Isabella ‘Bella’ Marie Swan was absolutely exhausted. She was tired of taking care of her mother, she was tired of being clumsy, she was tired of being a magnet for anything and everything unnatural, she was tired of being forced to be a grown-up at the age of 11, but above all else, she was tired of being alone. The air of awkwardness and the stress of being an adult weighed heavily around the girl's arua, making it hard to make any friends, let alone any acquaintances. She struggled to take care of herself and with the need to work a part-time babysitting job to help her mother pay the bills that she hardly paid. Bella hardly ever had any free time to put forth the effort to become friends with anyone, let alone keep up with her demanding homework.
Her body was taught with exhaustion as she made her way out of the dark house she called home, carrying a small tin box with various items in it. She turned to look back at the vacant house, a small frown gracing her lips. Her mother had forgotten to pay the electricity bill again before disappearing on one of her ‘whimsical’ tirades again, leaving said girl by herself for the unforeseeable future. Bella continued to walk down the dark dirt path that she had now memorized, slightly humming the tune of ‘happy birthday' to herself in a seemingly melancholy way as she finally reached her destination.
It was a fork in the road that led to two different places, both of which she never really cared to go down before. White Yarrow flowers surrounded the edge of the crossroads, proof of Bella’s forethought and dedication to what she was doing. It had taken her weeks to even find Yarrow flowers in Arizona, and even then it took more time to plant the flowers around the crossroads before they died. Least to say that she had a certain distaste for the flowers now was of little consequence. As long as this worked, she didn’t care about all of the pain, time, and labor she had to put into setting this up.
Bending down to place the tin she brought with her into a small hole she had made previously, she glanced around seemingly nervous before opening her mouth to speak, “Daemon, esto subjecto voluntati meae.”
Her voice was quiet and cracked under the use of her vocal cords, but as soon as the last word was spoken, an unnatural silence encased the girl and her surroundings. No coyotes howled, no crickets sang their tune, even the wind seemed to pause in fear. She glanced around, her nerves getting the best of her as she waited anxiously for a few minutes. Nothing moved. A few more minutes passed and the girl let out a quiet huff of disappointment before turning to go back to her vacant home, only to be met with a tall cloaked figure inches away from her.
A quiet shriek left the small girl's mouth before taking a step back to get away from the looming figure. The figure stood a proud height way above her own, blackened hands that looked to be covered in some sort of ash peaked out from the edge of its cloak, dangerously long black fingernails accompanying said hands, but that wasn’t the most unsettling thing she saw. It was the pair of red irises that seemed to dance as if there was fire behind them that made the young girl squirm uncomfortably.
Silence encashed Bella’s surroundings again, the only thing that could be heard was her labored breathing and pounding heartbeat. Minutes passed as the girl stared at the unblinking figure before her. It hadn’t moved since she set her eyes on it, unnerving the girl even more. It just started at her, as if waiting for something, and that’s when it clicked in her mind. It was waiting on her to speak. She had successfully done it! She had summoned a crossroads demon. A moment of silence passed before she had finally gathered her bearings and spoke to the demon she had summoned.
“I’ve come to make a deal.” Bella surprisingly didn’t stutter and seemed to have found some type of steel-like resolve over her nerves. That all went down the drain as the imposing figure cackled at the tiny girl, apparently amused by what she had said. The sound was inhuman, rough, sending chills down her spine, but she held her ground and took a daring step forward.
“Well, well.” The voice, if you could even call it that, was devoid of any human qualities, it sounded deep and guttural, like nails on a chalkboard to the sensitive humans' ears. “Didn’t your parents ever tell you not to mess with dead things?”
Another uncomfortable silence spread over the two’s conversation again. Steeling her nerves again, Bella forced herself to stop shaking (she hadn’t even realized she was shaking until then) and looked at the hooded figure directly in its eyes.
