The door thudded with heavy security, but the boy on the other side of the bars still shivered as he faced me. That was what happened when you were locked in a windowless room with a monster. Even if he’d specifically asked to be here, the bars between us seemed pitiful enough protection, after all they hadn’t muzzled me. That would defeat the purpose.
“Why Mister Michealis, it looks like you’re having second thoughts. They do know how to set a mood, don’t they?”
He looked around at the blank walls, the halogen lighting, then through the bars at me and my straightjacket. “Miss Leonaster, the décor can’t compete with your smile for setting a mood.” He defanged my smile with an easy one of his own and I wondered if he was older than he looked. Disarrayed hair, bright eyes, and aristocratic hands resting easily on the table, posture inviting open conversation. He’d stopped shivering. I tilted my head, considering.
He sat back in his chair a little bit. “I’m a fan of the conversational approach so, are you going to tell me how you-”
“-became a demon?” I lost my tentative respect. “Realized I was a demon? Dealt with the sadness that my powers are quite diminished? Shall I recite the requisite madness in rhyme, or pig Latin? You have two and a half minutes to prove you aren’t an idiot.”
He leaned forward, levity gone. “I wish to enter a contract of the third order – do you want to make a contract?”
I blinked. I blinked again. “Why do you wish a contract?” It was the proper phrasing of the offer, but… he did not have the proper heart. Which as a whole wasn’t a problem, it just wasn’t to my taste. Still, I was getting bored.
“Because I want to see if I can. Because I want to know what happens on the other side. Because I think you want out of here and I like making bad decisions.” His grin glinted with a wicked edge. And I laughed. I laughed and laughed.
He shivered again.
I finished laughing, and through the last gasps I asked, “And what will you risk in this contract?”
“Anything, anything at all. Let’s deal with all the details when we’re out of this depressing room.”
“Mister Michaelis, you have a deal.”
Ring around the first line, we’re all stealing Kid’s line. Word crimes, word crimes, find all the fiction here.