“Yes child, I have come” Baron Samedi said. The voice was calm, but the old man could hear the playful undertones dance across the words like a thunderstorm.
The old man sat dumbstruck. He had wanted this, prepared for it, but now that he got his wish he didn’t know what to do with it, or what to do with himself. Baron Samedi loomed tall over him and the old man wasn’t sure if it was a man or a giant crow standing in front of him. Yellow eyes webbed with red veins stared down at him. Under the ancient top hat thick dreadlocks rippled with their own life, twitching eagerly to grasp another soul. His skin was darker than any the old man had ever seen, it was like looking into the void. This must be like dying, the old man thought.
Baron Samedi poked the old man with his diamond tipped cane. “Now that I’m here, what do you wish of me?” His voice, deep, ruined by cheap whiskey and smoke, it raked the air.
“Mistake,” the old man said in a dry whisper. He wanted to look away, but couldn’t. Before him stood a thunderstorm, an ill omen, the harbinger of death. Hot urine streamed down the old man’s ragged trousers.
“No!” Baron Samedi exclaimed. The old man jumped at the deafening sound of that single word. He began to shiver.
Behind them the child looked up. Baron Samedi turned his head towards the boy and smiled. The child smiled back, only for an instant, before returning to what game he played.
“You called, I came. A prise will be paid,” Baron Samedi turned back to the old man, “One way or the other.”
The old man understood these deep unforgiving words well. In his secret heart he knew there was no turning back. He met Baron Samedi’s horrible yellow eyes and nodded.
“So I ask, what do you wish?” Baron Samedi held out his open palm, “You may wish for anything, but not everything.”
The old man’s jaw and lips shivered with fear, “Life”, he spoke, pushing the words through his white lips.
“The payment?” Baron Samedi looked down on the old man, so close to lives end. He wasn’t the first to ask for more, and he would not be the last.
The old man could speak no more, his lips quivered too violently. He raised his thin arm and pointed one gnarly finger at the child.
“Very well,” Baron Samedi smiled, eyes gleaming like hot coal. The demon held out his hand towards the old man who gripped it with his own shaking hand. Strong fingers squeezed, long nails dug into the old man’s skin.
“Seven years. If you want more, pay more.”
© Hugo Oddlane, 2014