The Summoning

Posted: August 18, 2011 by Salvatore Otoro in Diary of a Roleplayer

An old friend - 2

It was a typical night in the city.  Some people here and there, minding their own business, or preoccupied in their affairs, a few hookers grazing by the gas station, and a few revelers mingling in the bar, nursing their drinks while they chat, listen to the music, and watched the passerby through the pane glass window.

It was on this night, that I strolled into the bar looking for entertainment.  My brand of entertainment has nothing to do with the mundane human pastimes often enjoyed by many of those who patronize the Zodiac Bar & Lounge.  For me, entertainment was toying with those few souls who appeared to have nothing much going on.  Those poor souls that sat there, more of less counting the many indentations of the table they were sitting at.  Those were my targets.  That night my target was Stormy Wilde.

I walked in, looking around at the different customers as they spoke, mingled, or listened to music.  A few people were talking at the bar, a DJ was spinning some tunes, and against the wall, sitting in solitude sat Stormy, nursing a drink and pretty much oblivious to everything, except for the occasional interjection in the conversation taking place nearby.  I took a seat on the bar stool at the other end of the table, and struck up a conversation.

Stormy Wilde blinked as I was suddenly there, “How do you know that seat isn’t taken?” she would say as she sipped at her drink, making a face at the sweet taste of the coke.

I simply smirked, “evening soldier”, taking note of her camouflage and her numerous weapons, “care to spin first or shall I do the honors?”  She gave me a bewildered look, not really sure how to answer me.  “It’s a silly game, but I was joking about spinning first. I have no clue how it goes to be honest.”, flashing a smile as I let the bottle rest where it was.  “What have you been up to? I haven’t seen you since…hmm..a long while”, I would say as I lay back on the wall.

In reality, the last time I had seen Stormy, she was a black wolf and we had a slight altercation by the docks in Rampart.  The altercation ended with her, nearly dead and lying inside one of the boats where I had dragged her lifeless body, shortly before escaping.  Today, she looked human and even though I was not sure whether she would remember that incident or not, I was relentless in my pursuit of conversation with her.  She snorted as she looked me over before responding, perhaps trying to find the right words to answer me, “I’ve been ok.”

I quickly replied, “You’ve changed quite a bit since that we last met long ago.”  She seemed to be getting exasperated with every exchange.

“Yes I have changed. Spending two years in the wilds by myself will do that I guess…”

Her reply seemed vague, leaving out important details; details that I wanted answered and explained. I couldn’t help but grin, “Two years in the wilds? Good to see you made it out intact as far as I can see. So tell me..what has changed? I’m curious.”  I had genuine interest in what had happened during those two years where she metamorphosed.  She snorted and glanced around the bar, trying to figure out how to answer my question.

“It wasn’t to hard to survive out there for me.  I have a cave a few days walk from here.” She paused to look back to me “I spent too much time as a wolf, that’s all I’m going to say.”

I looked her right in the eyes and could see that they were silver wolf eyes.  They appeared to look as if she was unable to change them back anymore. “Well, that sounds like a nice tale.  Perhaps you’ll tell me someday, then again maybe not.”  I chuckled a bit at her apparently agitated stance towards me.  I really enjoyed finding out more about those around me; the ones known and unknown to me, but simply out of curiosity.  “We all have secrets and obviously, whatever happened, there is something you consider best to keep under wraps.”

She tilted her head to the side, staring at me for a moment before taking the last drink that emptied the glass, “What about you? last time i saw you it was…mmm entertaining. More so for you than me I am guessing.”

I was not surprised she remembered that fateful day but I feigned ignorance and acted as if she was referring to some other event. “Well I try to have a good time whenever I can.  Mixing business with pleasure is my specialty and has been for quite some time,” flashing her a grin as I finished speaking.

She snorted right before her reply, “So are you here for a repeat?”

I knew I couldn’t continue to play dumb with her since she was clearly speaking about our last deadly encounter.  I leaned in, holding my folded hands above the table as I looked her dead in the eyes, “if I were here for a repeat, I wouldn’t be sitting here chatting with you so casually.  I have better ways of approaching prey than meeting them for drinks at the bar.”  I said, looking her over, “Why so jumpy?”,  I leaned back on the chair as I awaited her reply.

“Its what I would do,” and she said it sincerely because she had done it once before, herself, “And I’m not jumpy”, though she sounded even more jittery than before.

I laughed, “well it’s a different approach but then again, it might be mine as well”, I would say looking her over and once again clasping my hands before me again, “I’d prefer to let bygones be bygones; bury the hatchet as they say here or as they say in a land very far away ‘kako ni kako wo nokosu'”, I would say in my native Japanese, before leaning back once more.

She looked back towards another conversation behind her, hearing something which obviously displeased her from the look that had formed on her face, “Uh huh. I dont know if I believe you.  Or maybe this was my plan hmm.” she smiled at me and continued to go back to rolling the glass in her hand as she glances around the bar, suddenly noticing how many people were there.  Something that was making her uneasy and fidgety.