“I’ve come to make a deal.” She repeated herself, before she could continue with what little nerve she had, the figure cackled again and took a menacing step forward. Fear encased the pale girl as the figure leered down at her, before speaking again.
“And what, pray tell, can you possibly want from a creature like me?” Its eyes seemed to burn a hole through her and her resolve. Without a second thought, the girl blurted out what was on her mind for the longest time.
“A friend!” Shock coursed through Bella as she startled at the cloaked demon, it seemed not only had she shocked herself but the demon hid behind the cloak as well. What seemed like an eternity passed between the two beings before the demon threw its head back violently and let out the loudest and most unruly roar. It sounded worse than a lion's roar, making Bella’s ears ring in protest to the loud sound.
Still, in shock, the young girl stared at the demon before her. Its shoulders were shaking as it continued to roar at her. Then it clicked for her. It wasn’t roaring at her. It was laughing at her. Embarrassment and shame coated the pale girl's cheeks before she found whatever bravery she had left and grabbed the being’s hands, careful of the razor-sharp nails.
“I summoned you here to make a deal with you!” Her hand started to burn, but she continued with her tirade, “I want to make a deal with you to have a lifelong friend that will be there for me and help me through anything that I need. I can't handle being an adult anymore! I want to be a kid again!”
Hot tears streamed down her face as her hand continued to burn but she refused to let go. She needed this. She couldn’t go on living life the way she had been. She had been robbed of too many kid experiences that she should have had. She was making a deal with a demon on her birthday for hell’s sake! She couldn’t let this opportunity escape her, not when she was this close to being a kid again. She didn’t care about the consequences, Bella needed this. She wouldn’t let go of this demon until it agreed to make a deal with her.
What seemed like a sigh came out of the cloaked demon, before it gripped her hand back, holding her hand captive in a handshake. The burning increased on her hand, making a strangled gasp leave the little girl's mouth.
“A lifelong friend that will be there for you as you grow up,” It scoffed at the smiling girl below it, “In exchange, I get your soul for eternal dalmatian or whatever I feel like doing to it. Do you accept these terms?”
“Yes! Yes, please!” The burning on her hand increased again before it let go of her hand. Bella pulled her hand back and looked at her wrist where the burning seemed to be the worst. There on her left wrist was what looked to be a brand of some sort. It was small and looked to be some sort of twisted star encased in intricate designs that looked like some sort of language surrounding it.
Bella let out another gasp as she looked up from her wrist. Instead of seeing the looming cloaked figure from before, she saw a woman, if you could call her that. She was dressed in black skinny jeans that seemed to hug her figure, extenuating her hips and thighs nicely, a plain black v neck t-shirt that showed off her chest nicely, and a plain black leather jacket with silver zippers that glistened in the moonlight. The outfit was paired with a pair of knee-high black boots that tied in the back. Even though everything the woman was wearing seemed plain, she still looked captivatingly ethereal. Her lips were painted a daring red that raised into a smirk as she noticed the young girl gaping at her, but the thing that unsettled Bella was not her beauty or the nasty seeming smirk painted on her lips. It was the red eyes that peered down at her that made her freeze. Eyes that looked exactly like the ones that were previously seen on the cloaked demon from before. Bella didn’t have a chance to speak before the lady took a step forward.
“Lilith, at your service.” She did a mock bow in front of the little girl, startling her out of her frozen stupor. A flash of emotion passed through Bella’s eyes before she did something neither of them expected.
Bella bolted forward without a care in the world and hugged Lilith, surprising the demoness at eagerness that the girl showed. Frozen to the spot she stood in (she was not in shock, she would deny that until the end of time), Lilith felt Bella take her hand and start pulling her towards the place that Bella called her own. The demoness let the girl lead her to a dark house that seemed completely devoid of any life. Where the young girl started spouting off facts about herself and questions she had for the demoness that she now called a friend.
This was surely going to be one of the most interesting deals she had ever taken in the entirety of her life. Whether that was a good thing or a bad thing, time would only tell.