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Damian and the Demon

Megan Ovungal

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – DAY

DAMIAN (16, thin male with baggy clothing) bends down to take a sip of water from the school’s drinking fountain. The fountain sprays water at him. His face and hair are drenched.

DAMIAN
That’s just wonderful.

There is a SNICKERING sound coming from behind him, and Damian turns to look at the empty hallway. There is no one there. Damian glares at the empty space, and for a brief second, a black blur flickers over the lockers and disappears around a corner.

Damian stops glaring and shoves his hands into his hoodie. His hand’s grip on to a crumpled piece of paper. He turns down the corner the black blur went and heads towards his classroom.

He hesitates at the door. His left-hand hovers over the door handle. He looks behind him and tries to search for an exit.

The door bursts open and SLAMS against the wall. He looks down at his hand that is still hovering in the air. It hasn’t touched the door. He slouches into himself as he walks into his math class.

INT. CLASSROOM – CONTINUOUS

Damian walks into the classroom and lets out a sigh of relief as he notices that no one is there yet. He tries to walk to his seat in the back. However, he trips and falls to the ground. He looks back to see his shoes are untied. The laces are tangled together with the legs of a desk.

His face scrunches up in annoyance as he detangles his laces from the school desk. He hears a dark CHUCKLE and looks up to see nothing there.

As he pushes himself up, his right-hand digs into his hoodie’s pocket. His eyes widen and his right-hand searches through the now empty pocket. He scans the floor frantically, walking back to the front of the class.

Out of the corner of his eye, he notices a slip of paper and he dives for it. He snatches it up and pulls it to his chest. His head turns left then right, searching for something. When nothing happens, he exhales and lets his shoulders relax.

He examines the paper to make sure it’s his. He unfolds it. On the top are the words, “Contract with Demon”. His eyes skim to somewhere near the bottom of the page where it states, “can’t directly inflict harm upon Damian”.

He glares at the word “directly” and looks down at his now tied shoes. Water drips down from his hair, but he keeps the paper at a distance so it won’t get wet.

He shoves the contract into his hoodie and finally makes his way over to his desk. He places his book bag down and sits in his chair.

A chill sweeps over him and he shivers. Damian resists the urge to look to his right.

INT. CLASSROOM – DAY (5 MINUTES LATER)

Sunlight filters through the window’s blinds on to Damian’s desk. Damian’s left elbow rests on the desk, while his left-hand tugs at his curly black hair that is still slightly wet from earlier. His right-hand’s fingers tap inconsistently on the desk. Biting his lips, his hazel-green eyes flicker from the rest of the classroom back to the seemingly empty desk on the right side of him.

The teacher isn’t there yet. There are only a few STUDENTS (15/16 years old) in the classroom, and most of them are staring at their notes. On the board, in front of the class, there is a message: study for test.

Damian’s eyes glance down at his notes for the test, but he can’t concentrate. He looks to his right and stares at the DEMON (almost an exact replica of Damian) sitting on what was normally an empty chair.

The demon’s red eyes, which lack any pupils, bore into Damian. Its thin black tail swings through the air behind it. The creature wears a constant smile that seems to split its face in two.

It wiggles its fingers at him, a gesture that is meant to be a greeting. For a brief moment, the demon’s human fingers shift into black unnatural claws and then back again to human flesh.

Goosebumps climb up Damian’s arms, as he quickly looks away. He chooses to ignore the demon and looks over a packet that says, “Practice test”, at the top of the page.

His right-hand takes out a pencil from his bookbag on the floor next to his right leg. He tries to redo a problem that he previously failed, hoping to find out what he did wrong. He ends up with the same incorrect answer. Frustrated, his left-hand starts to tug on his hair a little more, while his eyes roam over the problem. His body freezes.

Next to his own writing, blood-red ink starts to copy what Damian wrote. The words forming looked like the font shown in horror movies that appear in blood. Damian squints at the words, having a hard time reading them. At a certain point, the red ink diverges from what Damian wrote and ends up with a different answer.

Damian checks the back of the packet to see the correct answer. The red ink has got the question right. He quickly glances over at the demon, who is sitting in the exact same position Damian is in. The only difference is that the demon’s eerie grin is still in place, and it has no qualms with blatantly staring back at Damian.

