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A Demon Made Me Do It

By:Penelope King

were on a hunt?”

I can’t help but laugh at the thought. “That would almost be funny if it wouldn’t get us both killed. I can picture her now… ‘Ahh, a scary demon, help! Eeeks, a smelly vampire, somebody call 911!’ That is if she doesn’t fall off Diablo and break her ass first…

“…But okay, okay,” I say in response to the stern look on Tatiana’s face. “Her pathetic life in Sapie-land is Boresville, anyway. I’d much rather sleep through it.” I give her a playful wink and pat her tiny legs. The fiercest of fire-demons don’t faze me one bit, but I’ll never risk facing the wrath of a witch, especially one who can summon more powerful forces than I can imagine with just a few utterances from her withered lips.

“Thank you, Lucky.” Tatiana retreats to her room.

I push Tatiana’s reprimand and Liora’s pathetic tattle-telling from my head. Right now I have more important things to worry about. As I strip off Liora’s shapeless disguise of black rags and change into skintight, red leather pants and a matching vest, my blood churns with heightened anticipation.

How long have I dreamed of this night?

After throwing on my favorite black riding cloak, I fasten it securely at the base of my throat with my Boumeaux—the sacred jewel of my tribe that I wear with pride. Only those of us belonging to the royal order of demonia angelis can bear having the stone in our possession; imposters will instantly burn to ash if they so much as touch it. It also allows me to enter the Land of Thiberoux, the mystical realm of the Dark-angels. Most importantly, however, the black diamond broach serves as a warning beacon to the presence of Light-angels, even cleverly disguised. The enchanted jewel will glow brightly, alerting me mortal danger is nearby. Fortunately, I’ve never had mine light up, but I know others who have. It allowed them to barely escape with their lives.

A final coat of cherry red lip gloss and a quick brush through my ebony hair and I’m ready to go. Tonight is the night…I can feel it in my bones. I was so close to catching the Amazèa last night, but they eluded me just as dawn approached. Tonight those bastards are all mine. Although it’s my sacred duty to deliver Justice, and I do it nightly, this mission is different. This is revenge.

This is personal.

Tatiana is in her room, elbow deep in her cast-iron cauldron. She performs this ritual every night, whether it’s finding me demons to hunt, humans to torment, or simply keeping a watchful eye on the surrounding lands.

“Where are they?” I demand. No need to say who ‘they’ are; she knows exactly who I’m talking about.

She swirls her hands through the pot’s murky waters. A cool steam rises up over her serene, ageless face. “The Amazèa have left our realm and are now safely within the territory of the Belith tribe. As you are strictly forbidden to cross over to their lands, tonight you have another task—”

“Wait…Hold up. What? What do you mean they left?” I feel like someone just whacked me in the gut with a troll-hammer. “They just got here a few weeks ago…”

“I do not know…Perhaps they knew they were being followed. Perhaps they were called away. Nevertheless, you know you cannot hunt outside the territory, especially in one protected by such a hostile clan. You must bide your time until the Amazèa return. For now, there are two humans in need of a visit. They both agreed to exchange favor with an Uliminiti demon for power and riches. One man will soon be elected a state senator, and the other is an actor who will win a major award. Both are home and alone, so there will be minimal conflict.”

I stare at Tatiana, my mouth agape. Surely, she’s not serious. I’m gearing up for slaying and demon carnage and she wants me to go toll collecting? And not even from some low-level demons, but pitiful Sapies? So not cool, and not even in my job-description. As an Aequitas demon, it’s my duty to torment and inflict Justice on those who deserve it. I’m good at my job. I like my job. Extorting money from greedy Sapies is Tatiana’s deal; she just uses me as the muscle. I admit, I enjoy it sometimes. I get a kick out of seeing the Sapie’s faces when I announce who I am and why I’m here…

But not tonight. Tonight the only creatures I’m interested in tormenting are the evil monsters who murdered my best friends—right before they cast their wicked spell that split my precious soul in two.

I’ve been so patient. Not that I’ve really had much of a choice. I’ve thought of little besides revenge every night for the past five years. Five years, four months, six days and two hours to be exact. But the creatures I sought have always been out of my reach, for I’m restrained by the jurisdiction of my tribe’s influence and the unnatural limitations on my time.

But finally, after all this time—after years of training, plotting, waiting, seething… finally, the Amazèa had returned to my hunting grounds. The end to my nightmare was in sight. I would kill them once and for all, lift the curse that binds me to the night, and deliver Justice for my fallen friends.

Now Tatiana is telling me the Amazèa have just up and left?

“I don’t believe you.” My voice shakes with thinly restrained fury. “You just don’t want me hunting them. You’re just afraid that—”

“I never lie, Lucky. You, of all beings, know that. I admit I disapprove of your perilous quest, but I will not try to stop you. Justice is the essence of your existence, and I cannot deny that. This path is yours and yours alone, and you are well aware of the consequences. But for now, I can assure you the Amazèa are no longer within your range,” Tatiana says quietly.

I clench my teeth and glare at her. What’s that expression about not killing the messenger?

But I know she’s not lying. If she says they’re gone—they’re gone. And there’s nothing I can do about it. For now.

This is all Liora’s fault. If she didn’t turn into a stupid Sapie, rendering me impotent from dawn to dusk, I