The next morning at work Gerald could hardly concentrate. The demon would appear after he got home and it would all be on. He still needed to make preparations and he couldn’t be certain when Shazu would appear.
Come lunchtime he had no appetite. He sat at his desk and felt nauseous. He needed to go home. What if the demon came before he’d had time to draw his blood? He went to his manager’s office and told him he wasn’t feeling well and he needed to drop in at the clinic.
He made it home as quick as he could and changed his clothes. His hands were shaking as he took out the supplies he had bought and sat down at the kitchen table to do what needed to done. He put the new blade in his box cutter and took out a lighter and sterilized the blade. He set out the container on the kitchen scale and zeroed it. Taking a deep breath he held the blade to the underside of his forearm and dragged the clean sharp tip two inches down toward his hand, cutting as deep as he could bear.
The blood began flowing right away, dark at first, turning bright red as the oxygen affected it. He winced from the pain but kept his attention on the scale, watching the number climb. When it reached a bit over three ounces he went to the kitchen sink and ran cold water on the cut.
The bleeding continued so he took out a clean cloth and applied pressure to the cut and held him arm in the air. When it had slowed enough he got out some bandages and wrapped his arm tight. He felt faint, but at least it was done.
He got a clean long sleeve shit and put it on. Pouring the blood into the vial he had bought for the purpose he noticed his hands were shaking. He put the cover over the top and put the vial in his pocket.
He sat down and recited the incantation for half and hour to calm himself and make sure he could still do it at speed. He got it down to six and half seconds. He was as ready as he could be. It was late afternoon by the time he had finished his preparations. He only needed to decide where he should be when the demon appeared. He decided on the couch where he had been the night before would work best. He would be able to see the demon in the mirror.
He worked out that he could hide the vial of blood under a pillow next to his hand. It would give him quick access and with luck the demon wouldn’t see it coming. He remembered that the demon was supposed to be prescient but he seemed to have fooled him up to now.
When early evening came he took up his position and turned on the television, hoping it would be a good distraction. He didn’t have long to wait. Ten minutes later the demon appeared.
“Hello Gerald. Your time is up. I hope you have what I’m after.”
“Yeah, I’ve got it. One thing though, how do I know you’ll keep your word and leave me alone if I give it to you?”
“Gerald, you’re in no position to bargain. Give me the lock of hair. Do it now.”
Gerald took a deep breath. He had been removing the cap from the vial while he talked so as to distract the demon. He focused his mind and in one swift move brought his hand out from under the pillow, and, watching the mirror, threw the blood in the demon’s face.
There was a horrible hissing sound, but the demon seemed immobilized. It began uttering strange words in an unfathomable language. Gerald recited the incantation as quick as he dared, careful not to screw up.
When he was done he watched in horror as the demon’s eyes grew bright red and it bared it’s hideous teeth at him. Slowly it began to fade from view, still hissing and screaming. Within moments it was gone.
He collapsed against the sofa cushions and held his breath, waiting for what seemed like an eternity. Nothing. It was gone for good. He had won. As he felt the blood rush to his head he passed out.