"Deal with a demon. That's like, the number one rule of things you're not supposed to do with demons, right before having sex with them."
Genres: Gay / Supernatural / Contemporary
Featured story: A SPELL FOR LUCK
COMING MARCH 28, 2018.
A Spell For Luck is included in A Fool For You, an anthology of trickster stories from Less Than Three Press. This page will continue to be updated with news and buy links.
Tom is a bored witch who just turned 21. When he's forced to spend the summer studying magic at his Aunt Lucinda's house, he looks for any way to escape back to the city.
Maybe that means cutting a deal with the demon who wants to get friendly. Intimate, even.
Tom really should know better.
Simon Sorrelion was not having the best week.
Lucinda could have warned him. She could have said, "Simon, my terribly attractive nephew is coming to stay. He's got lovely black hair and he's very young but acts like he's the center of the universe."
She had informed him of Thomas's visit out of courtesy, but the words "terribly attractive" had not been uttered. Only "nephew," which did not come close to encompassing the whole problem.
The last few months of Simon's very long life had been frustrating in ways he could not understand. Mildred had faded away. Her frail body had become empty, like a pot of water left to boil too long. Then there had been the people and the noise as all of her things—their things—were packed away in boxes. It had been an agony of indecision, with only one certainty: he could not stay in that house with a non-magical family.
It was one thing to live with a witch and occasionally endure the conversation and attention of humans. It was another entirely to simply go about your life only to find that someone wanted you exorcised.
And then Lucinda had come to claim the bulk of the inheritance, and she had remembered to speak to him. She knew how much he loved the blue vase, with its pleasing curves and smooth surfaces. For her, Simon had left his home of sixty years.
And now he was losing his mind.
The new house felt simultaneously too big, and too small. He could stretch himself out inside every wall and floorboard, and the aging wood settled comfortably around him—but now even that provoked a prickle of dissatisfaction. He could compact himself into a doorknob or a brick, but instead of feeling secure, he only began to quiver, boiling over with an energy that begged for release. So he would expand again, flooding through the pipes and wires, until he was in so many places that he hardly knew himself.
Then he saw Tom, with his lean body and his bored, haughty expressions. He hadn't been making those faces when he touched himself. Instead his mouth had hung open helplessly, and his brows squeezed close together, all his concentration focused on one thing: his cock. Simon wondered what it felt like to masturbate. Did it prickle, like the house's wiring? Was it warm, like the inside of the stove, or the boiler? Tom's cock looked smooth, like the inside of the mirror that Simon had pressed himself to—but also slippery. Houses weren't supposed to be slippery. Simon wanted to feel that.
"So like, you know Gus and Lorie used to tell me this place was haunted, right?" Tom was sweating over the stove, as Simon watched from a lightbulb. A book rested open on the windowsill, and they were cooking spells. "It used to freak me out.
"Two sprigs of lavender. Two."
"Shit—" A plume of purple smoke started whirling above the pot. Lucinda waved her hand to clear the air.
"Dump it. Unsalvageable. Did you have trouble sleeping?"
"What? Why? Why would I have trouble sleeping?" Tom froze, poised to tilt the pot into the trash can, his face very red. Simon twisted in a circle. The outlandish ways that Tom's body reacted to words had not ceased to amuse him.
"You were thinking about the house being haunted."
"Oh. Yeah, it was dumb that I ever believed them. You're a witch, so obviously you'd know if something weird was happening..." Tom seemed to leave the opening pointedly, waiting for Lucinda to jump in. She looked up from chopping carrots, equally expectant. "So, that's cool," Tom finished lamely.
"Put that pot back on the stove, Tommy, and get some water in it."
With a sigh, Tom went back to frowning at the recipe. Simon flickered from the lightbulb to the teapot, which had been displaced by the chaos of the spell-cooking.
"So, a demon, huh?" Tom said abruptly. "I've never met one. Uh, are demons… like humans?"
Lucinda blinked. "No. Demons are like demons."
"I just meant—do they have life stages? Like uh, I dunno, puberty?" Tom was sweating.
"Ask Simon yourself." Lucinda gestured to the lonely teapot on the kitchen table. Tom's sweaty confusion melted into shock and horror.
"Oh my God."
"Hey." Simon tried very hard not to look too amused. He felt extremely blessed to be a noncorporeal being with no discernible features, sometimes. "How are the lessons?"
"This one is distracted all the time." Lucinda gave Tom a little whip with her towel, and he yelped. "Tom, this is Simon. He lived with your godmother. Simon, I told Tom that he can go home early if he passes his final test. At this rate, he'll be here all summer."
"It's only been one day! I'll figure it out." Tom rubbed his arm. Bashfully, his gaze traveled back to Simon. "So, you, uh—hi by the way it's nice to meet you Simon," he said in a rush. Apparently he was smart enough to realize that what happened last night should be kept a secret—but not smart enough to lie well.
"Simon Sorrelion. I'm friends with your aunt."
"Friends." Tom gave an awkward laugh. "That's a funny sort of—what do you guys talk about?"
"The recipe, Tom," Lucinda said.
"You talk about—oh. Dammit." Tom returned to vigorously stirring. Simon was too exposed, and took the chance to slide into the knob of the silverware drawer. From the knob he had a clear view of Tom, and time to ponder the concept of puberty, which he was familiar with but hadn't really given much thought. Puberty in his mind meant children becoming less noisy and more sullen. A positive change, because children were horrible and intrusive, and he liked that humans became gradually more and more silent as they aged. He recollected now that puberty was also when humans became obsessed with sex, and bodies.
Humans were endlessly fascinated by each other's bodies, a feeling which Simon now found regrettably relatable. If he had a body, he could use that instead of his voice to drag reactions out of Tom. He could learn what it felt like to be inside him. It wouldn't feel the same as being inside the house did. It wouldn't even feel like the lightbulb, although that was a very nice place to sit.
No, being inside Tom would be quite different. Simon was sure of it.