A man with a long beard looks at the viewer. The man has an intense look, and there are horns on his head. The horns have fire flowing over them. The man is wearing a black shirt that has fire running down one side, and a lot of smoke beneath him. Small bits of fire are floating in the air behind him. Photo by marla66 on Pixabay.

The demon king tapped his long, sharp, nails on one of the arms of his throne. He became the king of the demons eons ago, and spent a lot of time trying to keep the smaller demons from intentionally setting themselves on fire.

Somewhere outside of the throne room he could hear one of them screaming loudly after jumping into the molten fire that flowed through his realm. In the early days of his kingship, he would rush over and try to put the fire out. These small ones were his minions, after all, and he tried his best to protect them.

After decades of this same problem, happening over and over again, the demon king stopped helping the smaller demons. They were too simple-minded to remember WHY we don’t jump into the fire.

He rolled his eyes, and waited for the screaming to stop. Whichever small demon it was would simply regenerate itself in a few hours from now, forget what happened, and likely jump back into the molten river again.

Sighing, the demon king realized that he had a big problem. He was incredibly bored. There was no one here with the intellectual capacity to engage in conversation with. No one from outside wanted to visit him, and he couldn’t really blame them, what with the fire, and the screaming, and the constant regeneration of the smaller demons.

And so, he sat on his throne, tapping his long, sharp claws into one of its arms. There was nothing to do.

Suddenly, the doors of the throne room opened. One of the medium-sized demons struggled to open the doors. After pushing through them, the demon ran directly towards the demon king. Was that.. a letter.. in his hand?

“My king! I bring you this letter. Came from someone not from here,” the medium-sized demon explained. Intrigued, the demon king held out his hand, and was immediately given the letter.

“Thank you,” said the demon king. “You may go back to… whatever it was you were doing.” He waved one of his hands at the medium-sized demon, who immediately turned and ran back out of the throne room.

The demon king opened the letter, but had trouble reading it. He looked around for his glasses, and then realized they were hanging from a piece of leather that he wore around his neck. Holding up the glasses, and squinting a bit, he started reading.

“Hello, my friend! It is I, Loki, and I have an interesting proposition for you. There is a small child – a human child – who somehow got the idea that he should come to your realm and fight you. Neither I, nor my brother, could talk this child out of doing this.

As such, I sent you this letter to give you a warning that this child, who is probably around… I don’t know, maybe 10 years old, will arrive soon.

Could you just… play along with this kid? You know, pretend to be injured when he strikes you with… what looks like a sword made of some kind of foam? Fall over and cry a little bit and pretend to die? And then, send him on his way back home?

It is my understanding that you’ve been extremely bored lately, and I wanted you to have a little fun.

Let me know how it goes!”

The demon king smiled. He felt… happy? Was that the word for the emotion he was experiencing? He folded the leather up and put it in his pocket. He took off his glasses and let them hang from the leather he wore around his neck.

This was going to be fun! When was the last time he had fun? He couldn’t remember.

The doors of the throne room opened again, and in walked a human child. Loki wasn’t joking about that foam sword after all. It certainly looked as though it was made form some sort of neon green foam.

The demon king decided to play along. He stood up. “Who dares come into my throne room without permission!” He – almost – smiled, then stopped himself.

“My name is Edmund, and I am here to slay you!” the child yelled out in the squeakiest voice the demon king had ever heard.

Edmund had some sort of strange helmet on his head. It looked like plastic, with a chin strap to hold it on. He appeared to be wearing some soft clothing and oddly colored shoes. Was that a cape on his back?

“You’re Edmund? THE Edmund?”, the demon lord said, making his voice sound as though he were scared. “Oh no! Please, don’t hurt me!”

Edmund made a very serious face and started walking directly toward the demon king. When he got in close range, the boy hit the demon lord’s kneecap with his only colored foam sword.

The demon lord played along. He pretended to cry, and slumped to the floor, holding his knee. “Oh, it hurts too much! I shall not survive this wound”, said the demon king, as he lay down on the carpet in front of his throne, closed his eyes, and stuck out his tongue.

Edmund stood still for a moment. He then gently poked the demon king’s kneecap again, and waited a little while. Then, he smiled, and triumphantly marched himself out of the demon king’s realm.

A while later, the demon king opened his eyes. He brushed himself off, stood up, and started writing a letter back to Loki.

“My good friend, Loki! You have brought me so much fun today entertaining little Edmund. Allow me to tell you how things went…”

This story was inspired by a writing prompt on Tumblr titled: “A demon king is contacted by the gods “look, the hero is coming after you is 10, can you just play along and let him win?” It is not allowed to be copied.

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