A Most Unwelcome Obligation – Part 7

Gerald went downtown and had a nice breakfast at a café, trying not to think about what he had to do next. As he finished his coffee he made a mental checklist of the things he would need. If he was going to have to extract his own blood he decided a new blade for a box cutter he had at home would do the trick. He would simply sterilize it with a lighter to make sure he didn’t get an infection. He would need a container to catch the blood in and a vial of some sort to put it in for throwing in on Shazu. Something he could conceal in the palm of his hand. Last of all he would need a measuring device to make sure he had three ounces of blood.

He would have to commit the incantation to memory and practice saying it as fast as he could. The hard part would be remaining calm. Knowing that his life depended on getting it all right didn’t help.

He headed for the local Walmart, certain they would have everything he needed. He got everything and headed back to his car. He had no more than gotten behind the wheel when the demon’s voice was in his ear.

“Shopping, Gerald? Shouldn’t you be doing what I told you to do? You don’t seem to be taking me serious.”

“It’s under control. I said I’d get it and I will. I thought I had three days?”

“You do Gerald. I’m just checking in. I wouldn’t want you going astray on me.”

“Look, I’ll get it done. Will you please just leave me alone?”

The demon chuckled and he could smell it’s fetid breath. He tried not to gag.

“I’m never far away Gerald. Keep that in mind. You can summon me when you have what I want.”

“Oh? How would I do that? Do you have a name?”

The demon hissed and poked him in the head with a sharp nail.

“Don’t get clever Gerald. Just say out loud that you have the hair. I will hear you.”

Gerald didn’t respond and after a minute he looked into the rear view mirror. The demon was gone. He looked at his hand resting on the steering wheel and saw that it was shaking. Had the demon seen what he had bought? What if it were merely toying with him and planning on doing something horrible to him when he tried to banish it from his life?

He thought about it some more and decided it didn’t matter. He was a dead man either way. If he did it’s bidding it would take over his body. If he didn’t it would do something equally horrible. His only path to salvation was the blood and the incantation, and even that could be just the ravings of a maniac, but he had no choice. He took comfort in the description of the demon he had read that fit his tormentor with accuracy. He had to be on the right track. He started the car and headed home.

When he got there he hid his purchases in a drawer. There was no telling when Shazu would reappear but it seemed probable that it wouldn’t return until at least the next day. He spent the rest of the afternoon committing the incantation to memory and practicing saying it aloud as fast as he could. By dinnertime he was satisfied with his progress and set about preparing his evening meal.

He went to bed that night feeling better than he had in days. He was satisfied that whatever happened he was doing all he could to save himself. He would be ready when the time came.

Part 8 Tomorrow


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