The Demon's Bet

the May Bird

Ah, the birth of your first child. What a wonderful day! You and your spouse decide to name him Charlie. He's a beautiful baby, and you can't help but sit in the nursery staring at him as he sleeps. Soon, you too have nodded off.
You awaken several hours later to the sound of breaking glass and howling wind. You bolt upright and try to scream, but ribbons made of black smoke materialize before you and tighten around your mouth like gags.
Through the darkness, you notice a silhouette standing against the darkened window. It approaches the crib, stepping into the moonlight to reveal it's true form: a hideous demon, with curved horns, red eyes, claws like talons. You try to lunge for Charlie, but find that the smoke moves to hold you back.
"Now, now, dearie," says the voice, smooth and strangely familiar. "We had a deal, and it's time for me to collect my payment." You can only watch in horror as he picks up your baby with surprising gentleness. Little Charlie sleeps peacefully on. You continue fighting to no avail.
"Such a strong-willed one. Interesting..." The demon waves a hand and you feel the ropes of smoke loosen slightly.
"Why are you here?"
"Why are you taking my baby?"