Damian tries another question, and just like before, the red ink copies his work and diverges on the part where he got stuck. He repeats the process a couple of times. An understanding look passes through his face each time he looks at the demon’s work and compares it to his own. He rolls his eyes at the occasional insult that appears in red on the paper next to the questions he got wrong, insults such as, “idiot”, “moron” and “nitwit”.

He tries to cross out the words, but they only reappear elsewhere on the page. Damian smirks and writes, “Demon” under the word “idiot”.

There is a SNAPPING sound to his right, and Damian’s smirk vanishes. He timidly peaks over at the demon. The desk that the creature is sitting at has a crack along the side that Damian can see. The demon moves its hand from where the crack is and lets its hands fold together, a mockery to innocent children everywhere.

DAMIAN
Was that really necessary?

DEMON
Yes.

The demon isn’t looking at Damian, but it is clear even from Damian’s view that the demon’s lips don’t move when it speaks.

Damian opens his mouth to say something else, but he stops himself. His classmates are looking at him weirdly. Damian blushes.

DEMON
They can’t see or hear me, idiot.

Damian doesn’t respond to the insult. He just shifts away from the obvious destruction of school property, trying to appear as ignorant as possible. He goes back to looking at his notes.

INT. CLASSROOM – DAY(10 MINUTES LATER)

The sound of a door SLAMMING shut causes him to look up. The TEACHER (50s, tall, white male) is finally here. The tall old man walks into the room and places his stuff on his desk that’s in the front left corner of the room. He takes out a stack of paper from his bag. One by one, the students put their notes away.

Damian clutches at his paper before he reluctantly places his work in his bookbag. The teacher walks up the aisle between the desks of students. The teacher places the test on each student’s desk. When he reaches Damian’s desk, Damian can’t help but look at the demon. The demon is looking directly at the teacher, and the human teeth in his smile starts to resemble a canine.

The teacher’s eyes follow the direction Damian is looking in, but he only sees an empty broken desk. SIGHING, he shakes his head at the faulty school equipment. He hands the test to Damian and turns around to walk back to his desk.

With a deep inhale, Damian begins his test. For the first four questions, he quickly answers them. He gets stuck on question five. He rolls the pencil between his fingers and bites his lip trying to think the problem through. He doesn’t have to.

The familiar red ink starts to write down the solution and how it got there. This time, Damian is the one who will be copying down the work.

His pencil hovers over his test. He hesitates for a moment before he slowly and begrudgingly copies the demon’s work. However, with each question, the tension in his shoulders starts to fade away, and he solves the questions at a pace that would have normally taken him longer. No one else has seen the demon, and there is a high chance no one will see the red ink.

When he hears snoring, he looks up. The teacher looks as though he has fallen asleep at his desk. From his place in the back, Damian can see that there are black tendrils covering the teacher’s face and creeping down his arms.

The demon is standing behind the teacher. It wraps its hands around the teacher’s face. The creepy smile from before has turned predatory.

Damian tries to get up from his chair, but he can’t move. He catches the demon’s eyes, and the room’s temperature drops.

DAMIAN
What are you-

DEMON
Don’t. Interfere.

No one else notices the shift in the air. They look as though they are in a trance as they pour all their attention towards their tests.

DAMIAN
You weren’t supposed to hurt anyone.

DEMON
I wasn’t meant to harm you. Your little paper shield doesn’t protect anyone else. In all honesty, I’m surprised you haven’t lost it yet. Most mortals do.

DAMIAN
(eyes widening)
It’s easier to lose paper. The contracts are meant to be lost.

DEMON
The system works in our favor. Without the contract, it’s easier for demons to bend some rules. However, it seems that even if you keep that flimsy sheet, your sleep-deprived brain made it easy to create loopholes when we made our deal.

The demon’s hands tighten around the teacher’s face.

DEMON
(Continuing)
Including giving me free rein to do whatever I want to anyone else you. Created using Celtx interact with. Gotta thank ya for that.

Damian’s eyes widen. His right-hand reaches into his hoodie’s pocket. He pulls out the contract. At the bottom of the page is his signature along with strange symbols that are meant to be the demon’s name.

