“What is it?” I asked.

“Do you know what the biggest problem with hunting demons is?” Eve responded with a question.

“Um, no pay? Hard to put on a resume? People think you’re crazy? Give me a hint,” I said. Probably not too different than being any kind of full-time practitioner.

“They wear human bodies,” she answered.

“Oh.” It made sense, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. That… made things awkward.  “Can you chase them out? What about the red skin and horns?”

“If you see a demon without its meat suit, you’re either using enhanced observation techniques, or you’re about to die. When it’s much easier to take a body, why would you risk something of your own? You have to have power, but more importantly, you need reason. ” she asked.

“How do you know they’re really demons?” I asked. I didn’t really mean for it to sound so antagonistic, but it was a bit aggressive.

“My question, too,” she said. She looked frustrated. “At least I believe in them, which helps.”

“Otherwise he sounds like some kind of serial killer,” I said, realizing her point.

“Yeah,” she said.  She let Roberto come back into the booth with some new bowls of pudding.

“So, some kind of magic to detect this stain? And what do you use, spiritual Clorox or something?” I asked.

Roberto shook his head. “There’s prayers,” he said.

“Spells,” Eve corrected.

“Prayer,” Roberto said. “Though,” he said after a minute, “it is possible that miracles look to be magic.”

“Or vice versa,” Eve and I said it at the same time. Yep, siblings.

“Or…” he shrugged again. “You must realize, there is…” he got that distracted look again, “much of being a demon hunter that is wrapped up with the Church.”

“The Church?” I asked. As far as I can tell, one refers to all the myriad collection of splintered Christian faiths as ‘the Church’ but sometimes they specifically mean the Holy Roman Catholic, and this seemed a time to specify. I mean, maybe he meant the Denver dance club.  That would be funny and weird.

He gave me a suspicious look, but then Eve chuckled. “What did you expect, Bob? True faith?”

He sighed, and shook his head, looking down at the table. “It is strange to me, because we took that magic was a specific gift… and responsibility. Given for specific tasks, and yet there are so many differing opinions, and it’s like…” he smiles a little, looking back up at me, “Denver Comic Con.”

I leaned back. “Oh, go on,” I said, trying not to smile indulgently.

“It was a real eye-opener for him,” Eve tried to hide her own smile. “Not just the cosplayers.”

“Hey, don’t objectify,” I reminded.

“Not even a little,” she sighed, but the smile crept back. “But it doesn’t hurt that it was the same weekend as Pride, and there was quite a variety of eye candy.”

“Not for you,” I wagged my finger at her. Roberto looked like he wanted to do the same thing.

She grinned.  “I know.”

Roberto shook his head. “There are so many opinions. Everyone read,” he made an motion of an arc with his hands, “a group of comics. Or the whole…?”

“Run,” Eve supplied.

“Run,” he repeated, “and would remember different things and come out with their own stories, separate from story that was told.”

“Ah, Star Wars,” I said.

“Well, yes, and X-men, and,” I cut him off.

“No, it’s something I remind people when they talk about Star Wars is that everyone has their own.  For some people it’s a love story, some people it’s a story about the subjugation of droids, for others it’s a story of revolution, and for some it’s just the arc of Anakin and his redemption, but everyone calls it the same thing.”

“Yeah,” he said.

“I even call the phenomenon ‘Star Wars,'” I said, unnecessarily.  “But I understand. I didn’t think it really qualified for magic, but yeah, it makes sense.  I stopped going to ‘witchy’ events, and not because I have anything against the lace and black clothing movement, like, at all, speaking of objectifying,” I cleared my throat, “but they didn’t see the Force the same way as I did.”

“Haha,” my sister said.  Not laughed: said.

“Exactly,” Roberto said. He didn’t crack a smile though, meaning that my attempt at humour was exactly as good as my sister’s not-laugh implied. “I have not had a great deal of experience, but I am slowly being exposed to different viewpoints.”

I could just hear the giggle my sister suppressed.

“Intuition is a fantastic ride, itself. A rollercoaster that doesn’t ever improve.” I sigh. “But the point is that apparently being around a demon leaves some kind of slime trail and we can follow it somehow. Better than my plan to start hanging around morgues like some kind of television detective, because I don’t even think they let me in the door without some sad story, and I’m not ready to–”

“You’re rambling,” my sister interrupted.

“Yeah. I do that,” I mumbled.  “So, you in?”

Roberto put up a hand. “What demon do we seek?”

“We weren’t exactly introduced,” I start saying, “but do you mean a unique name? The fellow who was possessed has something odd as a name. Vasil. Kind of like a corrupted herb.”

“Let me start again,” Roberto said, sounding less exasperated than he probably had a right to be. “What know we of this demon? Why do you seek it? Has it done something terrible?  What information do you have for us to start?”

“And how much do you pay?” Eve asked.

“Well, I’ll pick up lunch. What do you mean pay?”

“Demon hunting doesn’t exactly pay the bills,” she said.

I was at a loss until I saw the wink. “Yes, yes, you get to come along. That was the deal, right?”

“No!” Roberto said. “She should not. She’s already being sought–”

“You know about that?” I asked.  It had all but escaped my mind, like everything Magda said.

“Of course I know about it. I made sure it happened,” she said.

I think Roberto and I both groaned.