Chuck Wendig has a new weekly writing challenge. This one is based on a twitter thread/adventure. I liked the idea of demon toddlers, so I went with it.

The Narlthelop twins were missing. Again. Azazel looked out the open side door to see if the twins were still in the yard. They were not. He sighed wearily. The last time the twins wandered from the daycare, they had eaten the neighbor’s cat. Unfortunately for Azazel, the twins were the spawn of Asmodeus and Mallor, a very powerful pair of demons.

Barethsa would not be happy about this. She would also not be happy about the report Azazel would be putting before the council about her sloppiness. The council was also concerned about a few disappearances of demon families associated with Daydream Daycare.

“Anma, Manock! Where are you?” Azazel called loudly, but not so loud the noisy neighbors across the street would be disturbed. No need to draw attention to the daycare facility. The Daydream Daycare provided a valuable service to the undercover demon community. The daycare provided schooling to demon children until they could assimilate into ordinary human schools. Its loss would be a blow to their plans of infiltrating and dominating this dimension.

“Azel, go round up those two imps,” Berethsa said. “And be careful looking around the neighbor’s house.”

“Yes ma’am.” replied Azazel and walked out the door. Barehtsa had taken the shape of a tall, imposing woman as she usually did, matching the succubus’s existing strong personality. The daycare facility was an average house in an average neighborhood in an average suburb. Like all demon run facilities, it was very carefully designed so that nothing stood out as different.

Where are those idiot imps? Did they not understand the importance of their parent’s missions? Azazel walked around the fence and gave a quick glance around. Good, no one was watching. He took out a jeweled pendulum and concentrated on an image of the twins. The pendulum swung out and aimed towards the large house across the street. Just great. He jogged over and hid in the bushes.

Azazel heard a muffled, high pitched child’s scream coming from inside the house. He sprinted over to the back side of the house and peeked in the window. Holy shit! The children were bound, gagged and contained inside a magic circle on the floor. The circle was activated by a powerful spell as evident by the glowing hum of the edges and symbols.

Azazel was a fairly powerful demon and confident of his abilities, he stepped through the back door and into the ordinary looking family room. Holding a finger to his lips, he approached the twins. Anma tried to twist out of her bonds but they were tied much too tightly. Tears ran out of Manock’s eyes as he struggled too. They were bruised and battered, but otherwise seemed unharmed. The circle bound the two imps into their human shapes.

Azazel grabbed the amulet in his jacket pocket, reached out his left hand and whispered the spell towards the circle. As he softly chanted the sing-song spell, the glowing above the circle slowly dimmed. He reached down towards the knife in his leg holder.

Whaam! Azazel’s vision suddenly dimmed and he saw a bright flash of light. Azazel woke up to a shove in the ribs. The twins were trying to hold on to him. What happened? He tried to move and his hands and feet were tied tightly with rope. He was lying on the floor in the circle next to the twins. The circle was glowing again and his powers didn’t work. Oh shit.

“Mr. ‘Zel, what do we do?” Anma whispered. “Is Miss Barethsa coming to help us?”

“It’s ok guys, we’ll get out of this.” Azazel said.

A large man walked into the room, followed by the tall form of Barethsa. “Looks like your demon trap worked.” He gloated and took out a large, highly ornamented knife. The hairs on the back of Azazel’s neck stood up as he recognized the ceremonial demon execution dagger. How did this man posses such a dangerous weapon?

“Give that to me,” Barethsa said. “Time to rid myself of the council’s spy, and Asmodeus’s horrible spawn. You can kill Asmodeus himself if you want, or else I’ll do it.”

The large man stepped towards Barethsa in a subservient manner. “I certainly will.” He said with a giggle, before suddenly plunging the knife in her stomach and cutting down. Red-violet demon ichor sprayed on the large man as she struggled with him. Barethsa screeched and changed into demon form as the large man plunged the knife in her again and again until she lay weakly struggling on the floor, wings flapping softly as she died.

Azazel gasped as the large man turned towards him and the children. “You see what happens when you filthy things try to challenge a wizard? You think you can kill my cat?” the man said.

The man suddenly brought up an amulet and the circle went out. “This is for Mr. Wigglebutt.” He raised the execution dagger.

Before the man could step into the circle, Azazel changed form and slithered out of his bonds. He grabbed the knife hidden in his ankle holster and avoiding the lethal demon dagger, quickly slashed the large man’s neck. A gush of arterial blood sprayed him and the room. He retrieved the dagger and put it in his pocket.

Azazel regained human form and cut the imp’s bonds and said “Let’s get out of here.” He reached around the kitchen stove and broke the gas line with hands still transformed into claws. He quickly recited a chant and started a fire in the kitchen trash can.

He grabbed the two imps and ran out of the house through the back door. As Azazel ran back across the street, the explosion knocked all three of them to the ground. He was pulled to his feet by an extremely angry Asmodeus in human form. “You had better explain this, Azazel,” Asmodeus said.

“Mommy, Daddy.” The twins said in unison. They were scooped up by Mallor, their mother, and held close. “Thank you, Azazel,” she said.

As they quickly stepped into the daycare, Azazel tallied up the results of his day’s adventure. One dead cat, two injured imps, a dead succubus, an exposed undercover demon daycare, a dead wizard, an exploded house and one set of very pissed off senior demon operatives. All over a goddamned cat. How was he going to explain this mess to the council?