It took Jackie a good hour just to figure out how to summon the souls from the Earth without awakening the demons in the nearby location. Graveyards were tricky things. They could either aide you in hunting the Devil, or destroy the universe as you know it by summoning every single malevolent demon soul on earth to celebrate in the Rise of Satan.
Fun stuff, really.
The next few hours was spent stalling a bit and making sure all of the souls would be awakened at the same time that Satan was due to arrive. Although she didn’t do a human sacrifice, she claimed to have a different way of bringing Satan to this spot.
She refused to tell me what, so I stopped pestering her. In that way.
Jackie, apparently, had stolen a book from the demon hunter slayer’s home.
The demon hunter slayer, aka demon worshippers.
That was why they were after her in the first place. That’s also what she neglected to tell her parents or the Council, which was exactly why I was in this mess.
For the most part, I let Jackie work in silence. She had to awaken a lot of souls. Of course, I’d burst into song every once in a while, but nothing too annoying.
’85 bottles of cider on the wall, 85 bottles of cider on the wall, take one down, pass it around. 85 BOTTLES OF CIDER ON THE WAaaaaa-aall…84 bottle of-‘
“You can stop now!” Jackie hissed before slamming the book closed. “It’s done.”
‘What is? You finished?’ I glanced around, forcing my head from side to side. ‘I don’t see a the little red man anywhere. You sure you did it righ-‘
A puff of smoke, dark shadows, and a blast of hot air and sulfur before a voice erupted from the center of our soul circle. “AT LAST!” A mighty, booming laugh echoed through the air. “I HAVE ARRIVED! Where is everyone?” His firey red gaze landed on me and I gaped. “You’re not Andy.”
“You’re Satan?” I couldn’t help but blurt. I gasped, hands slapping my face as I realized I could speak again. My eyes widened as I looked around. I whispered, “Jackie? Jackie! You better not have left me here!” No answer. “Jackie.”
“Daughter of mine, it is so nice to meet you. You have successfully summoned me to this desolate world. You will be honored in the final day.”
“Um,” I muttered. What the hell do I do? I swallowed, “Thanks?” I guess?
He didn’t look anything like I expected him to. He was dressed in a nice, tailored suit and had the muscles of Hercules. I guess I wasn’t imagining a Greek God when I pictured Satan, but maybe I should’ve. Next time, I’d think of Greek mythology before summoning a being from time.
The candles flickered as he moved past them. Each one in the line grew dim as he passed. He was covered in darkness.
“Tell me, child, what is your name?”
I didn’t know what to say. I was sure he could easily find out my name, but telling him myself felt almost like an outright betrayal. My mouth clenched tight as I simply stared at his intimidating look. Everything about him screamed bad bad bad. He looked like he ate death for breakfast.
Which he probably did.
Given his job description.
He reached out a hand, his ring glinting on his finger as his eyes bore into mine with a malice I was surprised to find. “Tell me your name.”
I couldn’t move. Everything in my being wanted to escape this moment, but I couldn’t move. Not again!
“No,” I heard myself say.
Holy crap, Eve, just tell him your name! What’s so wrong about that? My eyes began to water at the pain his fingers gripping my jaw induced.
“Tell. Me. Your. Name.”
“Never,” I whispered, refusing to meet his laser gaze, but also refusing to let my eyes close.
I will never be yours, Hades.
His hand leapt from my skin like it had been frozen. Maybe it did. Serves the bastard right.
His gaze was stony cold with a blue flame. “Genevieve Roman. I should’ve known you’d be here on my Awakening.” He gave a small bow which made my heart leap in my throat. What was going on? It was as though he was looking at me, but not.
Don’t trust him. A soft voice brushed past my ear and I shivered.
Only trust yourself, my bird.
“Mom?” I whispered.
I love you, don’t forget that. Please, don’t ever forget that.
Before I could do anything, three things happened, all seemingly in slow motion. An arrow shot through the air and embedded itself into Satan’s eye. As he howled in pain, he lunged for me. Before he could make contact, a force hit me from the side and I was thrown into a tombstone.
Laying there, wondering if I had just broken my head, I saw a shadowy figure descend upon the Devil himself. He screeched with blind rage, flailing as the souls soon engulfed him.
No sooner had he appeared, did he disappear back into the darkness he had crept from.
“Man, that was a close one. I didn’t think it would work!” Jackie exclaimed.
Matt brushed himself off before helping me to my feet. “Are you okay?” He asked me.
I couldn’t speak. When he nudged my shoulder with his arm, I nodded and looked up. “What was that about? I saw my…mother.”
Matt nodded, pushing his glasses back onto his nose. They had nearly fallen when he had tackled me to the ground. I guess he was really around to protect me. He shrugged and said, “Your mother is a special woman. Someone the Devil knew before. You’re lucky she was here when you were. That wasn’t planned.”
Matt glanced up, pausing. “It seems like it. She and the other souls had to take him back to where he belongs. He has a Hell to rule.”
“For the rest of eternity,” Jackie said, popping out from the shrubbery. “Thanks to you! You’re a real hero, Eve.”
I glared at her, my fist slamming into her arm. As she winced, and Matt let out a surprised guffaw, I said, “Don’t you ever try and possess me again. Got it?”
Jackie rubbed her arm, scowling, but bouncing on her toes with giddiness.
Her plan worked.
She successfully saved Halloween.
With the help of one awesome roommate, of course.