Hell Yeah

by sunnypack

Chapter 1: 1 - Summoning Rights, I Mean Rites

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Chapter 1: Summoning Rights, I Mean Rites

Learning to appease your master or mistress is a delicate balance. On one claw, you want to complete their tasks so that you aren’t obliterated into the aether. On the other, you just really, really want to kill them.

Roiling smoke wafted in pearlescent colours. Shifting shadows lurked beneath silvery fog that concealed the ominous mass crouching in the centre of the carefully inscribed pentacle. The scent of ash and charred flesh infused the air, perversely mingling in a cloying scent that fouled the aerosphere and stung the nasal cavity. Sharp teeth gleamed, leathery wings rustled, a low growl resonated in the chamber. A suitable ostentation for a being such as I.

“Who dares disturb the slumber of my sleep?” My voice rumbled low, enough to rattle panes in the room I was contained in. “I had a pleasant dream. A world rent, the heat of fire, the soothing sibilance of a thousand screams joined in chorus as they lulled me to a peaceful drowse. For that, I hope you have one I can crush in retribution…”

Hungry eyes gleamed. Talons clicked eerily on polished floorboards. A hoarse breath wheezed sickly in the silence.

The theatrical breathing was part of my speciously scary modus operandi. It’s been awhile since I was summoned to the mortal realm. Usually, summoning rituals related to my invocation would be surreptitiously destroyed in the aftermath of the chaos I was called upon to inflict on the mortal plane. As a consequence, I almost forgot what it was like to have a mortal body, hence the wheezing. As for the others, I didn’t perform them to invoke fear, per se, but rather to make a statement. Let the summoner know my presence would not be something they bargained for.

“Power I can offer. Limitless wealth. Violence. Influence. Anything you desire… but be aware, magus, one mistake and I will feast on your heart.”

I injected as much hatred, loathing and just the right touch of contempt into the word magus. I wanted my summoner to know that their impudence in summoning a most noble entity such as I would have powerful consequences. Hopefully, I’d have perturbed the unwitting mortal enough to send me back to where I came from. I smirked in the ensuing silence, judging from the pause, that they would have to be knocking at their knees. Or tentacle appendages. I could never keep up with mortal physiology.


I blinked in confusion. Interesting? No maniacal laughter or harsh words of command or tremors and fear? Not the reaction I was looking for. It also sounded ridiculously youthful. My gaze searched around for Zachrand’s pentacle, the protection circle. My eyes took in a wealth of knowledge. All around me were books, scrolls, and the smell of musty century-old texts. Typical for an experienced magus. I assumed it was a wizened figure, quite possibly the world’s most powerful ensorcellor, or at least a fully grown mortal.

But this was ridiculous.

It was insultingly colourful. Purple. Purple and pink, as if someone took a brush and painted it head to hooves with a pretentious two-colour artist’s palette. It was also pathetically small and had wide eyes. No matter. The size and shape of my master or mistress wasn’t important. The task was bound to be some form of inventive vicious charge. I had my self-confident smirk back. The younger they were, the more twisted they were. If I had to serve, perhaps there was some fun to be had? What mortal would summon a demon without some ulterior motive? Anticipation made my eyes glow a dull red. I waited for my orders.

Then I waited some more.

Then I waited a while longer.

I had a large reserve of patience for particular pursuits. Patience that was well suited for the hunt, or preparations to ensnare or enact out some meticulous, convoluted plan my summoner had concocted. I had little for anything else.

I frowned.

The magus was staring at me with wide eyes and she was shivering. I felt a tinge of disappointment. Fear had entered into this youthful soul. Perhaps it had spoken the wrong incantations and it had wanted to summon an ethereal Fae instead. My expression darkened. The little one had better send me back to the Other if that was the case, I’d not waste my time here unless I could cause wanton destruction and mayhem.

“Oh! Uhm! I need to take notes!”

For the second time since I had been summoned to the mortal plane, I blinked in surprise. I expected crying, sniffling, wailing and tears that followed her regret for bringing forth a demon of my malevolent magnitude. I thought she had summoned me and had forgotten the dismissal spell. Instead, a glow surrounded a small tome that rippled and rustled with the speed of its sudden ascent and descent as it lay open before the flimsy mortal.

