Soundtrack: Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire
There were five balls on the table. Three solids, the eight ball and the cue ball. Lenny was next, and he was losing.
He stroke hard and hit the red three, sending it into the eight. The eight ball took off with strength and bumped into the head rail. It crossed some green and hit the yellow one, sending it on a trip between the walls and back to the eight. It flew off to the long rail, crossed the short side of the table and hit the purple, the purple the head rail and returned, making the black continue it’s journey back to the red where it had started, striking it into the corner pocket. All the solids were down.
Jim said nothing. Now the odds had changed, Lenny’s chances were back. He was staring at the table when a fire lit beside the eight ball. It followed the same track the ball had made until it united once again at the same spot. It was a pentagram.
A demon appeared over the burning symbol.
You have summoned me….
Wha.. we? Jim looked at the demon, over at Lenny, then back to the demon. No-no-no-no! We haven’t summon anyone!
He’s absolutely right. No Summoning here. We don’t summon. Ever. The boys were shaking their heads, holding their hands up in protest.
That’s the truth, sir! We do not summon.
So what’s the star on the table…?
The s-star..? That’s…
That’s nothing, sir! Nothing at all. Just a little accident, that’s what that is.
The demon looked at them for a while. At Lenny. At Jim. Back to Lenny.
Well, someone has got to die and go to hell.
Die and go to hell? Jim didn’t like the sound of that. B-but, sir… I do not see any good reason for that. We were just…
The rules are clear. You make pentagram with an object, and I go up. A sacrifice must be made.
We do not want anyone to die, sir. And the pentagram isn’t even straight. Look! It’s all twisted and strange.
It’s good enough.
Lenny took a step forward. It’s all just a biiiig misunderstanding, he said with a nervous smile. Let’s talk about this.
No misunderstanding. There’s a burning star on the table. Someone drew a pentagram with a dark object, and now I’m here. The rules are simple. Someone has to die.
And go to hell, Jim added.
… aaaand go to hell. Exactly. So, who will it be?
I’m going to have to get home to walk the dog, said Lenny. It better not be me, the dog needs to pee.
I… I need to water the plants.
Your mother waters the plants!
And my dog’s more important than your plants anyway.
The demon nodded. The dog was more important. Not that he really cared, but he kind of liked these kids. He wanted to be fair.
But… But… Jim was looking around the room, searching desperately for some excuse. But we haven’t finished the game yet!
The demon looked at him. I’m listening…
Let’s play for it. Jim was getting his hopes back. Whoever wins gets to live!
Lenny didn’t like the idea, but it seemed to be settled. At least it was his turn.
He took the cue, looked at the table. God, he hated playing for bets, and this was ridiculous. His hands were sweating. He chalked the cue for quite a while, looking at the table, measuring, thinking. All he’d ever known about pool playing was running through his head like a car race. At least the shot wasn’t that difficult. He still had a good chance of survival.
He stroke. The shot started out good, though a bit hard. The eight ball spun over the table, and crossed the green towards its corner hole. It hit the pocket point. Then the other.
It spun back onto the table, moving towards the side pocket and down.
Yuhuuu! Jim jumped. Looosserrr!
Lenny hated when Jim won. He was such a show off. And now he was even going to hell.
Then it’s settled.
Lenny looked at the demon. Then at Jim.
Please walk my dog.
I will, I promise. Sorry you’re going to hell, dude.
Lenny ripped open from head to toe. Blood, intestines and brains splashed all over the room. Jim was soaked.
The demon was gone. The pentagram had left a black, smoking trail on the pool table. A pile of human flesh was lying on the floor.
He heard his mum entering the door upstairs.
This was going to be hard to explain.