Well, this was not the typical lair of a mad cult.
Everything was so bright and cheerful. Sure, they eschewed modern lighting, but they had all kinds of chandeliers and candles, as well as a huge fire in the fireplace. Everything looked so cozy.
“Who’s your decorator?” Alaina asked. Her captors said nothing, although one flicked his head toward her. At least, she thought he did. He was wearing a cowl, so it wasn’t as though she could see much of anything. “Those curtains are nice,” she added, hoping for a response. When none came, she sighed and allowed herself to be dragged toward the dais in the center.
It wasn’t made of stone; it was brick. Poor fellows must have run low on funds. That must be why they were trying to summon a demonic entity from beyond to lead them to victory.
“That doesn’t look comfortable,” she said, nodding at the platform on which she supposed she would be.
The cultist standing at the dais, apparently the fearless leader judging by the ornateness of his robe, frowned at her.
“You will not be on there for long.”
“Oh good,” she said, “because I’ve got an appointment at the salon. Can we hurry this up?”
The cultists all looked at each other in confusion. Then the head cultist seemed to collect himself once more.
“Bind her to the altar,” he said. Alaina complied cheerfully with them, gazing up at the ceiling.
“You guys even painted the ceiling! You’re thorough. Not quite da Vinci, but I suppose it will do.”
The head cultist gave her a long look.
“Gag her,” he said. Alaina rolled her eyes.
The cultists gathered round, the head one pulling out a long, sharp, wicked-looking knife. He began to speak in a voice that sounded similar to that of a high school drama student.
“We beseech thee, O Great One of Darkness, to accept the blood of this pure virgin, that—” Alaina squirmed and made a noise; the other cultists started murmuring; and the head cultist looked at the knife.
“It’s not glowing,” he said, confused.
Alaina muttered something through her gag that no one could understand. The head cultist ripped her gag off then turned to glare at the others.
“Which of you did it?” he snarled.
“Actually…” Alaina began.
“The intelligence as of the capture was that Sandra Weber was still a virgin. Which of you did it?”
“I’m not actually Sandra Weber,” Alaina said helpfully. She let the spell fade away, and ceased to look like a 16-year-old. Ah, well. It was nice while it lasted. “And I’m certainly not a virgin. Now then…” A loud banging echoed from the doors. “Oh, that must be the rest of the team.” Alaina shrugged out of the ropes, which she had loosened from the beginning. “I suggest taking a good long look at your living room. You probably won’t see it for a while.”
“How…?” the head cultist said. Alaina rolled her eyes again.
“You regularly perform dark magic and try to summon abominations. How do you think?”
The head cultist thought about this, then nodded in defeat.
“Good. Now then…” Alaina glanced at her watch. “Oh dammit. You idiots made me miss my appointment. That’s the third time in the past month…you people need to get lives.” With that, Alaina stalked from the room in a huff, while the rest of the sorcerors burst in.
The head cultist looked round at the rest.
“What just happened?”
A/N: Reading too much of the Laundry series leads to a complete lack of respect for cultists.