Melody was sighing as she started taking everything onto the lawn. Well. She didn’t think THIS would cause the breakup but… he LOVED her tie-dye stuff. She went into a dye frenzy. She thought he’d be impressed she could find a way to tie-dye the old couch using bleach and water combo. But no… She saw his reaction and he lost his mind. Now she was moving out and everything tie-dyed was hers.
Her best friend Joy came up with the moving van and Melody smiled a bit. "I... may or may not have gone a little crazy with the dye."
"...Can you do my couch next?"
"Dunno, seems to be bad luck..." She watched as he drug out the rug too. He didn't even say anything, just glared. "....He's gonna be mad when he sees the towels."
A few weeks later, Melody had pictures of all the things on her website and some available at her kiosk. She had ready made things but now she could advertise some other services at least. Tie-Dye Hue was her own personal business. It brought in decent money, but she was looking for a roommate. Mel’s BFF was great but ah... loud with her... frequent partners. How anyone could say they were enjoying things which sounding like they were being murdered, she'd never understand. Mel looked at the time and closed up shop. Ok. Time to find a roomie. She had an appointment. It wouldn't be so bad. The person sounded reasonably serious and responsible on the phone.
She got there only to find that yes Wizard Bob was serious.They were also a wizard. It's funny how wizards today wore suits and dyed their hair and such. Just some simple rules, no summoning circles because the incenses could start a ritual, no using any of the blood in the fridge or anything marked with blue tape as most of it was magical components. Really, it wasn't all THAT bad. "Same rules with my dyes ok? I use all natural ones but don't want them nicked for potions."
"Sounds fair. Welcome roommate. Sign here and we'll get a move on." And so the first week went grand. This place even had a nice backyard so she could do all her dying back there.
It was a clear, sunny, and dry day. On this particular day, Melody had a weird design. It looked familiar but she couldn't place from where.. oh well. She laid it down on the table. It was a perfect tablecloth. She set up some candles to make it look nice for the picture and started to set to work. After Mel got some pictures she went to grab the candlestick holder, only to find a sharp edge and cut herself, dripping blood on it. "Dammit... well at least I used red and orange for the fabric... maybe no one will notice..."
Mel’s back was turned from the table to grab something when a voice spoke up. "Nice design, real inferno style.... Finally someone with actual taste."
Melody turned back around and stared. She had never seen a real demon. She knew a kid in college that claimed they were part but, "uhhhh.... hi... my... roommate is gonna kill me when he finds out I summoned a demon... ok. Still better than getting thrown out by my ex for the couch... Um... Hi... Melody.. um..." Mel offered a hand to help him off the table. "You... want some juice? I got juice."
"Oh, totally. Haven't had a decent drink in, like a decade. Most of the places around me only sell pure alcohol.... Personally I'm not the biggest fan of the stuff. Don't hate it, but what's the point? You know?"
"I don't drink myself..." She went and got the juice and handed it over. "So I didn't MEAN to summon you. I was setting this up for sale... tho I guess now I can't sell it if it can summon stuff... what I get for using dye made from slime sweat I guess.... it wiggles." Mel noticed she had some fruit salad still and pulled it out, offering him some as she got some for herself. "So I'm not really sure what the procedure is here."
"I mean, technically I'm supposed to, like, trick you into some contract where you give me your soul in exchange for something actually worth a lot less. Then I hand over the rights to my boss in exchange for payment. Truthfully, though, I say screw the system. I'm not all that interested in going back. I mean, they don't even have proper candy or ice cream. They try to make substitutes, but it always ends up tasting worse than ash. Actually all the food in general is crap. It takes selling soul rights just to make enough to buy decent tasting food since the import taxes from here are wicked expensive."
"That... really sucks. Why aren't more demons making the payment be 'You set me free upon this mortal coil until I cause direct harm upon your soul' or something like that?" She handed over the fruit salad.
"Hell if I know... Guess some actually like the job and don't mind the food conditions. It's not like we need to eat, it's more out of habit for most..." The demon seemed to be in sheer delight as he carefully ate each piece of fruit.
"Well that's something at least.... so... are you going to stick around up here then?" She took a few bites of her own, he was making the food look really good. "Cause I need to know how to explain you to my roommate."
"C-can I? I'm forced to go back if I get a soul, but technically any contract can be used to get rid of me if that's what you desire to do... There's a loophole where I can get multiple contracts before going back if 'I believe there is a chance for a soul down the line', but I'm not going to force myself on anyone like that." He looked like a kid that was told there was a chance for cake.
"I don't have a problem but he's a wizard. He might be mad since he said no demon summoning. But we can figure that out." Melody looked at her phone. "....or he has wards and already knows I did and wants to yell at me... excuse me." She picked up the phone. "Hey...so-"
"You promised no demon summoning."
"Well I didn't-"
"You did to and with everything I have going it's going to be at least a class 5 if not 6."
"That sounds impressive but it was an accident. Fate made the the dye a lil crazy and I cut myself."
".....7 gods below and above. No wonder.... fine. Don't make any deals until I get there." He sounded a mix of worried and furious.
"I'm not. He doesn't want a soul tho, just good food and a place to crash. Maybe he can help pay rent?"
"... I'll consider it, let me come look at him first ok?" And he hung up.
"... so are you a class 5 or 6 demon? And is that high?"
