Monday, May 14, 2012


I had to prepare.


I'll just learn to use the Force real quick.  Like that wouldn't be difficult.

"So what," I asked sarcastically.  "I'm just supposed to think about what I want and make it a reality with my mind--holy shit."  I'd just set the wooden chair on fire.  I hadn't even touched it.  I turned to Gus.  "Is it supposed to be that easy?"

He shrugged.  "As far as I know, making that stuff happen isn't the hard part.  It's the control that's more difficult.  Try moving something instead of just setting it on fire," he suggested.

I focused my mind on lifting the burning chair off the ground, and with ease, the flaming mess rose from the floor.  It wobbled sloppily and seemed to be rotating slowly.

"Case in point," Gus commented.  "You can set that chair on fire easily, and you can even move it around in the air.  But if you run into Azraal again, he can set every surface of this room on fire, break that chair down into a thousand razor-sharp splinters and send each of those pieces to pierce a different part of your body with a snap of his fingers."  He paused.  "Actually, he doesn't even need to snap his fingers to do that."

That sounded bad.  "How am I supposed to defend against that?!"  I asked.  I sounded panicky, but I couldn't help it.

He shrugged again.  "The good news is that it's really, really difficult to kill you," he said.  "As far as I know, there are only some rumors on how to kill a devil.  Nobody actually knows how to do it.  But they do know how to work the spell to usurp your throne, which will leave you powerless and...kill-able."

I tried to move the flaming chair in a figure-eight pattern as I held it hovering a few inches above the carpet.  "So I don't have to fear death, I have to fear being stripped of my throne?  I don't even want my throne!"

"Would you rather be some normal person getting his entrails ripped out eighteen times an hour every day?" Gus said.  "Unless you're into that sort of thing, in which case I'd sure they'd make arrangements for something else you'd hate."

I was going to answer him, but just then a fist burst through the door.


  1. In this chapter, the demon is referred to as Zraal, but in Squaring Off, he is referred to as Azraal. I don't know if that is supposed to be Gus incorrectly giving the demon's name or a typo.

    1. Ah, damn. I actually had a lot of those Zraal/Azraal typos, but I thought I caught them all. Thanks!