This is the third chapter of my newest short story, Chadpocalypse. Parts 1-2 can be found here.
“Oh great, thanks Marvin, you’ve let the Jehovahs in again,” Chad yelled. It wasn’t an uncommon occurrence for various religious figures to come knocking at the doors of the apartment building, but the trick was to play dead, and not let them waltz in like they owned the place. It was much harder to be converted if a conversation was never had. “The fire’s new though. How do you get enough donations to buy the horse eh?” Chad would’ve chased him off with a baseball bat, but he felt if he stood, he would surely vomit.
“I am not a Jehovah’s witness, and this isn’t your apartment. I thought we had already covered that,” said the demon through clenched teeth, trying to keep anger from his voice.
“Fine, seventh day, scientologist, whatever. Either way, you’ve got a blank check for recruiting,” he said with a loose gesture to the horse, the horns, and the polo shirt. Oddly enough, Chad didn’t think the pool of flame at the figure’s feet to be all that impressive. Anyone can get a few bright lights and a smoke machine for a few bucks.
“I am one of the four horsemen, insolent cur!” The figure swept his hands through the air and produced white hot flames.
“Ooh, and a close-up magician,” said Chad, genuinely excited. He always preferred magic when he was towards the bottom of a bottle. “Do you have a deck of cards?”
The demon wrung his hands together, producing a series of unsettling cracks in his knuckles. A red glow had begun to run through his curved horns. “Yes, I do, but I’m going to need a volunteer from the audience.” He was using the voice of a used car salesman, but just below the surface was the gnashing hunger of a predator.
“Oh, alright then,” said Chad stumbling to his feet. The world spun maddeningly around him, and the mix of liquor and chili fries in his stomach threatened to come back up, but he held it down. Puking on a magician would just be rude. He might have been in someone else’s apartment, sleeping off a hangover he had stolen, but Chad still thought himself a man of standards.
The demon extended a gnarled hand to Chad, and gave him a winning grin. “Take my hand, and think of a lucky number.”
“Mind reading?” Chad stuck out his hand and grasped that of the demon. It was hot to the touch, but not enough to burn him. “Not as good as a card—“
Chad was cut off as the demon pulled him close, ran a long finger down the tasteless, flowered wallpaper, opening a portal to Hell.
“What the shit man?” asked Chad, exasperated. “I’m going to have to pay for that!”
“For the last time, this isn’t your apartment,” said the demon, and unceremoniously shoved chad’s head through the portal.