Enjoy a sneak peek at The Demon Dealer my current work in progress. Keep in mind that this is a sneak peak of an unedited still being written manuscript, not available anywhere else but on my website. Enjoy!
The Demon Dealer
The room in back
Mr. Martinez entered the room as he always did huffing and lugging a very expensive looking suit case. The type of suitcase woman with jewelry and attendants have at the airport. The suitcase catches a person’s eye for the reason that everything else about Mr. Martinez was shabby. He seemed the type of man that when at home wore nothing but old boxer shorts and a bathrobe that once belonged to his grandmother. He was however interesting to look at and interesting to observe.
Moping behind Mr. Martinez was his nephew Jorge. Jorge was everything that Mr. Martinez was not. Jorge walked a slack walk with both legs aiming at their next step. His clothing seemed expensive but hinted that they might be knock off name brands. Jorge had a haircut so tight and well done that it almost looked painted on, it didn’t seem that such precise perfection was possible from a barber. Jorge walked behind Mr. Martinez and once settled he also sat behind him, always observing the situation from the furniture to every person who entered the room nothing was lost to Jorge. The only thing Jorge had in common with his uncle was that he also seemed interesting but only by the association to his uncle beyond that he was a common street hustler.
The room where both sat waiting on their customers was like Mr. Martinez shabby, but hidden in the very back of a luxury furniture shop. The kind of furniture that people with the means to not use their furniture bought, chairs that were merely art pieces on display in some big house, by some big window. Neither the chair nor the window ever got used. They were there for their looks and not for their comfort. None of this bothered Mr. Martinez but the idea that the shop owner could put a better table in the back room passed by his mind occasionally, but he was usually too busy to mention it.
All these details did not matter. Mr. Martinez organizing and reorganizing his pens and papers, Jorge staring at the door then glancing at the suitcase and the shopkeeper who knew exactly what was about to happen in his back room, but was desperate for the cash.
Gloria didn’t move a muscle on the drive over to the furniture shop. She sat in the passenger seat stiff and counting every breath she took. Gloria had been to that shop countless times, buying this or that for their home. This time though, this time was different. This trip was for all the wrong reasons. Or all the wrong actions, Gloria couldn’t decide which it was, reason or action. Counting her breathing 1,2,3, she decided that their wrong reasons where leading them to the wrong actions and for this she would spend the rest of her days paying penance so she could perhaps save her soul.
Watching his wife tremble Ted felt deeply satisfied despite her doom. After all, his wife a woman of endless beauty and soft words was also full to capacity of doom. There was no happy day that Gloria did not seek doom and gloom in. Ted loved his wife deeply and vowed he would stay by her side till his last breath but he had learned throughout the years of marriage to ignore her endless warnings, so the trembling Ted would simply brush off and savor this day. A day he had worked hard for since he was a young man who learned in back rooms amongst the well to do, that such things were available to those with the means and the how.
Mr. Martinez greeted Ted and Gloria warmly with hard handshakes and polite nods in the direction of Gloria. Jorge stood up and was neither warm nor polite, he mostly stood up so his uncle wouldn’t say something embarrassing about having a useless nephew he was forced to help out of family obligation. Mr. Martinez pointed to the chairs and everyone sat down, some in loud heaps like Mr. Martinez others hardly sat ready to run out of the room before the transaction ever happened. Ted knowing Gloria might at any moment either weep or run held her hand tightly with a soft warning to behave, this meant the world to him and she would not intervene. Gloria sat on the edge of her seat but she sat.
“The cash yes?” Mr. Martinez tapped the table.
“Oh course” Ted planted a small brown bag with what seemed like a significant amount of money. Ted had spent years skipping lunches, wearing old suits, and depriving himself of anything he wanted for this purchase today. A purchase he felt would give him all that he had ever desired.
“Once I hand you your receipt the sale is final. There is no returning or going back. Once I walk out the door you will not contact me again. Is this understood?” Mr. Martinez looked directly at Ted then Jorge never bothering with Gloria it was obvious she wasn’t voluntarily in this game and Mr. Martinez being a man of money cared not for her feelings.
“Now, we must go over the rules. The rules are very important and not to be broken.” Mr. Martinez sat up and Jorge did the same. Jorge again only sat up straight for the sake of not hearing his Uncle complain about his “lazy ways,” but he didn’t believe it was necessary.