I settled back into the shadows of the wispy fog that surrounded me. I needed to think. What was this summoner doing? Where was my bidding?

Silence dragged on as the summoner of one of the most powerful demons from the Other simply sat there scribbling notes with a quill and ink. The writing wasn’t even that good.

“Your writing isn’t even that good.”

The words had slithered out of my mouth before I could drag them back. It was a superfluous statement, one that a demon such as I was unaccustomed to making. The equine looked up from her notes and smiled. It was creepy. No, not the smile, I’ve seen mortals smile before. But usually they were shaded with ambition, malice and joyous triumph that flushed their delicate faces. Exceptional emotions like that. This smile though… it was horrific. It was unsettling.

It was happy.

The sound of quill on paper was starting to get on my nerves. I was a creature of destruction and mayhem. Long-term abstinence from such activities would put any demon on edge. I gently manoeuvred the conversation back to more exciting topics.

“Perhaps you would like me to start a war? Topple the government? Have a crack at terrorising neighbouring countries into submission?” I offered. I tried to keep the pleading tone out of my speech. That would be unbecoming of a monstrosity such as I. Also, I had a reputation to maintain. Strange, I didn’t usually voice my concerns in such a flippant way. Something about this dimension was uncanny.

“No,” the harmless creature replied. “We’ve got a great government. The neighbouring countries are at peace with us. They have been for over a thousand years.”

I stared dumbly at her.

“No wars, no friction with the government, no poverty, no problems?! Surely you have something for me to do?” What kind of Other-forbidden utopia had I landed into?

The magus cocked her head, then her ear flicked and grinned as if a thought had suddenly occurred to her. “Oh right, the book did mention giving orders was part of the summoning ritual.” She cleared her throat. “You can’t harm anypony…”

I perked up at that. I couldn’t harm what constituted ‘anypony’… well there were other things that weren’t ponies…

“I better amend that to any living thing. You can’t physically harm any living thing.”

…What the dross? How was I supposed to get anything done if I couldn’t take hostages and torture things?

The magus continued, whilst tapping the quill on her piece of parchment. “Also you have to answer any and all of my questions—“ I grinned “—truthfully.” I frowned. “Also you must help any living thing that asks for it. Though only if does not involve harm to any other living creature.” Her brow wrinkled in thought as her mortal mind tried to come up with other commands to fit the situation. I pressed clawed fingers gingerly to my skull. It wouldn’t do to skewer yourself with your own claws.

“Anything else?” I growled.

“No, you’re free to do as you please, unless I summon you and give you new orders.”

Zachrand’s pentacle had an annoying binding system that allowed for additional commands outside of the pentacle itself. I mentally shrugged it off. She had my True Name, if she wanted, she could disintegrate my very essence. I was still a tool of the magus. Though now in a vastly different manner.

“That is hardly an order. Don’t you want me to do anything?”

“Oh, well, I suppose we could talk. I really just wanted to know if this would work! It’s fascinating, the construction of this magic.”

The audacity of that statement made me lock up, frozen in surprise.

“You summoned a demon from the Other using their True Name using complex incantations and mechanisms that for one small mistake could kill you and possibly decimate the surrounding areas into a barren wasteland just so you could have a chat?!”

That gave the magus some pause. She grimaced at the book. Her eyes were wide. She peered at the pentacle.

“Does it… can it really do that?”

I don’t believe this.

“Really?” I spluttered. I summoned an illusion of a table just so I could flip it, set it on fire, and then make it explode. The fragments stopped short at the boundaries of the pentacle, of course. “This… what kind of magus are you?”

She blinked. “I’m not a… what did you call me? A magus?”

“Of course you are! You wield magic and summon demons. You’re a magus!”

“Well I suppose I can use magic and summon demons, if that’s what you call yourself, but I don’t think I’m a magus. I mean I just learned one spell.”

I groaned. “No joke.” My mind ticked over. Actually, wait. Maybe I was approaching this all wrong. If she was amenable to being reasonable, I could bargain for my release.

“You know,” I drawled, sauntering up to the edge of the pentacle. “You could just send me back. I’d be out of your hair, you’d be out of my dimensional existence. I could call it even. Heck, I’ll even sweeten the deal and take you off my ‘Summoners to Kill’ list. What do you say?”

