A plume of white smoke filled the room, followed by a horrifying wail. Don covered his years to try and muffle the sound, and the wailing turned to heaving, familiar sobs. Don noticed two figures standing in the middle of the pentagram as the smoke started to clear.
“Look at how much you’ve upset your mother. Young man, you have some explaining to do,” his father said in a stern voice. The smoke dissipated entirely and there stood Don’s parents, both in pajamas and robes. The incantation needed to be performed at midnight.
“..Mom? Dad? What are you doing here?” His mom sobbed harder while his father wrapped an arm around her.
“A better question is why is our son performing infernal rituals? On a school night, no less,” his father replied. Don wanted to point out that he lived alone and was a college student, but his father kept talking. “I didn’t want to believe it, but a mother always knows,” he squeezed Don’s mother again. She let out a soft whimper and dried her eyes.
“Send us home, clean up this abominable mess and go to sleep. Your mother and I will be expecting you after class tomorrow so we can discuss your punishment.”
“Yes, Sir,” Don sighed. He learned not to argue with that tone of voice a long time ago. He flipped through his book to find the release spell, then the situation finally struck him as odd. His parents caught him so off guard, he barely registered that it was his parents he summoned.
“Wait a minute,” he looked up suddenly. “Why can’t you just go home?” Don stepped back and gestured at the door. “Go ahead, step out of the circle… if you can.” His mother immediately sobbed again.
“You’re suggesting your mother walk three miles to our house, in the dead of night, in her pajamas? I should slap you,” his father said. “Unless you summoned our car too, send us home the same way you summoned us. Your mother needs her rest.”
“Yes, Si-,” Don almost acquiesced again, but the fact was he was trying to summon a demon and got his parents instead. “Wait a minute,” he repeated.
“Why are you here? I was summoning a demon,” his mother wailed at his confession. “Are you demons? Have you been lying to me my whole life?” Bright red energy flashed in front of Don as his father tried to slap him; he hit the boundary of the summoning circle instead. His father glowered at him.
“How dare you!? After everything we’ve done for you. We put a roof over your head, gave you clothes and food. We took you to church every Sunday to guarantee your soul was as healthy as your body. And this…,” the pot-bellied man gestured at the mess of candles and chalk around them. “…this is how you repay us.” Don willingly forgot every boring moment he spent in church growing up as soon as he was free not to go anymore. Thinking back on it, it didn’t make sense that his parents would be able to visit it so often if they were demons. When he did not respond right away, Don’s father started to explain.
“Your mother found a pentagram in your pocket the last time you brought your laundry over,” he said. Don subconsciously played with the silver medallion in his hand when they mentioned it. “I tried to tell her it was probably just a keychain; obviously I was wrong. Your mother almost had a meltdown but she confided to someone we trust. Luckily, they were able to help.”
“You talked to someone in the church?” Don asked, genuinely surprised.
“Of course not,” his father grumbled. “Her hairdresser, Mundo, is very wise.” Don rolled his eyes, not at all afraid of a backhand. His father ignored it and kept explaining. “She enchanted your medallion with a spell called Summon-sitter, that blocks your connection to Hell and replaces it with us.”
“So it’s okay if you use magic, but I can’t?” Don asked.”We didn’t use any magic. Mundo’s already going to Hell anyway, so it doesn’t matter if she sins a little bit more. But you’re our son, we care about whether you go to Hell or not,” his father shook his head grimly. “What would the church think if they knew our son was burning eternally? Your mother would never be able to show her face again.”