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"Furters Demon" by Bill Brennan
based on a short story by the brilliant Larry Niven
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Frank N Furter was bored. It was a time of chaotic frenzy about the castle, but none of it had anything to do with him. He and his household, Riffraff and his sister, Magenta, had made planetfall just a few days ago. Riffraff and Magenta were both busy with setting up the household, making ready the various requirement they would need while on Earth (food, equipment, power, and more) and all of it had nothing to do with Frank. He, the great scientist, would be busy soon enough, after everything had been set up, but until then he was left with an annoying amount of free time.

As such, Furter decided to research a bit into humanity. He started with religion.

Religion was unknown on Transexual, it was a human thing, this creation of various Gods and beleifs, punishments and rewards, worship and devotion, and it facinated him. Furter procured books on all the Earths religions, from the main stream such as the Christian, Muslum, and Hebrew faiths to the fringe religions such as Wicca and Paganism.

He found one topic, witchcraft, to be of special interest, and decided to conduct an experiment: Furter would attempt to raise a demon.

Frank never expected it to work, of course. Demons, ghosts, people who rise from the dead after 3 days, lamps that burn without fuel, all were totally illogical, but he wanted to experience what the humans did when they conducted such ceremonies, just to see what the attraction was. So he soon found himself in the lab, which was still barren of the embrionic tank that Rocky would ne grown in, and that's where he set things up:

On the tiled wall he drew a pentagram, and attached 5 candle holders, with candles, onto the wall. The illustration in the book had the candles on the floor, but the floor of the lab was dirty. not yet antiseptic, and he didnt want to be an unkind host..if a demon were to appear, it would not be on a dirty floor,that would be rude.

Frank sat in front of the wall, lit the candles, boiled the blood (reconstructed from the lab, he had no access to fresh blood as of yet) and chanted the incantations...and almost fell over when there was a flash of light, the scent of sulpher (brimstone, Frank wondered?) and when the smoke cleared he saw that he was face to face with what could only be a demon.

"It..it worked," Frank said, amazed and delighted. Standing there in front of his was a demon: blood red skin, small black horns, pointed tail. The face looked familier, long and narrow with a mostly bald head with a few streams of greasy blond hair flowing down its shoulders. "Course it worked, you followed the direction, didn't you?" The demon smiled, showing white canine teeth, made for ripping meat. "Yes, yes I did," Frank agreed. He was still amazed, why, this was incredible! A whole new area of science had just popped up in front of him! This was amazing, this was wonderful, this was... This was trouble. Furter remembered what the book said about a demon: it would appear, give you a wish, but your soul was his to take back to Hell when the deal was done. "You dont look so good, Frankie my son. Did'nt really belive I would be conjured up, did you? Didn't consider what would happen if things actually worked, hey?"

And the demon laughed, long and hard, and Franks insides turned to water.


Frank N. Furter was amazed. No, he did not excpect the incantation to work, not at all. Frank found that he was backing away, towards the door...
"If you leave without completing the deal I still get your soul," the demon said.
"I have a soul?"
The demon laughed, long and loud, and it sent chills down the scientists spine.
"Yup, that's how it works. You conjured me up, you get a wish, I get your soul," the demon confirmed. The thing was still standing there, his back up against the wall, within the pentagram that was drawn behind him. It did'nt seem to be trying to advance on him, so Frank relaxed a little.
"You...you cant move, can you?"
Furter observed that the demons neck, ankles, and wrists were pressed up against the wall.
"Nope. The pentagram is not just a silly drawing, its a teleportation device. Im stuck here in it until the deal is done, then I'm free to come and get you."
It smiled wider, and the biochemist in Frank could not help but note several things: The creatures teeth were all canine, made for ripping meat. It had no visible sex organs, nor nipples or belly button. It smelled of fear and freshly turned dirt and rotton eggs.
"Then I wish you would go away," Frank said simply.
"No can do, Transylvanian. There are rules here, you know,"
"Rules? On wishes?" Frank felt totally out of his depth now. The book never mentioned any rules.
"Yeah. No wishing for more wishes, and no backing out of the deal. I get your soul no matter what. Once you make your wish, I go back to Hell and report. When your wish is over. I come back, appear in the pentagram, but them Im allowed to leave and come and get you."
"Suppose...suppose I erase the pentagram?"
The demon smiled,
"Then I appear where ever I want. Same thing if you draw the pentagram somewhere else..put it in a cell or under water, it don't matter, I appear and you...are...MINE!"
It roared the last part, and for the first time Frank felt true panic. He had unleashed forces he did not know how to control. But then inspiration hit him.
"Fine. I wish time to stop."
That should fix the demon, Frank thought. Its not wishing for immortality, but it would prevent the demon from getting at him.
"Ha! You got it. I will give you twenty four hours, Frank N Furter.
For the next twenty four hours, time will stop for everyone in the universe but you. Heh, heh. heh, did'nt think stopping time would stop ME, did you?"
And then saw that the demon had stopped laughing, stopped moving. There were no sounds, nothing..had time really stopped?
Frank picked up a wine glass, and dropped it. The glass hovered in the air where it had been released, and floated there, as if stuck in glue.

Frank had twenty four hours to think of a way to save his soul, and time was running out...


Frank went about the castle. He found riffraff and Magenta in the dining room, setting the table. Both were still as statues. He spilled wine our of a bottle and saw it stop in frozen, fluid motion. He lit a candle, and the flame did not flicker, nor give off heat, or burn his finger when he touched it.
Everything, it seemed, truly did stop but him.

Frank went to his books, and read, and found nothing that would get him out of this mess. The closest thing he came to was the tales of the Djinn, magical creatures that granted wishes, only to make the wishes worse than what the person requesting them wanted.
Perhaps he was looking for information in the wrong place. He started walking towards Denton, towards the small church that was located just on the outside of town. Maybe the bible could give him some advice.
When he got there, he had a surprise: the church doors would not open for him, and the glass of the windows had taken on the strength of diamond when he tried to break his way in.
There would be no help there. He continued walking towards Denton.

His luck there was no better. He tried two churches, a mosque, and a synagogue. He may as well have been trying to break thru solid steel. He got hungry, twice, and stole food and wine from the tables at a local bar. Each time he left a small note saying " The Phantom strikes again", which didn't cheer him up at all. Time passed, and passed, and eventually Frank found himself back at the castle, in the lab, facing the red pointy toothed thing from Hell.
He looked at the pentagram, and an idea hit him: it just might work. Frank grabbed a cloth and washed away the pentagram, and re-drew it, and waited...

The twenty four hours was up. Frank knew it when the demon suddenly vanished, and popped back again.
The demon looked around for the pentagram. "Erased it and re-drew it some place else, eh? I told you that wouldn't work, mortal."
The demon vanished again, and reappeared, this time about half its size. "Huh?" it cried, and vanished again, and reappeared again, this time smaller again.
"Where in the hell is the pentagram !?!" it squeaked, vanished, and reappeared, smaller and smaller each time. After a few minutes the demon was the size of a fly, then of a speck, then it was gone.
Furter smiled and breathed a sigh of relief. The demon had given him the clue as to what to do when it said that it had to appear INSIDE the pentagram:
Frank and erased the pentagram, and re-drew it on the demons thin flat stomach, and every time it reappeared it was trying to fit into a space that was smaller than itself. by now it was in the sub-atomic universe, and would get smaller and smaller, forever.

Furter walked out of the lab, heading towards the Zen room. He wanted his hookah, some pot, and some wine.

He dumped the religion books in the trash on his way.


Bill Brennan 2009

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