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Sunday Snippets #54

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from Shady Lady by Ann Aquirre    
ROC Publishing 
April 5, 2011

“What are you waiting for?” Maury demanded, as I trickled salt atop my chalk circle.  This demon wasn’t going anywhere unless I willed it.
“Almost finished.  But I need her name now.”
He pronounced each syllable with great care, as if caressing his absent lover.  I found it oddly endearing.  “Dumah Porai Valyonatha.”
“It’s been a long time since you’ve seen her.”
“Only by your standards,” he muttered.  “But I have been away longer than I expected.  She will be missing me.”
I tried to sound casual as I finished spreading the salt.  “You could go back.  I could send you.”
“I think not.  Your people call my world hell for a reason.”
“Very well.”  Using my athame, I cut a narrow slice in my palm and let the blood drip inside the pentagram.  I was careful not to break the circle, however.  “By fire, earth, wind and rain, I call you forth, Dumah Porai Valyonatha.  I offer sacrifice in your name.  As I will, so mote it be.  In the name of Solomon the Binder, whose blood I carry, you must obey.”
Unlike the spell I had used on Morales, this one required focus and repetition.  My mother had once said: There are no true magic words, only your will behind them.  Power sizzled through me, far more than I’d ever held before- more than it took to read a house or a patch of dirt.  It felt as though my heart must cook inside my chest.  I sent it to the circle and the salt ate it, blackening beneath the heat.
I don’t know how long I chanted, but the air churned inside the pentacle.  Not like Caim’s manifestation, but it grew dark with smoke that writhed with signs of life.  I saw a glimmer of eyes, a suggestion of a face.
“She’s here,” the demon breathed beside me.
Maury started to go to her, only to be brought up short by the power of my wards.  I smiled “My part of the bargain is fulfilled, and you are repaid.”
“That wasn’t the deal!”
“In fact, it was.  You specified I had to summon her, not set her free.”
“No, I wouldn’t consent to that.  The last part was implicit in the agreement.”
And now I gambled everything.  “If you have the power, if I have invalidated our deal, kill me now.  Take the knife from my wound.  I’m willing to risk it.”
  • I love Ann Aguirre. This one looks really good. I think I may have bought it, but my brain might be trying to trick me because I’ve been lusting after the book. Literally. I stood in the book store staring at the book for a while. Crap, did I pick it up? I hate my stupid memory.

    Thanks for sharing!

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