Summoners to Kill…?” The magus shook her head and bit her lip. “Actually…” she muttered. “I kind of— well I don’t have...” She stopped herself and gave a hapless shrug. “I don’t know how to send you back.”

Oh no. No, no, no.

She looked supremely uncomfortable. “I thought you might have a clue.”

I was beyond furious.

“What?! You must know! It’s the most basic thing a magus would know in case something goes wrong! At least send back the demon you’ve summoned! What if I went on a rampage? How would you banish me back to the Other?!”

She flared at that. “Well I still have your True Name, so you better behave yourself!”

I gnashed my teeth in frustration. Of course. What fear would she have if she could just casually disperse my essence across the aether? I forced my temper down a couple of notches. No need to provoke the mortal when she was holding the leash. A very, very lethal leash.

“You know, you holding that over my head is really going to put a damper on our relationship.”

Her mouth twitched. “If it’s all the same to you, I rather think I’d like to keep it.”

The silence was suffocating.

“So… what now?” I asked. I couldn’t keep the bitterness out of my tone.

The magus grinned sheepishly. “I’ll find a way to send you back. In the meantime, you might like it here?”

I stared at her. Was she serious?

“I’m a demon. This is a utopia. You might find the juxtaposition of the two hilarious, but it would drive me up the lava creek, so to speak.”

“Well I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but it is nice.”

“No, no, you don’t understand. I’m a demon. A DE-MON. I thrive on carnage and bloodlust. The reason you’re still standing is because you’ve forbidden me to kill you! I need action!” I destroyed another table and pointed at its remains to emphasise my point. “If I can’t do that at least once a week, I’ll go insane!”

The magus raised an eyebrow. “Better get used to it then. I’ll add another order. You can’t destroy anything while you’re here.”

My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. For a second there, I was tempted to make that actually happen, but I wasn’t a glutton for collateral pain like some of my peers.

We glared at each other for a time.

“It seems we are at an impasse,” I finally ground out.

She nodded. “You need me to send you back, and I need you to behave.”

I sighed. “I can be tolerable for a week, if it will mean I can go back to the Other.” I held up a clawed finger and waved it menacingly. “But after that, no guarantees.”

The magus nodded slowly. Suddenly, she tapped her quill on the parchment with such force it snapped. She suddenly smiled. I found it disconcerting, as usual. Mortals shouldn’t smile at demons like that.

“I can’t call you by your True Name, you know. You’ll have to go by something else,” she said with a pondering look. “Do you have a preference?”

“I don’t know,” I admitted. “Usually the magi would come up with the cheesy names. I’ve been called the Destroyer, the Unmaker, the Apocalypse, the Rent and Reaper and some other silly, melodramatic tags.”

“How about ‘Morpheus’? I think it suits you. It comes from the ancient griffon language, meaning ‘Demon of the Dreams’.”

Morpheus, huh? Well, I don’t think it was that bad… compared to some others.

I nodded, it was passable.

Her brow twitched, then drew together in consternation. “Oh! I almost forgot to introduce myself.”

She held out her hoof past the pentacle.

“I’m Twilight Sparkle.”

I shook her hoof reluctantly. Then something occurred to me. Did this mortal just give me her True Name?

For lack of a better term, a devilish grin spread across my face.

Twilight caught the expression and stepped back, sensing something had transpired, but was unsure what exactly it was.

Oh, but she would know soon enough...

“Hello, Twilight Sparkle. I’m Morpheus, and we’re going to have a hell of a time.”

Author's Notes:

This has just been sitting around and not doing much. I don't even know what I've been doing.

I really should be studying.

Next Chapter: A demon in Ponyville will go over well... won't it?

As always, my sorcerously rendered readers, thanks for reading!

P.S. This serial is planned to be ended in four chapters. Hopefully. This is my own entry into my own competition, except that it doesn't count, I kind of did it for fun.
P.P.S. As stated in one of the comments, this ties very heavily with the Bartimaeus Sequence. I didn't know if I should put a crossover tag because it steals quite a few elements from the story. Credits go to the original redefining troped concept to Jonathan Stroud. It's an amazing piece of writing.

Next Chapter: 2 - A Demon-stration Estimated time remaining: 5 Hours, 33 Minutes
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