“How is this science?” Wendell asked. He stood in Dr. Solis’ living room with a lighter in hand. The doctor’s leather furniture was pushed out to the edges to make room for a giant 10′ x 10′ pentagram. The red dust that Wendell was afraid to learn more about formed the shape of a star on the doctor’s hardwood floor. The doctor, a portly, greying man, stood before a podium with large, ancient tome open atop it.
“Process of elimination!” Dr. Solis gave Wendell the signal to light the candles while he explained. “I’ll ask Satan himself if he’s the source of dark magic. And I”ll make him tell me the truth,” he patted the tome with confidence.
“Ready,” Wendell said; he nodded at the five lit candles. “Can I leave now?” he added.
“Yes, Wendell,” Dr. Solis sighed with a smile. “Start the camera on your way out. If I don’t see you on Monday,…”
“It was an honor working with you too, Sir,” Wendell said.
“I meant, ‘You know what to do’. Come get the recording before the police confiscate it and clear my browser history. Got it?”
“Yes, Sir,” Wendell nodded and walked out of the living room. He passed a camera mounted on a tripod and hit the ‘Record’ button.
One complicated and lengthy incantation later, a yellowy cloud of sulfur puffed into existence in the center of the pentagram. When the smoke cleared, a well-dressed, red-skinned, black-horned demon stood in the doctor’s living room. He looked at Dr. Solis through small round glasses.
“Sorry, no Sols,” the demon said.
“I’m not trying to sell my soul,”
“I said no So-,” The demon gave up half-way and shrugged. “Doesn’t matter I guess. If you’re not selling, what do you want?” The doctor smiled and placed his palm on the worn pages of the book.
“I have a question for you, Satan,” he said. His words were stilted and he spoke in a deeper-than-normal voice, as if he wanted to intimidate the demon. The lean demon narrowed his eyes at the book, then sighed.
“Hold on, I’ll get him.”
“What? You’re not Satan?” Dr. Solis asked in surprise. The demon shook his head and gave a faint smirk.
“No, I’m not him. Satan doesn’t get summoned, he makes appearances. Here’s some free advice. I don’t know what you think that book is going to do for you, but let me tell you what it will actually do for you. That book’s a coupon, not a gun. A coupon that Satan can decide is expired at any time.” The demon snapped his fingers and disappeared in another cloud of sulfur.
After several moments a larger, denser plume of yellow smoke filled the room. When it cleared a much taller and broader demon stood in the center of the pentagram. He was at least 10′ feet tall, not counting his thick obsidian horns. He wore a dark suit like the previous demon.
“How can I help you, Dr. Solis?” Satan asked.
“The Earth is full of dark magic. Vampires stalk the night, necromancers stalk the graveyards and several other kinds of dark magicians cause trouble. They all think their powers come from you, or at least a different unholy source. I don’t agree, but to prove them wrong, I need to know the source of their power.” Dr. Solis ran his palm across the book, but he reconsidered the demon’s advice. “Can you please tell me where their power comes from?”
“The Abyss,” Satan said. “That’s the source of all dark magic.”
“What’s the Abyss? I mean, is it somewhere on Earth, or in Hell?”
“It can be reached, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Pretend the entire universe is a coin on a table. We are on the side facing up, the Abyss is on the other side in the dark. We can’t see them, but we’re all the same coin; sometimes their magic leaks over.
“You said I can get to it?” Dr. Solis asked. Satan shook his head.
“You can’t, I said it can be reached. To reach it, someone needs to face a mirror in a pitch black room. Say the phrase, ‘My soul’s deepest wish is to know the depths of the Abyss, touch the glass and say goodbye. For most people, their Abyssal comes out to replace them. You don’t have an Abyssal, so there’s no one to switch places with.”
“Why don’t I have one?” Dr. Solis asked. Satan shook his head again.
“That’s enough freebies. I’m not allowed to buy your soul, so our business is done.” Satan disappeared in a cloud of foul-smelling smoke. Dr. Solis sighed but immediately pulled his cellphone out of his pocket. He hit the speed dial then brought the phone to his ear.
“Wendell! It worked! Come back right away!” he said into the phone. “And bring a full-body mirror.”