He held the bowl upside down, as if doing so would get him more. "Not entirely sure. I think I was around an 8 last I checked, but might have gone up since then. Had some cultists summon me and offer their souls before I even got a chance to open my mouth a few years ago. To give you an idea of the power scale, 12s are rulers and 13 is the top dog."
"Oh... wow. That's impressive.” She took the bowl, not wanting to make a mess. “Well... expect the roomie to be nervous then. Come on. I'll see if we can figure out some space for you unless you like the couch." The tie dye couch was in the living room. Most objects had feelings and bits of events stuck to them. This one was old, but the more recent bits stuck to it showed angry, being cold, heartbreak, abandonment. The same things that seemed to float around her aura. "I mean, it's a nice couch I think. just broken in enough you know?"
"Definitely. Your ex would never appreciate what he gave up... Both you and the couch are worth more than he deserves." He gently put his hand on it, glaring at it slightly.
Melody paused for a moment. Oh right she mentioned that didn't she? "Sure thing. Come on, I got blankets and stuff.”
By the time Wizard Bob showed up, she had gotten the couch set up with some other dyed blankets, sheets, and pillow. He walked over. "Are you seriously setting up the couch for a demon?"
"Yep. Seems rude not to since I accidentally summoned him.” Melody fluffy the pillow a bit. “He said that he can make some cash in a ‘not gonna get us in trouble with the law’ kinda way, and he wants to stay here to enjoy not hell food."
Bob ran his fingers through his shifting rainbow hair and sighed. "Are you aware... that is a class NINE demon and he can steal your soul for TOOTHPASTE."
"Yeah but he doesn't want to. He wanted to know if we could order pizza. He said he'd do the dusting if we did."
"Well... I do hate dusting but... how did you summon him?" Melody walked over, her long skirt swishing around her legs. He looked at the tablecloth carefully. "You used slime sweat?"
"Yeah and some herbs. I didn't know they were summoning components. I've been using them for years."
His eyes glowed as he tried to read further into the summoning circle. "How did you even GET glow root? Only goblins can get that."
Mel looked awkward. Her limbs gave it away but she make a point of wearing long sleeves and skirts to hide the extra joins and such. "...My dad is half. So Grandma sends it sometimes."
"..." he looked her over for a moment. "Oh, explains the stride. I thought it was off. Alright, so being part goblin would have aided in the summoning. And the incense... but what candles did you use? None of mine should have been able to aid-” He paused looking at the yellow sweet smelling candles. “Those aren't my candles."
"No... beeswax mixed with some oils I like. Make them myself. I'm adding them to the store next week." Bob started sputtering a bit and began going around grabbing random books and opening them and closing them before stopping at one. It couldn’t be, could it? "You said you were moving out of your friend's home... why?"
"Well it was a temp thing..."
"...My fiancé broke up with me." She brushed her hair behind her ear. She was trying to avoid talking about this right now.
He dropped the book. "You are at a crossroads?! Fate of yours and others hanging upon your choices until you are once again set on a path?! You should send him back, your soul is worth too much!"
"He seems to think rocky road ice cream is worth more." Melody started getting said ice cream out. "Come on, he's a nice guy. Shouldn't judge people by species after all." Bob slumped into a chair.
"I avoid people like you like the plague. You alter everything!"
"Well... sometimes that's a good thing. Now... he's on my couch, he's been very polite. And things will be fine."
"...I want a list of all of your dyes and how you get them... I may want to use them if you are going to let him stay."
"Only if you don't sell the recipes. They're a major part of my business."
At dinner, pizzas were ordered and things started getting hashed out about chores and such. Eventually Bob, with all the grace of a puppy on ice, brought up the elephant in the room. "And what was so horrible that you two broke up anyway?"
She sighed. "I'm... too hippie-like I guess? And he started meeting my family. I'm a pretty big mutt. Goblin, some elf, plenty of human, halfling, 1/16 orc but let's be honest, at that point you only get the orc baby teeth that never fall out..." She pulled back her lip showing some little tusk like teeth. "He thought I was more human and elf than that I guess. Then I tried to bring the magic back, ya know... what got us first together. My free spirit he had said... I went a little crazy... goblin in me I guess... goblins go a lil nuts when they think they're gonna lose their mate. So.. I... tie dyed all the things. Including the couch." She looked at it a little sad. "I guess that was the last straw. Everything I had dyed he sent with me. I think he still has some of my stuff but I'll get it later. I wanted to get settled first." She sighed. "And we had gone in on the house together so I still need to tell the bank to take me off of the loan. Its fine tho. It'll be fine. Just gotta keep moving. Life is too short and all that."
Bob looked at her a moment. "...How are you alive? Some of those species don't have fully compatible diets."
"Oh I have ways. And it helps the halfling blood lets me eat almost anything like humans... tho I think their stomachs are a bit tougher."
Bob sighed and went to remove the tablecloth. After a few tugs he groaned. "It's stuck."
"Oh, yeah.” The demon, Lukas, spoke up. “Sorry... Um, that's indestructible until I leave... Some magical bureaucratic bullshit to make sure I don't get stranded here or try to totally cut ties. It's a portal to the underworld that only I can use so the summoning circle can't be destroyed as long as I'm on this side.... Guess taking it off the table would count as 'destroying' it since it would get wrinkled by picking it up..."
Melody smiled. "Well, it looks nice. Right Bob?" He sighed.
"Bring in the textile small business owner, I thought... I won't get any magical issues with this one, I thought..."