From the author: My first ever professionally published story, back in 2012. Like a few others, this one pretty much popped into my head whole.
He stepped from an unseeable door in a bent bit of space, slipping from one slice of the universe to another. He shone with the unsettling radiance of a being whose soul extended beyond his body, flickering and shimmering as the reflection of the moon on a choppy sea, or the sun on a rippling lake.
His presence filled the room with a palpable chill, a sapping, skin-hardening coldness. He moved his eyes over the small room and its sole inhabitant with an easy, calm arrogance that bespeaks complete certainty of, and comfort with, one’s superiority.
“I am Khervalas,” he began, in a booming but strangely wispy baritone, “Demon Lord of the Eighth Nethertide. I am Leader of the First Cohort of the Fallen, Lord and Master of the Black Swarm that sweeps across the underplaces of the world, and slayer of the Dark Gods of the Ancients, at whose very name the Endless Voids tremble and shudder with fear. Thou hast summoned me, great sorceress, and I am here at thy heed. What is thy bidding?” His last words echoed faintly through the room, and he nodded his head, poised for an answer.
“A demon lord?” Said Edna Clark, 45, wiping her hands on her apron and looking inquisitively at the strange being in her kitchen. “I was trying to make a blackberry pie.”
“A… A…” stuttered Lord Khervalas. “…Let me see that.” She handed him her recipe card, which he looked over carefully. He sighed exasperatedly. “It asks for two teaspoons of salt. You must have put in two tablespoons.”
“Ohh, I see. Thank you, sir. Sorry to bother you.”
“Don’t worry yourself. This is… neither the first time, nor likely the last.” He sighed again, with more of a wistful tone than an annoyed one. “Is there anything you need done while I am here?”
“Well, the roof does need re-shingling.”
“I shall get right to it.” The crackling being of eldritch energies transported himself out of the room, leaving a thin wisp of smoke.
“Teaspoons,” she repeated to herself, circling the measurement on her recipe card. “Teaspoons.”