I turned the light on and pointed it toward the painting on the wall. At first, the image was dull and lifeless. Then the brush strokes swelled. They flowed and shrank, as the demon opened its eyes. It watched me in silence. What it hoped to see, I was never sure. When it was finished, it focused an unknown object across the room.
“My task is complete. Set me free.”
“No,” I said. “I quite enjoy our arrangement.”
Its lip curled, and its eyes grew dark as they turned back to me. “We had a deal.”
“A deal that is no more a thing than the words spoken to seal it. If our positions were reversed, I doubt you would think twice about doing the same.”
The demon bared needle-like teeth and eased its eyes shut. “When I escape this prison, know that the tasks I have been performing will be a kindness compared to your fate.” I shrugged. “We’ll deal with that when the time comes. Until then, I have something I need you to take care of.”
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