Biscuit in the Lovespace by Nick Cody

This week in our current By Prescription Only: Themed Writing short story and essay showcase on the theme of Regret is a contribution from Nick Cody. Nick’s writing typically mixes a dash of high-level literary criticism with a pinch of salt-of-the-earth wisdom and two shakes of down home hilarity for added measure; on that score this one doesn’t disappoint!

Breathlessly: The following story is entirely a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, events, etc. are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in the following works of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners. Some stories in this showcase contain adult themes, so reader caution is advised.

Biscuit in the Lovespace by Nick Cody

In the summer following the seventh grade I tried to summon a demon. I’d read about the art of conjuration from a book in my middle school library. Its black spine caught my eye one day as I wandered the stacks during study hall while waiting for my turn to play The Oregon Trail.

Fingering through the hardcover tome I thought all of the contents in it were real. The ology of its title, Demonology, must have given me that impression. I was too young or too stupid (perhaps both) to know better. The drawings that captivated me made one thing clear: the horned, smoldering forms rising from pentagrams were not metaphorical. These slavering things with their drool and their fangs were not symbols for something else like ailments, vices, or sins in any sense of the word. These beings screamed agency, and behind their eyes gleamed the spark of intelligence.

Astrology, biology, cardiology: to my impressionable mind these were all equally the study of real things. Ditto for demonology. Here is another example of my youthful acuity at work: once in science class Mr. Giving pointed with his gnarly index finger to a word on the blackboard, ecology, and called on me to define it. I said, “It’s the study of sounds sent out that come back to you.”

So it has been established that I was not too bright. Yet I was content in my dumbness: let the smart kids perform chemistry experiments with their Bunsen burners, I’d thought. For better or worse, a major strain in my character always preferred séances to hard science. After reading the black book and others adjacent to it, I wanted nothing more than to open a portal to another dimension and see what would come through…

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