Inspired by Bringing Home the Shopping
She carved the marks into her arm carefully, following the diagrams in the book she had been given. It hurt, of course, as the paring knife sliced into her skin, but she endured the agony because she knew she had to. At the top was the intricate and complicated sigil of the demon Beelzebub, carved of flowing lines with a single cut of the knife. Beneath it was the true-name of her father. That had been difficult to discover and had required many visits to the big library in the British Museum. In the end she had determined that as Beelzebub was originally Hebrew, the true-name she needed was the Hebrew spelling of her father's name. Next came the symbol for soul. After she had carved this geometric shape into her arm, it had to be sealed with fire. The pain from the candle flame was excruciating and she had passed out as the bleeding cuts were burned black. Finally, surrounding the entire set of marks, was an oval that was capped with the symbol for a contract. After it was done, she sat down to wait. The minutes turned into hours and eventually, in the darkness of the night, she fell asleep.
She awoke with a scream and grasped her head in pain and terror. The burning shape in front of her did not speak but simply implanted its wishes into her consciousness. Each time it communicated, it was as though someone was driving a burning spike between her eyes and out the back of her head. Its first command was simple, "EXPLAIN!"
She had practiced what she had wanted to say so often that it came out almost by wrote. "My Lord Beelzebub, I beseech thee in the old ways, to grant my request. I ask that you protect my father in the war he fights and that he comes home to me in England when it is over, safe and unharmed, his soul and spirit intact. In return for this request I give you my soul to do with as you please." She did not look at him as the book had said that would be disrespectful, so she kept her eyes on the ground and stared at her feet.
Again there was intense pain as the demon responded, "AGREED." There was a small pause, and then somehow, the pain grew even worse. "I WILL COME FOR IT WHEN THE DEAL IS DONE." Thankfully, unconsciousness took her and the pain ended. It was morning when she finally managed to get up off the floor, the scars in her arm glowing slightly and throbbing gently with each beat of her heart. As she was to learn in the days and weeks to come, the pain would never decrease and was a burden she would carry for the rest of her short life.
<<< Three Years Later ... >>>
Lord Beelzebub looked down on her as she stood on the dock, waiting to greet her returning father. He found it funny that he had gained a soul for nothing as her father was not amongst those slated to die in this war. The Tables indicated that he was to survive until killed by a bombing attack on London, 22 years later in the next war. At least, that was what Fate had decreed until the girl had made had made a contract with him. Now both souls were under his control and removed from the Web of Fate.
On his whim, the crane lifting a tank from the deck of the ship jammed, its 40 ton cargo swinging from its sling 50 feet above the pier. With another thought, a hand cart bumped into the girl and she stepped back so that she stood perfectly centred beneath the vehicle hanging above her. He smiled, causing a sailor to die in the ship's infirmary, as he anticipated what would happen. The father would rush up to his daughter, they would hug, and the bargain would be complete. Then the rope on the cargo would snap, 40 tons of metal would crash down upon them both, and he would take their souls back to Hell to torture until they were destroyed.
As the Tables for Living and Dying no longer applied, he was free to act as he wished. His actions were permitted and satisfied the Demonic Code of Conduct. A quick check on the Web of Fate showed that neither of them had any impact on the future and were expendable. It was nice to have a couple of extra souls that he could torture in a most delightful and pleasant manner. As he saw the father rush up and into her arms, he acted and his plan was complete. Satisfied, he plucked their souls from the wreckage and shifted back to his home, taking them with him.
Lady Fate, also called Luna -- Goddess of Witches, smiled as she watched the scene unfold beneath her. Her young follower had done things to perfection and had carried out the plan perfectly. It pained her that she had needed to sacrifice such a promising young adept, and her father, to a Demon, but in the end the cost would be more than justified.
Now that those two souls were removed from her Web, she was permitted, according to the Code, to patch the web to account for Beelzebub's actions. The Demon, in his greed, had not really bothered to see that the girl was so very close to a major Turning Point and that history could be easily changed by her removal from the Web. The girl had known that her death would help her sisters achieve greatness and that her unborn nieces would eventually lead a global revolution. World War 2 would no longer happen and millions of lives would be spared. The ensuing world peace would grow and develop, leading to a society where human dignity, respect, and basic needs would form the political agenda. Politics would become dominated by women as compassion, compromise, and consideration replaced capitalism, nationalism, and conflict. War would become a legend, and in time just a vague memory as the power of the Demons faded into shadow. This pair of deaths had ensured the survival of billions, world peace, and most importantly, would finally permit Good to triumph over Evil. Though the girl, and her father, would remain anonymous, her sacrifice had ensured that humanity would prosper and flourish in a world free of Evil. It was a good thing to die for.