That evening he turned the computer back on and sat down to do more research. It occurred to him to simply look up the demon’s name. He typed Shazu into Google and after looking at more than a dozen pages he came to an obscure demonology site that made mention of Shazu. The information was buried among a lot of babble about demons of various circles of hell but it spoke of the nature of Shazu in relation to other demons.
Shazu, it seemed was one of the more malevolent demons of his order. He was considered fierce and quick witted with an enormous appetite for taking perverse pleasure in the torment of humans.
Yeah, Gerald thought, that’s the guy.
It went on to say that while the demon could not read minds it was prescient and adept at reading human body language. The author admitted having no first hand knowledge of the demon but claimed to have studied ancient texts that spoke of it and other demons of its order.
That was enough for Gerald. Everything he had read confirmed that this was the thing he was dealing with. He shook his head at the thought that a few days ago if anyone had told him demons were real he would have laughed in their face. Now he shuddered at the very thought of confiding to anyone that he was being tormented by one. No wonder no one believed in them, who would confess to having encountered one?
That night he had trouble falling asleep. He kept thinking about what he had learned and what lay ahead. At last he fell asleep from sheer exhaustion, grateful that it was still the weekend and he could prepare for what lay ahead. As he drifted off he realized that keeping his newfound knowledge from the demon might be the biggest problem he would face.
The next morning he woke late again and as he stretched and then scratched himself he got a fright. The demon was perched on the bedpost again staring at him.
“You look so peaceful when you’re asleep Gerald. Well rested are we?”
Gerald blushed and turned away. He needed to compose himself. He hoped the demon wouldn’t be able to tell anything was amiss.
“I suppose. What the hell do you want now?”
The demon regarded him for a moment and cocked its head.
“Something is different about you Gerald. What did you get up to last night?”
“Like that’s any of your business.”
“We’ll see about that. I take it you didn’t acquire the item for me.”
“No, I didn’t. I have an idea though. I’m going to need some time.”
Shazu shook his head and grinned.
“Time is running out Gerald. I’ll give you three days, no more. Then I’ll turn you into something disgusting and be done with you.”
Gerald nodded and looked away. The demon studied him a bit longer.
“Gerald, I hope you’re not entertaining any stupid thoughts. You will do as I say or you will suffer the consequences. Don’t think that you can escape me.”
With that it disappeared, leaving Gerald shaking. So it did sense something was amiss. Just as the website had said. The enormity of what he was proposing to do hit him like a freight train. At the same time the consequences of failure were equally bad.
He jumped out of bed and showered and dressed. He would go out for breakfast and then set about getting what he needed to put his plan into action. He could not escape the fact that his very life depended on getting everything right.
Tomorrow – Part 7