The Seminar

The conference room was overflowing with people.  The stale air stunk of sweat and was filled with subdued conversation punctuated by an occasional cough or laugh.  The walls were lit with purple lights and a large screen hung on the back wall. While not an exceptionally large room, the presenter would be doing some intricate work that would be difficult for those in the back to see.  

The sea of people looked strangely wrong in their polo shirts and khakis.  They seemed to be costumes, rather than clothing they would choose to wear.  Many wore jewelry like inverted crosses and strange writing. Pentagrams were also everywhere, perhaps the most common symbol in the room.  

Then the lights dimmed and the room slowly drifted into silence.  A young woman with black hair wearing a maroon blouse, skin tight black leggings, and knee high boots appeared.  She walked confidently out on stage. Though appearing too young for the gathering, indeed one might call her ‘cute’, there was something of a predatory glint in her eyes.  Her smile seemed at once adorable and menacing. Her teeth seemed sharp and normal at the same time.

She turned to the group and spoke into the headset she wore.  “Greetings everyone, I’m glad you could make it. Sorry for making you all dress like this, but discretion was necessary,  For anyone unsure what this, you are in a presentation on intermediate summoning and I am Angel Martinez, also known as ‘Lady Deathangel’.  Those of you in the wrong place may make your way to the door. Of course, if you do we’ll have to kill you.”

She looked around the room as a light laughter spread through the crowd.  After a minute Lady Deathangel spoke. “Now that that is settled, let’s start with the basics.  Has anyone here never cast a summoning?” A few tentative hands went up. “Well those who haven’t you’ll probably find this presentation a little beyond you, but try and keep up,” she began pacing the room “I’ll start with the obvious.  Doing a summoning will sap your soul and ultimately doom you to damnation. However, using demon magicks one can live for a long time before succumbing. I myself am over 300 years old, and don’t plan on dying anytime soon,” she paused while an appreciative murmur went through the room.

Lady Deathangel then went into an explanation of proper circle construction. “Remember when drawing a summoning circle that all sigils must be drawn with strokes in the proper size and order to hold against a demon.  The more powerful a demon the more sure you must be of the correct creation of symbols. A misdrawn symbol can lead to disaster,” she stared maliciously over the gathered crowd. “Has anyone here had issues with this?”

There was a short silence and she was about to continue when a young man with a shaved head and pointed goatee stood.  An assistant with a microphone scurried over and a light was shown down on him. “Well.. I was summoning a, “ he muttered to low to hear.

“You’ll have to speak up.  This is a place of learning and I can’t help if you can’t even fill me in on the situation,” she sounded annoyed.

“A Minor Power.. An..” there was a long pause “Imp” the room filled with raucous laughter. ”My eleth symbol collapsed.  The creature ate my cat and ran away, what went wrong?”

“Wait.  You let a creature of hell escape?  Did you at least disapparate it before it caused trouble?”  her voice was like ice.

“Uhm… the book I read didn’t talk about that.  I didn’t know how to do that until later and now I can’t find it.”  he was glowing red.

“Well” Lady Deathangel said darkly “fortunately we are covering tracking techniques later in this lecture, but I would like to have a thorough conversation with you later,” the word thorough came out with a bestial growl.  The young man dropped into his seat and stared at his hands.

“In any case, the eleth symbol catches a lot of people the first time around.  It breaks the usual tradition of vertical then horizontal. Let me demonstrate,” she walked to a whiteboard and pulled out a marker.  She drew a fairly simple symbol, once drawing the crossing lines vertical then horizontal and then the opposite. Placing a hand on the first symbol and chanting, smoke rose from her mouth and her eyes flashed red.  The symbol glowed brightly then created a blast of smoke and went dark. “As you can see it didn’t hold. Now watch the other,” she repeated the chant and the correct symbol glowed and held firm.

“This is why one should never assume a symbol follows basic syntax.  Any reputable book should including warnings about that,” she glared at the sheepish young man “if people bother to read them.”

The lecture then moved into an explanation of summoning a president level demon.  They were the lowest of the named hierarchy of demons, but as named demons they still required care.  She explained the symbol patterns needed to hold it, and a special admonishment on sacrifice. “Remember you can get away with no sacrifice for lesser demons but once you are summoning a power sacrifice is required.   In a pinch slashing your wrist and dripping the blood on the circle along with some form of carnal act can work, but a true sacrifice is far better,” she pointed a hand off stage and waited.

Two large men led a young woman, emaciated, with visible track marks up her arms onto the stage.  She was naked, as was expected of a sacrifice. “With a higher power I would never use such a tainted sacrifice, but you can slide it by if your symbols are strong and calling a lesser demon. Now then watch carefully,” she said, stepping beside the circle she had been teaching from.  Beginning a lewd dance, and chanted, smoke and sparks shooting from her mouth and a blood red glow emanating from her eyes.

The symbols began to glow one at a time until the room was bathed in its light.  With an explosion of light and sound, the creature appeared. It appeared as an extremely tall and well built man in back tunic and leggings.  A huge pair of black wings hung on his back, and a wicked looking sword at his belt.

As the creature slammed his fist against unseen energies, Lady Deathangel, panting, said “this is Caim.  He will calm once he has his sacrifice,” she reached a hand for the girl, but jumped and turned when the fire escape door slammed open.  Three priests charged in, two holding large crosses in one hand and a bible in the other. The third held a box that gave off whispers of the Glory of God.

The room exploded.  Chants came from everywhere, while some people dropped to their knees, overcome with the Glory of Christ.  Soon a dozen small demons were flying at the priests. Most were repelled, but one managed to knock over the priest with the box.  The box popped open and a blackened finger rolled across the floor, giving off waves of a Holy yellow glow.

There were then shouts and 10 men burst in.  They wore bright white swat outfits and had white riot shields with a red cross drawn on them. Some held silver swords, while others held guns covered in latin bible verses.  They charged in and the sound of screams and gunfire filled the room.

Lady Deathangel was not idle and chanted loudly.  Crimson smoked flowed around her and entered her mouth and nose.  She shouted a bestial scream, a black sword appearing in her outstretched hand.  With a quick movement, she charged across the room and struck two sword wielding men down.  As more men flowed in she shouted “So the Knights Templar have reunited with the Catholic church.  I had heard rumors. I will make you regret that decision,” as she charged the closest priest a shot rang out, knocking her to the ground.  A huge wound was ripped in her shoulder. Several men struck superficial cuts on her body, blood pouring from her.Her body grew pale and began to shake.

Looking around the room she saw fallen men and women in blood stained khakis and torn polo shirts.  She leaped at the stage, covering 20 feet in one bound. She yelled “I offer myself as a sacrifice. Slay my foes!” She kicked away a rune and collapsed.  Caim stepped out of the broken circle. He picked up Lady Deathangel’s body and took a deep breath. A black smoke flowed from her into his mouth. He growled and pulled his sword out and charged into the fray, striking out indiscriminately.

Tina the housekeeper stood in an open doorway, mouth hanging open at the slaughter.  From behind, her asshole manager Chip yelled “Get moving before I fire your ass! They paid a premium for privacy!”

Tina was about to say something but decided if the fucker wanted it to be a big secret he could pay the price when they found the mess.  Grumbling, she headed for room 415 to deliver fresh towels.
This story is based on a story prompt at: .  When first seeing the prompt I told my daughter I could definitely make the story about demons.  Later, as I brought her to her mother’s, I stated I could end it with indiscriminate slaughter. I think I may have accomplished that goal. 🙂

Published by Robert C Hartwell

I live in Northeastern Vermont in the US. I am currently working towards becoming an author. I am the proud father of two great kids.

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