“If it was your plan, I have to congratulate you on your sense of vision and prediction, considering I walked in here casually,” I would grin as I peered right into her eyes, “or maybe you summoned me here for some other nefarious purpose?”, my eyes would flash red for a moment.

She laughed nervously, “Summoned you?” shaking her head and making a mental note to ask Jack about that.   “How would I summon you? And to the bar of all places just to trade words?” she snorted as she pushed both the drink glass and the shot glass off to the side and returned my gaze “I don’t have that kind of power.”

I chuckled, “well, perhaps you have the power and don’t realize it. Sometimes we are summoned, but we don’t always know why. Maybe you wanted to trade words, needed someone to make you feel more secure, or just wanted the company of darkness just because”, I smiled towards her, “have you not summoned a demon before?”  Upon having finished uttering those words, I realized I had touched upon a very sensitive subject.  She froze up instantly and became extremely tense, licking her lips nervously.

“Once. Accidentally.” then she looked around the room, leaning forward towards me, as if she was ready to confess something.  At the last minute, she seemed to back peddle and clam up about what she was going to say.

I leaned back, hands behind my head, “come now, you summoned me.  Tell me what’s on your mind?”  he would say casually, “no need to be cryptic. This is not your first summoning so you know pretty much what you’re doing”, he would say with a straight face but laughing inwardly.  She snorted and shook her head

“I told you.  I didn’t summon you.  And the last one was an accident.  I found a book, and read it not knowing any better.”  She reiterated her statement “I didn’t summon you.”

As quickly as she had denied her actions to me, I pulled a book from my jacket and placed it on the table, the pages were blank as was the cover, but it reflected the book she remembered and it would appear as real as any book.  “Is this the book you’re referring to?”, I said with a smirk waiting to see her reaction.  “You know, there’s a price for summoning a demon.  We do charge a ‘fee’ so to say, just so you know”, holding the book upright for her to see.  Her eyes widened as I had never seen them do so before.  She quickly pulled her hands off the table, crossing her arms in front of her, though it was more an act of hugging herself.

“Where did you get that? And I already paid my price..”, then she tried scooting the bar-stool back away from the book.

I chuckled some, “what are you so afraid of, it’s just a book? Isn’t it?”, I would look her over as she moved away.

“It’s not important where I got it, but, you need not fear it.”  She shook her head, keeping her hands away from it.

“I don’t care if you say I don’t need to fear it…that book was hell to me. Literally. Please get rid of it.” then she glances around the bar realizing it is empty now, though her fear is real and the mere sight of the book causes the hairs on her back to stand on end.

“As you wish”, I would say as I took the book, holding it in the palm of my hand watching a small plume of smoke begin to billow from it shortly before igniting in flames.  It then slowly turned to ash, then dust, then just wisps of smoke.

“Is that what tormented during your time away from here?”, I asked, prying some more into her past.  She shook her head slowly.

“No. That tormented me years ago and is the reason I’m a wolf now.  The,” she paused a moment, swallowing hard, “demon that came out of that book took me over.  But I found out it hated wolves…so I had Krank bite me and turn me.  Then I was free,” letting out a sneeze from the smoke.

I smirked, “well, you learn something new every day.  I must say that this has been a most interesting conversation,” as the smoke dissipated, “I’m going to take my leave but if you should need something , we might be able to make a deal.” Standing up from the bar-stool, “Don’t be a stranger. Think of me as a friend.”

She frowned and watched me, “I…never mind.” then glances around before standing up and rubbing her face, “I’m going home.  I have the sudden urge to take a long shower.” She glances at me again “Besides, like I said.  I cant summon demons.” She would turn starting to walk out of the bar.

Reaching out  I grabbed her arm holding her there as I spoke “I’m glad we had this talk, it was…erm…enlightning to say the least.”

She stops and looks down at my hand on her arm then follows it up to look me in the eyes.”I’m sure it was. And I’d appreciate it if you kept it to yourself. I don’t exactly trust many of you.”

I peered into her eyes, “I can’t fault you for not trusting a demon, but I’m not going to tell the world your story. I have enough stories in my lifetime to fill the more books than can be counted.”  I loosened my grip on her arm, “I did say you could consider me a friend, and I meant it.”

She smirked then sneezed again, “We will see. I know your not all bad. If you were I wouldn’t have had a demon for a mate long ago.” then she frowns and stops speaking wondering why she’s giving so much information away so freely.

“Well then, thanks for the chat and we shall talk again, hopefully in a less public and tense place”, I said as I drew a circle around me.

She took a few steps back, the circle frightening her a bit, “I’m sure you know how to find me when ever you want that conversation.”  At that point she turned and walked out the door, not waiting for me to fade into the darkness.

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