Five and Daemon, Part 10
The next morning, Johnny, Cerise, and Fran climbed into Johnny’s car. Fran was wearing a simple gold cross on a thin chain around her neck. Johnny raised an eyebrow when he saw it, but said nothing. They drove out to Miss Lucy’s. Johnny parked the car in front of the store, and they walked up to the door. Johnny turned the knob, but it was locked. Cerise looked up at him.
“Think he’s gone?”
Johnny turned and looked up the path to the house. “I doubt it. He knows he can beat me with one hand tied behind his back. Let’s head up there.” He tipped his chin toward the house.
“What are you going to do if he is there?” Fran was glancing left and right, as if she expected to be attacked by demons any second.
Johnny shrugged. “I generally don’t plan that far ahead. Something will occur to me.” Fran glanced down at Cerise, who simply shrugged. They walked up the steps to the porch. Johnny was reaching for the door, when it opened from the inside.
“Ah, I’ve been expecting you.” Lucifer’s voice came from inside. “Come in, come in. No need to be uncivilized about this.” The door opened wide, and Johnny stepped inside, followed by Cerise, and Fran, who stood in the doorway without coming fully into the room.
“Please, Fran, do come in. If I don’t close the door, the flies are just impossible.” As if to confirm his words, a huge iridescent green fly buzzed past Fran’s head. She ducked and brushed at her hair, moving out of the doorway as she did. Lucifer closed the door, and with a flick of a finger, incinerated the fly with a bolt of fire.
“Sit, please. I see I am the only one who dressed for the occasion.” He stood in the center of the room. He wore a tailored grey suit, a pale purple dress shirt, and a tie with alternating wide and thin stripes of darker purple, light purple, and white. A pocket square matching the shirt was folded carefully in his pocket, and the red trident was pinned to the lapel. Gold cufflinks set with large, round coal-black stones were visible at the sleeves of his shirt. Polished black wing tip shoes under perfectly creased trousers completed his clothing. Fran had to admit, if she didn’t know who he was, he’d be rather attractive. Johnny led them into the room and sat on a black leather sofa. Cerise sat next to him, and Fran sat next to Cerise. Lucifer sat in a burgundy leather chair across from them, unbuttoning his jacket and smoothing his tie as he did.
Fran looked around the room. “But- I’ve been in Miss Lucy’s house, delivering food from the restaurant. This is…”
“Not what it looked like?” Fran nodded slowly. “Since you know who I am now, I thought I would make a few changes. Make the decor a little more to my liking.” Lucifer sat forward and put a hand on the handle of a cream-colored teapot sitting on a silver tray, with four matching cups and saucers, a small pitcher of milk, a sugar bowl, and a plate of lemons.
“Tea? I have it blended especially for me. It’s called Devil’s Due. Amusing, don’t you think?” He poured a cup, and offered the tea to each of them in turn. They all declined.
“Ah, too bad. It is quite nice.” He took a sip and set the cup back on its saucer. He sat back, clasping long, elegant fingers.
“John.” He turned his blue eyes on Johnny. “I’ve been checking up on you since you left so quickly the other day. Impressive, I must say.”
Johnny raised an eyebrow. “I try.”
Lucifer brought one hand up to tap the index finger on his lips. He smiled. “So, what happens now?” Lucifer picked up his tea cup, watchingng Johnny over the rim.
“Now, you are getting out of Carroll Fork.”
Lucifer set his teacup down, stood, smoothed his tie and buttoned his jacket. He looked down at Johnny. “I don’t think so. But I do think we are going to have to settle this right now. I’m afraid it may not be very pretty.” Lucifer shifted his gaze to Fran. “Fran, dear, you might want to leave now, before I have to truly hurt anyone. I wouldn’t want you to get the wrong idea.” Fran just stared, wide-eyed, one hand clasping the cross hanging from her neck. Lucifer grinned.
“I suppose you let her believe that little trinket would protect her, eh, John? Sorry, Fran, but it takes a lot more than what’s in that to counteract my power.” Lucifer’s eyes glowed red as he stared at Fran’s hand. She let out a cry of pain, and pulled her hand away from the necklace. The cross was nothing more than a lump of melted gold, that fell to her lap. She put a hand on the sofa cushion and began to get up. Lucifer flung both hands out, fingers splayed, and the sofa tipped backward, dumping the three on the floor. Johnny scrambled to his knees. Cerise and Fran knelt behind the upturned sofa. Johnny stood up.
“Johnny!” Johnny looked down. Cerise’s eyes were wide, her nostrils flared. Fran looked terrified.
“Outside!” Johnny said.
“John…” Cerise began, but Johnny cut her off.
“Outside! They need to see this!” Cerise opened her mouth, then closed it, and pushed Fran toward the back of the house. Lucifer watched them for a moment, then turned back to Johnny. His smile widened. He brought his hands together and began forming brimfire between his palms. Johnny reached into his pocket and pulled out his yo-yo. He snapped it up and down a few times.
Go to Part Eleven
(Copyright 2015 M.A. Kropp)
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