By: Andrew Thomas Prenger
It was a bit chilly on the beach. There was no moon, the only light provided came from the bonfire they were circled around. Given the choice most of the spectators would rather be back at the beach house. They didn’t want to disappoint Gordon.
For weeks he had been on a tear. After his first year of college he was convinced he had all the answers. He was going to invoke some ancient ritual to summon the devil. He proposed that if it failed then he had proven that there was no God and all religion was bunk.
None of them believed that anything would happen. They were all simply humoring him. Afterwards they’d have to put up with a few weeks of him proclaiming that he had been right, though none of them disputed his claims before that, then he would move on to something else. All of his friends were finally sick of hearing about this particular obsession.
Gordon was dressed in black robes with a red pentagram drawn on the chest. He had a book out that he shouted Latin from. Marcus actually spoke Latin. When Gordon’s back was turned he would laugh at just how bad Gordon’s pronunciation was. He didn’t want to tell Gordon that in case it inspired him to give up now and try again later.
As Gordon neared the end of his speech he became louder and more agitated. His face was beet red as he screamed the last few words into the dark.
Quiet quickly descended when he was finished. No one wanted to be the first to say anything. They all waited for nothing to continue on and for Gordon to declare victory.
Gordon smirked, he turned to face his friends to gloat when a figure appeared out of the shadows.
He was a thin man with black hair. He was wearing gray beach shorts and a dark floral shirt. For all they knew he was just a man out walking the beach and was drawn by the fire and shouting. Deep in their souls they felt differently. The moment he appeared they all shuddered. Any heat the fire produced seemed to disappear. Gordon stared slack-jawed at him.
“Well, here I am. What do you want?”
Gordon stuttered out gibberish, unable to believe that it worked.
“Ah, yes. You didn’t believe in me. You just thought ‘hey, I’ll summon up Satan for laughs.’ Even though your Latin was terrible I decided to show up and wreck your day. Sure, I’ve got more important shit to do, but I just couldn’t really resist. So, how’s about this. Those three of your friends there. They’re dead.”
With a wave of his hand Pat, Blaine and Jordan dropped to the ground.
“That happy couple cowering away from me? Aids. That fellow, Marcus, he’ll be married to a woman he eventually beats to death. You, Gordon, you get off easy. You just get to live with the knowledge that you caused all this. Plus, impotence. I don’t want you fucking around with anything anymore.”
Satan smiled, patted Gordon on the cheek and disappeared into the shadows.