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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

Tension weighed upon her shoulders as she tentatively patted the back of her head. Feeling the prominent bump and the semi-dried blood blotching its surface, she winced as she brought up a cold compress to the injury. The chill stung a bit, but the relief that accompanied it was quite welcome. She had also suffered a terrible headache from the fall, but she could take some ibuprofen for that. The elephant in the room was yet to be addressed.

Inquisitively, she let her gaze wander over to her unexpected guest. Matching sets of bright orange eyes curiously shifted from object to object as they analyzed the environment. The living room wasn’t organized as usual; instead, books were haphazardly strewn about and several decorations were off-center or on the floor. As though noticing her gaze, all four eyes focused on the young woman, startling her.

“Is there something on my face?” The being asked, fangs peeking from behind his lips. 

Slightly panicked, she gave an awkward response. “Um, no一I don’t think?” Despite her answer, she continued to stare at his odd appearance. She quickly cleared her throat and asked, “So, why are you here…?”

His brows furrowed, but a look of amusement settled itself on his face. “Aki’iraseth.”

“Right. Why and how are you here, Aki’iraseth?”

“Is that a trick question, kid?” Aki’iraseth just stared at the young woman sitting across from him and tried to get comfortable in what proved to be a too-small loveseat. He crossed his goat-like legs and threaded his fingers together, leaning back slightly. “You summoned me. Oh and, by the way, what’s your name?”

Her jaw nearly hit the floor at the being’s remark. She summoned him?! But when? And why? Jesus Christ! Her head was pounding just trying to process this. She set down the cold compress on the couch she sat on, opting to hold her head in her hands instead. It was definitely going to be a long night. “My name’s Stephanie and I have no idea why I’ve summoned you.”

A mix of emotions crossed Aki’iraseth’s face in the span of a few seconds before a pensive expression took over. Clawed thumb and index finger held his chin as he deliberated. His pale skin contrasted starkly against the ashy and fiery orange rivulets that covered his forearms, Stephanie noted. “Well then,” he started. “This certainly does complicate things, Steph. Can I call you Steph? Anyway, I can’t go back home until I’ve helped you do … whatever it is you had in mind to do when you summoned me.”

Once more, tension surrounded the two as they pondered the situation. Stephanie was internally panicking when, all of a sudden, her stomach growled loudly. Even Aki’iraseth perked up at the sound, head tilted to one side. She chuckled uncomfortably, trying to pinpoint when she’d last eaten. With a sigh, Stephanie apologized and explained that she was hungry. “I think I’ll make myself some cup noodles. Do you want some?” As soon as she said it, she halted, briefly questioning herself. “Wait, do you even need to eat?”

“Demons don’t need to eat, but we can,” Aki’iraseth explained. “Although, I must admit I’ve no idea what cup noodles are, Steph.”

“You don’t?”


Stephanie thought for a moment before offering, “Would you like to try them?”

The demon shrugged. “I don’t see why not. I’ll be stuck here a while, so I might as well get used to your routine.”

Stephanie then gestured for Aki’iraseth to follow her into the small kitchen. He managed to surprise her when he stood up, though: he easily measured about seven feet tall and towered over her. With his head just inches from the ceiling, the demon lumbered over towards the young woman who’d reclaimed her cold compress. The sound of his hooves hitting the ground was muffled by the carpeted flooring as he followed Stephanie into the kitchen.

“Right then, let’s do this,” she said as she grabbed a mug to heat up some water.

Wordlessly, the demon watched the process, somewhat impressed with human ingenuity. This little misunderstanding on the human’s part certainly promised to be interesting when the time came for a deal to be sealed between them. He chuckled to himself as Stephanie took the first bite of her ‘meal’, encouraging him to do the same with the flick of her wrist. Tasting the beef-flavored ramen, Aki’iraseth thought that maybe scheming to get her soul could wait until after they ate.

Carola Ríos Pérez is a writer for the Her Campus at UPR chapter. She focuses on writing reviews and analyses about films, series, and books, as well as sharing some of her life experiences through personal essays. In 2021, she graduated with honors from Colegio Nuestra Señora de Belén. Initially, she began her career as a university undergraduate at the University of Puerto Rico’s Río Piedras campus as a Communications student, with a major in Public Relations and Publicity. Currently, she is a junior in Humanities, majoring in Modern Languages, with a focus on Portuguese and German. Other than academics and Her Campus, Carola enjoys kickboxing and spending some quality time with her three cats, Keanu, Ginger, and Kai. Her passion for languages is reflected in her music tastes, and there’s no song she won’t listen to at least once. Occasionally, inspiration will strike, and Carola will focus on writing her own stories, heavily inspired by the Young Adult novels that shaped her teenage years. Every once in a blue moon, though, she will either go into a minor baking frenzy to procrastinate or pick up her guitar and “jam” her worries away.