Sharon’s note: Felt like taking a chance? Awesome. Now things are about to really get interesting. Warning: Author is totally willing to poke readers to get a reaction.
Hands shaking, I reach out and pick up the book. The cover writhed under my hands for a moment before going still. The tapping stopped and the flowers went out, their scent quickly fading from the air. Even the blood disappeared from the floor.
“My, my. I think you and I could have some fun.”
The voice wasn’t something I heard with my ears. It was in my head, but that didn’t stop me from asking out loud, “Who’s there?”
Whatever it was didn’t have a chance to answer as the front door opened and Lorena walked through. A few strands of hair had escaped their confinement and she looked vaguely annoyed. I got the distinct feeling that this was as frazzled as she ever got. Or that was what I assumed until she saw me standing there with the book in my hand.
“Oh, you moron!” She hissed. “You couldn’t just sit there for a few minutes?”
“The book was bleeding and. . .”
“And you thought it was a good idea to pick up the bleeding book?” She rolled her eyes. “I suppose it spoke to you as well? Promised you things?”
“Might have done.” I mumbled, looking at the floor.
“Well, you’re screwed now. Congratulations.” Lorena stalked across the room and grabbed my plate and water bottle, even though I wasn’t finished. Guess I had lost my cookie privileges.
“What do you mean, I’m screwed?” I followed her into the kitchen. It was decorated in the same mixture of mundane and occult as the living room. There were strange looking idols and a stone knife next to a cookie jar shaped like a rooster.
“I mean, you accepted a pact with a bound demon. It will slowly seduce you with evil and power until you are corrupted enough for it to switch places with you and steal your body while trapping you in the book.” She angrily dropped my cookies and water in the trash before starting to wash the plate.
“She’s lying. Don’t listen to her. I’m your friend.” I’m guessing it was the book talking in my head. It probably was a demon. That made as much sense as anything else tonight.
“Look, you’re not looking at an easy road. I only know one way out of this deal, and that’s if you die before the demon corrupts you.” Lorena put the plate in a drying rack, then turned to face me while leaning against the counter. “If you want to tough it out and try to find a cure I won’t stop you. I’ve seen crazier things happen in this town than someone getting out of a demon deal. The other option is to just get it over with right now. Give me the word and I’ll do it for you. It’s probably what I would do and I can promise you that you won’t feel a thing.”
I was too stunned for the moment to say anything. The demon book didn’t have this problem.
“Don’t listen to her. You’ve seen all the strange things she keeps in her home. She’s a vampire and she likes to collect powerful objects. She’s held me prisoner here for almost twenty years. She’ll kill you no matter what you say. Use my power and we can kill her instead. Then we’ll both be safe. What do you say?”