by Everett A Warren
She woke as the last rays of the setting sun were devoured by the lengthening shadows; the snow that the pleasant beams transformed into water over the course of the day now hardened into dangerous ice. Her name was Maria DiChairo, but it would soon change.
Naked, she slipped from the bed and onto the unheated cellar floor, the chill air caressing her. She picked up her best ceremonial knife, turning the rune covered blade in her hands. A smile began to crawl on her face, dragging her grim expression like a marionette, from a dark story to the inevitable happy ending.
She stood slowly, savouring the movement, stretching her body muscle by muscle. With the grace of a dancer, she crossed the floor and entered into the summoning room, twirling and leaping with abandon.
She had prepared the room the night before, so she took heart that all was done correctly, all the amounts measured in proper proportions. Her mood was far to fey for any exact measurements and logical thought. It would work. She had utter confidence. She could be like the child, and so she was, dancing gaily around the sigil traced upon the floor. She lit the candles in a manner learned from the circus sideshows, her breath bursting with flames, surrounding the defenceless taper, leaving it misshapen but lit. She chanted the words, danced with them as they flowed lyrically, spun with them as they coalesced into the vapours of the incense in the braziers around the corners of the room.
Within seconds, she had completed the spell, and the horrible form of him whose name is unspeakable appeared in the centre of the summoning circle.
"Ah, the raven hued bitch, again. Ye tire me, wench, with ye petty questions and a mind I find curiously blocked, keeping ye true intentions hidden. What is it this time? What dark secrets do ye wish to learn?"
Her fey manner left her as she spoke his true name, and he shuddered in response.
"From whence did ye imbibe such a horrible appellation? And wherefore did ye learn the enunciation of the tongue of the elders?"
Her answer was not in the English language that he condescended to speak, but in his own native and horrible tongue. For the sake of the reader's further understanding and sanity, her words are translated into our
"My sources need not be revealed, dark one, save that, as ye can well see and hear, they are thorough and compleat."
Upon hearing his native tongue, a language no mortal ever dared to utter in any time or place, the demon was greatly taken aback, but he did his best not to reveal his discomfort. His preternatural senses reeled, his universe suddenly not anything he had ever experienced before. He was held securely by her wards. They were properly etched, and though he tried, he could find no weaknesses. She had discovered his true name, the very essence of his existence, thus holding the power over the continuation of that existence. The demon studied his summoner with a perspective different and more evil than any mortal deserved.
Copyright (c) 1990, 1994 Everett A WarrenYou can read the complete story in my collection, Cautionary Fables: Warts & All, available on Amazon.com or by order from your local bookseller.