“The rules are spoken just once at time of purchase. They are not to be written down. I will not give you a copy and I will not repeat myself.” Ted and Gloria sat up straighter, the intensity that Gloria put in listening made Mr. Martinez feel sorry for her and that was a big deal for him, as stated Mr. Martinez was a man of money things such as empathy for others wasn’t on his agenda.
“If you break a rule, there is no way of telling the outcome. Each one has the same rules, but each one has different outcomes. There is no telling what will happen to yourself or your family.”
Gloria felt the urge to vomit or urinate she wasn’t sure which. Since their first kiss she knew Ted was a man of determination. A man that would get what he wanted no matter the work he’d have to put into getting it. She also knew he was a man that fiercely protects his family and he thought this was the way. Gloria closed her eyes and told herself to forgive her husband for what he was about to do, he believes that this is their future this is the way to protect the family and fortune he had meticulously built. Opening her eyes Gloria wondered she could and would forgive her husband for this, but could she forgive herself?
“Rule 1: Treat your purchase with absolute love and kindness. Never a harsh word may come from your mouth. Always use kind hands. Your purchase will grow and if treated correctly will be extremely loyal to your family. :
“Rule 2: watch your mouth…one moment of frustration or a second of angry words directed to your neighbor and your purchase might see that as a threat to its family. There is no telling how it will handle threats. “
“Rule 3: Be loyal to your purchase, if it senses even the slightest disloyalty it can turn on its family. Once its loyalty has turned there is no fixing it.”
Mr. Martinez wiggled his nose and nodded to Ted and Gloria. “Now for a side note, there is no killing your purchase. They do not die and leave when and if they choose. Also, I do not know what you are getting. Once the bag is opened I will give you a simple explanation of what kind you purchased and that is all. Again, I do not know what’s in the bag. We are not allowed to choose what we get and all sales are final.”
Ted nodded a little too aggressively he had enough of chit chat blah blah he wanted to see it now. He wanted to greet it happily and greedily into his arms. He met one year’s ago when he was a young man working his way through college. His professor and mentor had one. It was always near the professor, in his home, at his work carefully guarding him till the day the professor took his last breath. That day Ted had already graduated and had just started his medical practice. Ted knew from the moment he felt it’s presence from the second the professor lifted a hand and it read his every want, Ted knew he had to have one. It was considered old school now a days when these purchases were discussed in hushed tones in small back rooms like this, but Ted didn’t care if it was old fashioned and against the rules. He had to have one.
Mr. Martinez opened the suitcase took out a bag and placed it on the table, with one quick and very unexpected swipe from Jorge’s blade the bag fell open. Blinking and titling her head was what looked like a baby girl. Maybe 9 months old. She was exquisite. A tangle of black curls flopped around her head, eyes that were as black as coal with eyelashes that looked painted on. Her lips were pink and lush as if she was spoon fed beautiful by fairies. Ted stood up and put his arms out to the baby girl hoping that she would respond. He wanted her loyalty so badly, that he would bend anyway she asked. He would crawl if she pleased, he would beg.
Coughing a bit then looking that baby up and down Mr. Martinez tapped the table with his pen “This is a Sheba demon. A female that can be the most alluring thing anybody has set eyes on. She can seduce anyone into doing anything. Be careful Ted you can easily slip down a very dangerous slope with her.” With that Mr. Martinez grabbed his suitcase waved for Jorge to get to the door.
Jorge took one last glance at the baby and memorized her face, then memorized her kind. He hadn’t seen one before. A Sheba demon looked like every man’s dream and she was just a baby. Meeting Gloria’s eyes Jorge squinted at her and held his lips tight he knew that one day he’d see her again and she’d be dead or near it.
Holding the baby Ted looked at Gloria he was full of pride and acted as if he himself did not have two of his very own children at home. Gloria felt a pang of anger, but remembered the Demon Dealers words to mind her tongue and her emotion. She would have to push her everything aside to greet this baby, this demon into her home.
“Let’s name her Valentina, I’ve always loved that name.” Ted cooed at the baby who blinked her eyelashes at him and curled her little fingers over his. Ted laughed and smiled at Valentina before giving Gloria a peck on her cheek. “Let’s get home to your brother and sister.” Gloria felt nothing but tenderness for her husband at that point. The kind of tenderness you feel for the handicapped and disfigured. Today she witnessed that he was a fool and Gloria never thought the same of her husband again. From that day on her respect for his intellect was under her shoe.