He skims the paper and a cold dread washes over him. There is nothing on the paper that prevents the monster from hurting other people.

The creature shrugs when Damian doesn’t say anything else and continues with his work. Damian looks through the form and catches the words, “contract is successfully fulfilled when Damian passes his test”.

He places the contract on his desk and glances over at his test again. With renewed determination, he starts to answer the questions on his test at a quicker pace.

Metal SCREECHES against the floor as students start to get up, but when Damian lifts his head up, expecting to see people handing their tests into an unresponsive teacher, he drops his pencil.

The students are forming a circle around the demon. Their eyes are purged of their normal colors into the same blood red as the demons. Black smoke seeps out of their mouths. They’re CHANTING in a language that is not meant to be spoken with a mortal tongue.

Damian picks up the pencil he dropped. The chanting keeps getting louder. Damian curls in on himself. His shoulders rising up as his head sinks back trying to disappear into his hoodie.

He glances down at the test and continues where he left off. His legs are bouncing up and down as the tenseness from before returns to his shoulders, his guilt weighing down on him. When the red ink tries to give him the right answer, he ignores it. He gets the question wrong.

The chanting stops. Then starts back up. Damian feels the eyes of the foul creature on him before he even looks up. The thing is glaring at him. For the first time, since Damian summoned the demon, the smile on its face is gone.

Damian’s mouth forms a small o shape and he takes a quick inhale as he looks back at the contract on his desk. He studies the paper again and sees the words, “When the 7. Created using Celtx contract is successfully fulfilled,” his eyebrows scrunch together, trying and failing to decipher the demon’s name. He skips over the unholy symbols and reads the rest, “gets to stay in the mortal realm permanently”.

The word “permanently” causes his right eye to twitch. He lifts a hand to twirl a finger in his still-wet hair. He peaks over his desk to look at his tied shoes.

Damian inspects the contract. His eyes focus on the words, “successfully fulfilled”. There is his loophole.

A smile tugs at the corner of his lips. He turns back to his test. Out of the corner of his eyes, he notices that for every question he gets wrong, the volume of the chanting slowly starts to fade. The black smoke isn’t pouring out of the students’ mouths, but their eyes are still red.

A shadow descends upon Damian’s form as he is about to answer the last question. He looks up to stare at his own face. The red eyes are narrowed, and there’s a scowl where the smile once was.

DEMON
What are you doing?

DAMIAN
Failing.

DEMON
An honor student like you, purposefully throwing his chance of getting a good grade away? How shameful.

DAMIAN
Yup.

DEMON
Don’t you want an A?

DAMIAN At first yeah, but after spending these last 24 hours with you always tormenting me. I think an F is easier to live with. Plus,

He waves his hand towards all the chaos.

DAMIAN
(Continuing) this isn’t really giving me a reason to keep you around.

DEMON
Don’t.

DAMIAN
Sorry idiot. I can’t hear you properly. I’m too sleep-deprived.

Damian’s smile is now eerily similar to the one the demon was wearing. He looks directly into the demon’s eyes as he picks the wrong choice.

DEMON
(snarling)
Screw the contract! I’ll rip your mortal-

Before it can even launch itself at Damian, it is being dragged under. Obsidian hands are clutching at the creature’s legs. Claws drag the demon downwards as it sinks through the floor.

The demon tries to cling to the mortal realm by grasping at anything. In its desperation, it latches on to Damian’s right leg. Damian kicks the demon off with his left leg. He watches with horror, and a bit of smug satisfaction, as the demon that looks like him is dragged into the underworld.

The students start to stir from the floor where he now realizes they collapsed. The bell rings, and the teacher abruptly sits up. He looks around at his students. No one finished the test. No one, but Damian. He keeps his mouth shut.

Damian pretends to be just as dazed and confused as everyone else. Luckily, the teacher buys his poor acting skills and states that they’ll have the test, next class.

The students leave, and the teacher goes to get coffee. Just as Damian leaves, he throws the failed test into the trash next to the door. He closes the door to the classroom.

Damian misses the familiar blood-red font on the board. A single declaration to the boy: we’ll meet again.

FADE TO BLACK


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