“What’s the matter Jackass?” Bryce asked, kicking Jack in the stomach. “I thought you liked dancing. We’re just asking you to dance for us!”
Jack tried to draw in a breath but only succeeded in making a pathetic noise and throwing up.
“Bryce, that’s disgusting.” Jeannie made a face, “I thought you were going to have a fight not just pick on some stupid little kid. God, that puke reeks.”
“Hey, I thought he’d be more of a challenge.” Bryce said, “Let’s go, babe.”
The two of them turned and walked away, leaving Jack laying in a puddle of his own sick. Tears of humiliation streamed down his cheeks, this made an entire month of beatings in a row, and they’d only been getting worse.
He’d tried to eat his lunch, but Bryce had found him sitting behind the bus garage. Carson Academy was an elite school and he’d thought things would be different here, but they’d only gotten worse. Jack finally got his breath back and sat up, wiping his mouth. He went to the only place he knew they wouldn’t bother him, the library.
The door opened and he smelled the familiar scent of paper, ink, and the peppermint candies the librarian always had. Jack walked in with his head down, turning toward the fantasy section.
“Oh Jack, are you OK?” Miss Fitzsimmons asked, “Looks like someone got the better of you .”
“Fine,” He muttered, trying to avoid her.
“Here, have a mint.” She offered a tin of Altoids peppermints and he took one gratefully.
“Thanks. I think my lunch just didn’t agree with me.” He said.
“Your lunch didn’t give you that black eye.” Miss Fitzsimmons said, “But I don’t need to know if you don’t want to tell me, Jack. What are you looking for today?”
“You don’t have the latest Callindra Chronicles yet do you?” He asked hopefully. “I heard it was going to be released this week.”
“Our book shipment is supposed to come in tomorrow.” She said, “I’ll set it aside for you if we get it.”
“Thanks,” He said and walked back into the stacks. Only once he was alone did he allow the tears to come. Slumping against the bookshelves Jack sobbed into his arm until the fear and pain were gone. He took a deep breath and wished he had something to wipe his nose on. A crackle of paper under his hand made him glance down.
A corner of yellowed paper stuck out from underneath the bookshelf. Jack tugged at it and pulled a piece of parchment that looked ancient out from where it had sat for who knew how long. Although it seemed very old and it was written, not typed, he could read it easily.
‘How to get exactly what you want.’ Was written in elegant cursive across the top of the page. Below was a set of fairly simple looking instructions for how to summon your own personal demon.
“What is it you desire?” A beautiful young woman in a simple black dress and four-inch stiletto heels casually crossed her legs exposing half her thigh.
Jack had thought about this for days. He hadn’t really believed it would work, but if it did, he wanted to make sure he got exactly what he wanted. Now that the ‘demon’ had arrived in the pentagram he’d drawn on his bedroom floor sitting on a three-legged iron stool he just stared.
“Oh dear, have I left you speechless?” She leaned forward, exposing a lot of cleavage. “Is this all you want little boy? I’m more than happy to oblige.”
“I want,” Jack began, pausing to clear his throat, “I want people to do what I tell them to.”
She sat up straight and smiled, “Oh yes, that’s certainly possible. All you have to do is agree to take me with you.”
“What?” Jack blinked, this wasn’t what he’d expected. “I thought I had to sell my soul for a demon contract.”
“Only half of it boy.” She smiled, “I just need you to make room for me to ride along.”
“You’ll be with me?” He asked eagerly.
“Oh yes. I’ll be with you forever.” Her smile seemed unnaturally wide, but all he could see were her eyes.
“I agree.” He said, spellbound by the seafoam green of her eyes. Then the pain began.