Demon deals are perfectly ordinary. Sure they’re a terrible idea, but an ordinary one. And despite the fact that they’re illegal, and despite the fact that demons aren’t trustworthy, and despite the fact that making a deal will guarantee you a spot in hell, people are constantly making them. And, in the especially stupid cases, breaking them. People think they can get away with it by moving away, either to a Haven or a big city, as if hiding behind a barrier or getting lost in a crowd could actually stop a demon. Slow them down a bit maybe, but never stop them, not when they had humans to act as debt collectors.
It was for this reason that Jason Morse found himself cowering in a closet with his little sister, trying to hide from the assassin currently fighting his uncles. Because Uncle Jim and Uncle Harry had, apparently, not only made a demon deal, but also broken it, and now they were all going to die for it.
Jason was stiff as a board as he watched the fight; he needed to keep it together. Sarah was counting on him for strength, for a plan of escape. Not that he had one. His mind was made up of pure terror, and if his uncles lost this fight…
The assassin hadn’t said anything when she walked into their little gift shop. She hadn’t looked dangerous then, a pretty girl in a green sundress, with short red hair and a messenger bag; she was just another tourist to con into buying sacred crystals or holy water. It wasn’t until all the real patrons had left that she’d shown her true colors. First flipping the sign on the door to closed, and then pulling two hatchets out of her bag.
Jason and Sarah had been lucky so far. They’d been on break when she’d come in, and when the fighting had started, they’d been able to hide before she got to the back room. But now they were trapped behind a slotted door while their uncles battled for their lives.
The redhead wielded her hatchets well, with a grace and precision that could only come with years of practice. Jason tried not to be impressed, considering she was probably going to kill him, but it was hard not to respect that kind of dedication.
His uncles were less graceful with their fighting, but they were getting old. They were formidable sure, Uncle Jim could still throw a better right hook than anyone, and Uncle Harry was one of the most powerful sorcerers in the state, but they were getting old. Too old, it would seem, because they were losing.
Jason watched as his uncles slowed with fatigue, while the girl remained fast as lightning. So when her hatchet finally met its mark and nearly tore off Uncle Jim’s head, he was prepared enough not to call out. He was ready to cover Sarah’s mouth and muffle her cries. Uncle Harry lasted only a few minutes without his brother before the hatchet split his skull, and Jason held his breath in the silence that followed the soft ‘thump’ of the body hitting the floor. He prayed for her to leave, to consider the job done, but there was no deity that was interested in helping him and his sister.
Instead, the girl used the hatchet to fully decapitate the two men, then set their heads in a line. The girl pulled a knife from the bag next and used it to remove the eyes of his uncles. She arranged the eyes into a pentagram, then set some sort of stone at the top of it. She then connected the points with blood and drew an eye in the center of it all. Jason didn’t know what that meant, but he assumed it was related to the demon who’d called the hit.
She finished her work, and put her weapons away, then made her way to the sink, which was unfortunately located next to the closet he and Sarah were cowering in. Jason froze as the water turned on, watching as she casually washed the blood from her hands, like she’d done it a thousand times before. She probably had. She was close enough now that Jason could see the freckles that dusted her face through the slats on the door, and if she turned her head so much as an inch, she would see them too.
He was too scared to breathe, and his heartbeat sped up more than he thought possible when her eyes fell onto the door as if she could feel his eyes on her. She threw the door open, and Jason wrapped his arms around Sarah and pulled her behind him.
The girl frowned at the terrified siblings before her, pulling out one her hatchets as she decided what to do. She didn’t like killing innocents; that’s why she waited for the tourists to leave before she started her work. But her instructions were clear: leave no witnesses. She didn’t really have a choice, but that didn’t make killing any more enjoyable.
She studied them carefully. The girl was a mess, tears and snot covering her face and staining the sleeves of her over-sized pink sweater. She buried her face into her brother’s back as if she thought he could protect her. She couldn’t have been older than thirteen. The boy was older, old enough that he was only barely still a boy at all. He was holding himself together a bit better too, glaring at her with a fierce determination, but she could see his terror. It was clear in the way he stood. She’d kill him last; he was better suited to handle the sight of his sister’s death.
Jason studied the assassin as she studied him. She was pretty until he looked too closely at her, with her curly bob and shiny lip gloss. She didn’t look at all like a cold-blooded killer, except for the specks of blood now staining her dress, and the coldness in her gray eyes, like she didn’t have any feelings to speak of.
The assassin yanked Sarah forward, and his sister let out a broken scream as the hatchet was raised. “Please don’t!” her voice was breaking as she spoke. “We won’t say anything, or go after you!”
Sarah’s pleas fell on deaf ears, and Jason wracked his brain for a solution, some way to keep his sister alive. Then it hit him.
“Wait, please!” Jason said. “I want to make a deal!”