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Devil's Bargain

Knell Lydell has lost the most important person in her life near a crossroads; a demon attempts to make a deal with her to get him back. Will she take the bargain?

By S.N. EvansPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
Devil's Bargain
Photo by Irina Iriser on Unsplash

Screaming, Knell fell to her knees, her left hand stretched out with her right on the holy symbol on her side. She whispers prayers to the Light, begging and pleading for him to spare her partner whose body lies broken before her. Tears stream down her face– the Light’s will is not in it. Shrieking in frustration, she put down her hand as the light faded from Faden’s eyes. Weeping, she collapsed beside him, her head on his chest. She questioned why he had done it– why did he give his life to spare her? He had saved her, her idiot hero. Knell lay there for a long time on the side of the road at a crossroads to Salvayne.

“Poor sweet child,” a voice said, startling Knell, who sat bolt upright. She had not heard anyone approach. “What happened?” The woman in a dark traveling cloak questioned in a deep, scratching voice full of sympathy, though her face was young and kind. She had large dark eyes and loose, curled dark hair.

Knell’s brow furrowed. “My husband protected me when brigands attacked.” She whispered, “The brigands are gone, but—I tried to heal him, but it isn’t the Light’s will.” Her voice was flat and quiet, numbly stating facts.

“You’re a cleric.” It wasn’t a question, “I’m sorry this happened to you. But I am here to help.”

Knell’s brow furrowed further, “How can anyone help us now?” Tears began welling in her eyes again, “Let me mourn in peace.”

The woman came and knelt near Knell and Faden, “I can bring him back for you.”

“Necromancy,” Knell gasped, putting her hand on her holy symbol again, “You’re evil– a demon.”

“Careful, little one,” the woman clicked her tongue disapprovingly. I realize you are suffering, but bad manners make me less inclined to assist you.”

Knell’s eyes narrowed, “Even if I were to entertain accepting your help, people like you don’t give something for nothing.”

The woman grinned unnaturally wide. It almost split her face, and beauty practically drained from it, “Straight to the point, I like you. Don’t worry, I don’t want your soul or his.” She bent down to whisper the price to Knell, “All I need from you are four words: I forsake the Light.”

Knell snorted incredulously, “I don’t accept your deal, be gone demon.”

“The Light has forsaken you in this matter; your denial is deserving. You can have him back, your life back, but time is ticking. I can only restore him before his spirit wanders too far.”

Knell knew the demon wanted to instill a sense of urgency in her, but She knew enough about these entities to know she could only tell lies, “I will never denounce the light.” She stated that looking down at Faden’s boots, she could not look at his face; Knell knew her resolve would waiver. Knell heard her heart beating in her ears, and her hands balled into fists at her side. She had faith in the Light; the Light had a purpose for denying her request to save him. Knell had to hold on to her faith, but her mind wandered places she did not want— all the what-ifs and questions of what she was willing to lose.

“Tick-tock,” The entity stated sweetly, “Maybe you need proof of what I can do.”

“Don’t you touch him!”

“No touching necessary,” she smirked, making several gestures. Darkness enveloped her, and Knell jumped to her feet and stumbled backward, light flaring at her palms.

The energy flared, and Faden’s body twitched—Knell’s mind shrieked. She had to stop this from happening, this horrific act against Faden’s body. The glow of golden light became a sphere of golden flame in the palm of her hand. Knell hit her square in the chest before the demon could finish her vile spell, knocking her backward and interrupting the demon’s spell.

“In the name of the Light, I banish you. I purify this dead of your dark energy and purposes.” Knell yelled, putting her hand on the holy symbol at her side and touching Faden’s cold hand, slightly wincing, but the golden glow confirmed the Light blessed his body. The demon dissolved into shadows, and Knell felt the ache of losing Faden again. The permanence of this blessing ached, the idea of burying him ached, and she was alone in doing it. Knell prayed for strength, putting off dealing with her grief for later. The burden of temptation was over.

Buried on the side of the road near Salvayne, Knell made the best memorial for him she could. She regretted giving him a proper burial in the city near the church. She had no way to get him there on her own. Burying him had to be enough. She spent several days there weeping and lying near the grave. But, the Light comforted her with dreams and memories of their life together. When Knell finally rose to leave, the burden in her heart eased.

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About the Creator

S.N. Evans

Christian, Writer of Fiction and Fantasy; human. I have been turning Caffeine into Words since 2007. If you enjoy my work, please consider liking, following, reposting on Social Media, or tipping. <3

God Bless!

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