The Ritual

Sarah read a short short story online. It was weird, it made little sense and seemed to fall apart in the middle. It ended with two little poems that contained some nonsense words, like “Teera Deera Poora Park.”

Sarah read the poems aloud to see if they were beautiful to listen to. When she finished, she felt a chill come down her back and an eerie presence fill the room.

“I am summoned, and I come,” a disembodied voice said.

“Who are you?” asked Sarah.

“I am the one they all fear. I am the prince of lies, the harbinger of war, the slayer of infants. To me, aethereal children sing and before me, great kings tremble.”

“Are you,” she hesitated, “Satan?”

“That I have been called as well. Some think of me as a devil, others as an angel. I bring pleasure exquisite,” now he paused, “Are you laughing?”

She was.

“Yes, sorry. I was just not expecting this. Did somebody put you up to this? Was it Josh? Come on, I can see the speakers on the desk, you are not fooling me. Nice try, though.”

“Impudent mortal,” raged the voice, “Why do you speak the rite of summoning if you are not expecting me. Do you know not what you read? Do you require a demonstration?”

He flung her against the wall.

“Wow,” Sarah stopped laughing and considered whether she should start crying. It hurt, but not terribly. “That does not look like any trick I know. Are you real?”

“Yes, I am. And according to the pact I have with the Poet, I am here to answer one of your questions.”

“What happens if you cannot answer?”

“I am then obliged to grant you a wish.”

“And you will do it? No tricks, no cheating?”

“I have my honor. If I say I will do something, I do it.”

Sarah got up and sat on the couch. “Okay then,” she was lost in thought for a long while. Then she picked up her laptop, it was still working, and googled questions impossible to answer. She kept on reading for quite a while but could not find any question that would satisfy her. Finally, she came up with one on her own.

“What is the answer to the question you cannot answer?”

The voice raged like a thunderstorm and then calmed down to answer: “I know not.”

“Yes,” Sarah punched the air, “I win. Now you have to do what I tell you.”

“Very well. Speak your wish, mortal.”

“What happens if you cannot grant that?”

“I will owe you servitude forever,” answered the voice.

Sarah thought for a little bit and then said.

“Here’s my wish: drop dead.”

A wet smack accompanied the event. It was as if the invisible realm expelled the body of satan through a tight orifice. His naked winged body fell to the floor right next to her and immediately started to decay.

“Hello, satan? Are you there? Satan?”

There was no response. And then all hell broke loose. Because the balance between good and evil was destroyed, Earth was knocked out of its orbit and sailed into the cold of space. And Sarah wished she had never read that feral story.

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