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By Elena Yazykova
“Survival is an art”, Stacey thought, taking a drag off her cigarette. For a woman bleeding profusely in the ninety degree weather behind a row of garbage cans, she wasn’t sure how well she was perfecting that art. She ignored her buzzing pocket and instead concentrated on staying conscious. It wasn’t easy.
The Biters ambushed her right outside the bar. She should have seen them coming, but the last three years living under her new master’s protection spell made her a tad less paranoid than before and, as a result, she hadn’t been prepared. If not for the Guise tattoo she had inked into her right wrist last month that would’ve been the end of all things Stacey White.
A whiff of sulfur announced the arrival of Devv, the demon of a grouchy, slumped shouldered and dark-skinned kind. He gave her a nervous twitch of his lips in a toothy smile.
“You look like asshhh.”
Stacey wondered if he meant “ass”, but who can tell with demons?
“Did you bring it?”
He tossed her a bloodied steak. Sighing contentedly, she pressed it to her swollen cheekbone, and then took a small bite of the raw meat. Immediately, her blood thirst began to subside.
“Three pointss off the debtt list,” Devv snarled.
“Done.” She wasn’t in the mood to argue. Her phone buzzed again and she plucked it out of her pocket. The neon blue screen read “Gemini”. Peeking over her shoulder, Devv hissed in a very cat-like manner. He spat what looked like coal-shard onto the ground.
“Sshite.” He was gone in a whiff of black dust before Stacey could turn her head. There was a chuckle and a sputtering of cackles and broken sentences as the demon ascended back into hell. Stacey was sure she heard “dead meat” and “dimwit”, but she couldn’t be sure.
She was probably both. Because if her master, Gemini, had removed the protection spell against the Biters on purpose, her chances amounted to zero, and she was very, very stupid to have pissed him off.
Word Count: 344