Of course, we arranged the date for a gaming store. I almost felt sorry for him when he got stood up by “Mary.” He’d even said he’d bring his deck.
We watched him leave from across the street. Zaid, who might be recognized, wasn’t with us. I was wearing the glasses, which did work as something of a disguise, if not as well as in DC comics.
Once he was clear of the building, it was time for me and Kanesha to make our move. We sauntered across the street, clearly together – not to the point of an actual PDA, but enough that nobody would think either of us was straight.
Getting into his apartment was going to be the challenge, I knew. I couldn’t pick locks easily.
We’d have to swipe a key from maintenance, I figured. We found our victim on his own. Kanesha distracted him while I grabbed the master key from his belt. Hopefully he wouldn’t particularly remember us. I felt like a con artist or a master criminal.
The apartment was a one bedroom. There was a futon in the living room and for a moment I wondered if we’d drastically misjudged things and he had a roommate.
“There’s nothing in his fridge but beer and leftover pizza,” Kanesha pronounced.
“No soda?” Stealing his soda to add insult to injury…
“Just beer. Oh, wait, no, there’s a couple of cans of diet off brand cola.”
“Ugh. That’s not worth taking.”
He had a decent flat screen TV and a shelf full of D&D books. Then I went into the bedroom.
Paydirt. He was living in the main room and had turned the entire bedroom into his shrine to Apep. I wondered what maintenance thought.
That he was harmless and crazy, no doubt. There were crocodiles everywhere. And snakes. Pictures of them, statues of them. In the middle there was a rug. I pulled the rug aside and, yup, the summoning circle was under it, drawn into the apartment issue carpet. “He’s not getting his security deposit back.”
Kanesha poked her head in. “Oh. No, he’s not.”
The question was the best way to sabotage it, ideally without him noticing it. Eventually, we scratched up some tiny patches of carpet, leaving minuscule gaps in the outer circle.
“That should do it, from what Clara said. It only takes one small break with these things. That’s why demons get loose so often. You have to be, you know, this utter perfectionist of doom.”
I laughed. We left the apartment. Kanesha had stuck one of his books in her backpack. I didn’t ask until we were well clear.
“Signed by Gary Gygax. He’ll be missing this…but not right away.”
I laughed. “You just didn’t want the demon eating it.”
“What? I don’t even play.”