A gash appeared in the wall of jagged, many-hued flames. A small creature, covered in yellowed, papery skin dripping across its surface with black liquid, stepped through.
“You called, sir?” said the creature.
“Yes, Malaver,” said a much larger creature standing away from the flames. It was sleek and elegant, tuxedo-colored wings stretched across its leathery back. “I have need of your services.”
“Yes, Lord Castagath,” said Malver. “I am yours to command. Who is the target?”
Castagath stepped to the side, to reveal a stone basin filled with purple green liquid. “Observe.”
Malaver dug its fuscoferginous pen-quill claws into a chair next to the basin, and crawled up to get a look. “Him?” the creature asked, his cracked voice thick with skepticism.
“Yes,” said Castagath. “Him.”
“The…bald man? With the scratched glasses and the crooked teeth? He looks so…”
“Gormless,” said Castagath. “I am aware. But looks lie to us, Malaver. This paltry writer, as inoffensive and pointless as he appears, is on the verge of cracking the realm with the gravity of his offense.”
“You don’t mean…” said Malaver, his ink-colored eyes widening.
“Yes.” Castagath’s deep voice echoed against the flames that surrounded them. “He’s about to have…a good idea.” He closed his eyes, as if to shield them from the afterflash of his utterance.
Malaver gasped. “The beast!”
Castagath nodded. “You understand.”
Malaver leaned forward and touched his fingers to the image. They started to sink in. “I shall off at once.”
“Do so. Do whatever it takes. This cannot stand.”
The tiny Demon of Inspiration nodded, and slipped into the basin towards the hapless writer, to do its job. To ensure no good idea was birthed on their watch, to unleash its havoc on an unprepared world.