intended to either get her little sister possessed by an evil spirit, or summon a demon in her grandma’s bedroom. It was her little sister that had, as little sisters do, barged into her room while she was grappling with a cursed mirror and gotten possessed, and it was while trying to exorcise the mirror-spirit out of said little sister that she’d accidentally summoned the demon.
In fact, Polly had never intended to get involved in business that would make her come in contact with such things as cursed mirrors and pentagons at all. No, the blame lied all on her friends. Her friends who had been struck with the inspiration to found the Paranormal Activities Cult–sorry, club–and the school adviser who’d approved, because that sounds like something that’s safe and sane to have on campus. And maybe, maybe, she’d even go as far as to blame her mother, who’d passed down her spiritual inclination towards all things occultic onto her.
Bottom line is, she had not chosen this. She had not consented to this.
And yet still, she finds herself sitting on the floorboards of her grandma’s bedroom, her two most idiotic friends hiding behind her, Rosie’s prone body in the middle of a smudged chalk pentagon, and a smirking demon across from her. And, to top it all off, it is a Sunday, and she still had a history project and all of her math homework to do.
And the demon is not helping.
Polly heaves a sigh, plants her hands on her thighs, and glares at the demon. “So, what you’re telling me is that, despite claiming to be one of Hell’s most powerful demons, you do not know how to exorcise the evil spirit currently possessing my sister.”
The demon tilts her–she wasn’t sure on the gender specifications of demonkind, but the demon seemed fine with being addressed as a her–head at Polly, smirk widening. “Sounds about right, yeah.”
Polly’s hands clench into the fabric of her skirt. “Isn’t there something about demons being contractually obligated to fulfill the wishes of their summoner? Isn’t that, like, a thing?”
“Sure,” the demon shrugged. “But what’s impossible stays impossible. If it’s not within my power to do something, then I can’t do it. Even if Satan himself asked me to.”
Polly opens her mouth, ready to retort, but no words come. She bites her lip, and looks down at Rosie’s body, the sheen of sweat on her skin and the too-rapid rise and fall of her chest, even though she’s unconscious. Worry rears its head.
Polly’s seen demons before, enough to know that beauty is a strong indicator for rank. Self proclamations aside, the demon before her is the most beautiful one she’s met so far. With onyx skin, ink wings, black and gold ram horns curling out of hair made from flames–literal flames, Polly’s a bit worried she’ll add ‘arson’ to ‘summoning hellspawn’ in the list of crimes committed in her grandma’s bedroom–she was something out of a very disturbing fantasy.
If this demon can’t fix Rosie, then what hope does Polly have?
Almost as if sensing her unease, the demon’s smirk widens into a grin, eyes crinkling in a way that sends a shiver up Polly’s spine. This pisses her off. She clenches her teeth and resumes glaring at the demon, harder than ever. “Then,” she grits out. “What help can you offer me, miss?”
“Polly,” hisses Mo, one of her stupid, cowardly friends. “Maybe don’t antagonize the scary demon woman?”
The demon flicks her gaze to him briefly, and he squeaks. Polly resists the urge to smack him. Her eyes find Polly’s again and she says, “The poltergeist in our little lady here isn’t one that came from Hell, so it’s out of my influence. You’d have better luck seeking out one of your human witch’s help than mine.”
This information sounds like a blessing to Polly’s ears, as both her mother and grandmother are one of those human witches, until she remembers that both of them are currently across the country on a ‘work trip’ that is really a ‘margarita trip’ and wouldn’t be returning until Rosie was a husk on the ground. Polly closes her eyes, and takes deep breaths until she feels she won’t scream the next time she opens her mouth.
It takes a while. Of all the times for this to happen, why did it have to be now?
She hears a shuffling from the other side, the sound of leather on leather, and snaps her eyes open to find the demon crouched inches in front of her. She swallows the shriek before it makes it to her lips, though her friends fared worse, but the demon’s eyes still crinkle in delight at her reaction.
She hadn’t heard any footsteps. Fight or flight responses kicked up to max level, her mind gets stuck on that point. Had she flown over here? But no, Polly hadn’t heard the sound of wings beating either, and though her grandma’s bedroom was the most spacious one in the house, it still wasn’t nearly large enough for aerodynamic maneuvers on any level. Had she teleported, then? Is that a common skill in a demon’s repertoire? Polly frowns. Then what the heck are the wings for?
The demon leans forward, the flames of her hair getting way too close to Polly’s way too flammable self for comfort. “Well,” the demon says, voice dropping low in their close proximity. “I may not be able to do anything, but I see a perfectly capable witch right in front of me. One that even managed to summon me to Earth.”
One hand comes up to tuck a strand of hair behind Polly’s ear. Polly doesn’t flinch, but it’s a near thing. She eyes the sharpened tip of her fingers, cold in a shocking way against her skin, and numbing like anesthesia. Probably helpful for killing things. And then the demon’s words process in her mind, and she opens her mouth to protest that she isn’t a witch, that she had received no formal training, but as if anticipating it, the demon’s hand moves, and she places one finger against Polly’s lips in a shushing gesture.
It–it should piss her off, it really, really should, but the flush that bursts against her skin feels distinctly not like anger. And then, to exacerbate this, the demon leans in even closer, and practically murmurs to Polly, “I’ve seen a good number of your human exorcisms myself, even took part in a few.” Long gold lashes, black sclera, twin miniature suns for irises–against her will, Polly’s throat clenches in an aborted swallow.
“So, what do you say? Want my help?”
Polly manages to exorcise her little sister half an hour before her dad comes home, and manages to finish her history project and math homework by 12:26 a.m.
The next day, as she’s walking to school with her friends, who she has kept in her company against her better judgement, an envelope materializes in midair before her. It’s black, embossed with gold, fancy in a classy way. Polly has a sinking feeling she knows what it is as it falls into her hands.
She stares at it, delaying the inevitable. Mo nudges her with his elbow. “Don’t keep us waiting. Open it!”
She shoots him a glare, then thumbs open the envelope and pulls out the thick fold of parchment paper within. Written on it in ink that looks like it was scorched there by a very small blowtorch, are the words Had fun with you yesterday 🙂–talk about waste of space–followed by…
Mo chokes. “Is that a phone number?”