Finding Friends Through Fiends 

A Wordle solution grid, made up of green, yellow and black squaresMonday’s demon…

The answer to Monday’s Wordle was DEMON, and I decided to take it as a sign.

After work I picked up a bucket of petroleum jelly, extra salt, and candles. I mixed the salt with the petroleum jelly because, you see, that way it sticks to the floor and makes the line much harder to break. Basic sigil health and safely.

The demon that arrived was terribly attractive. Long, glossy hair, perfect cheekbones and musculature to make Schwarzenegger weep for his lost youth.

He spent the whole time staring into the lenses of his mirrored sunglasses and talking about how hard it was to find stylish clothes that would accommodate a tail.

I managed less than half an hour.

Tuesday’s demon…

I tried again on Tuesday. For a moment, I thought it hadn’t worked, but then the demon popped into existence three feet above the ground and did a graceful somersault before executing a perfect superhero landing. She was more interesting than Monday, in fact, she was rather charming. Too charming, I thought, after she’d gushed for a full five minutes about how clever my summoning circle was and how much she liked my old Queen t-shirt. I remembered a podcast I’d listened to featuring a psychologist – she said she advocated throwing the baby out with the bathwater when it came to charming people.

I reckoned that probably went double for demons.

Wednesday’s demon…

All right, look, I’m a supportive person. I am. But also I am not Therapy for Demons™. Good grief. He had to go.

Thursday’s demon…

Thursday arrived in a reddish swirl and then sat cross-legged in the summoning circle, wearing jeans and wire-rimmed glasses. They seemed quite normal, actually. We chatted about the news for a while, and it was all rather pleasant. Well, as pleasant as chatting about the news can be, these days. We even shared a sandwich. Apparently, it’s next to impossible to get good cheese in Hell.

But then I realised they’d almost certainly had a hand in the current political situation, and just… no. I might be summoning demons in my basement, but I do have some standards.

Friday’s demon…

It had been a long week at work, and Friday was especially trying. No, Susan, I cannot do a three-hour job by ‘close of play’ if you send it to me at four-thirty. Especially when I know perfectly well you were only late handing it off because you were enjoying a long ‘lunch’ with Mark from Procurement.

Anyway. I almost abandoned the summoning session in favour of pizza and a few hours of Netflix, but I thought I’d better not break my streak. So when Friday’s demon arrived with a good bottle of Scotch, I have to admit, I was nearly won over on the spot. He was attractive, too, in a demonic sort of way. The horns peeking through the choppy haircut were rather cute. He had nice eyes, told silly jokes that made me laugh, and listened patiently to my complaints about Susan.

But I drank a bit too much Scotch and, after the long work day, well, I dozed off. And when I woke up, Friday was gone.

Saturday’s demon…

After the night before I was hopeful, really, but then Saturday turned up with a scorched smell and a laptop, from which they barely moved their gaze. I can get that in Starbucks, thanks.

Sunday’s demon… 

I think something went wrong. I did the usual routine, and by this point I was pretty practised, so I really don’t understand it. Perhaps the candles had burnt a bit too low? Maybe I fumbled over the middle bit of the chant? Who knows. Anyway, what arrived wasn’t a demon. I don’t think.

Although some do say they’re all from the same stock.

All those eyes. Sheesh.

Anyway, I’m allergic to feathers.

After the spots had cleared from my vision, I looked at the mess and considered clearing up, but… after all that I couldn’t face the rubbing alcohol fumes, so I left the petroleum jelly-salt sigil, trudged upstairs and went to bed.

I meant to turn the light out and sleep, I really did, but you know how it is. Twitter argument, update the online supermarket order, catch up with some podcasts, play a few games…

Before I knew it, it was twelve-o-one.

Time for a new Wordle.

And what do you know, the answer was FIFTH. I almost missed it, because come on, two Fs?

And, I realised, I’d almost missed something else, too. But never mind, my streak isn’t quite broken yet.

It’ll be Friday again in five days.

Author’s notes
I wrote this a few months ago, when the Wordle craze was at its height, and I thought I’d better put it up somewhere before everyone’s forgotten what Wordle even is… 

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© Kat Day 2022

8 Things I Learned From the Discworld

April 28th is Terry Pratchett Day – in honour of the late author’s birthday – and on the day itself I wrote a little thread on Twitter.

Now, of course, it’s May, and the lilacs are blooming. Remember the smell of lilac? You thought about those who died.

So, here’s that thread, reproduced for posterity…

For #TerryPratchettDay, here are some writer things, and life things, that I learned from Discworld books. There are 8. It was my favourite number before I ever found Discworld. 7? Yuck. It’s all… prime and sticky. 8 is all factorable and curvy. Octarine? I love it.

Let’s go…

Learn the bloody rules. AND THEN break them, if you must. Break rules deliberately, knowingly, because you want to. Not, if you can possibly avoid it, by accident. This applies to spelling, grammar, story structure and, most importantly, life in general.
There are few things more delightful to read than a sharp left turn. Why not write a beautiful, literary description of, oh, say, dragons, and then segue to sardines? And finish with a gently implied threat? It’s jolting, and it’s wonderful.
People are never one thing. No one is all bad or all good. Everyone is a complicated, messy mixture. Everyone is capable of causing pain, and of doing amazing good, and they might not always choose the course of action you’d like. But that’s people for you.