"William E. Emba"|
Fredric Brown, a prolific and acclaimed writer of mystery
and science fiction stories and novels, was an extraordinary
master of the short-short. "Naturally" is a one-pager about
Henry Blodgett, who knows he will fail his forthcoming geometry
exam, flunk out of college, and ruin his career prospects. But
Henry has studied black magic, and he's now desperate enough to
risk summoning up a demon. It works! Henry starts to explain
things, but gets interrupted:
"I've always been poor at geometry," he began...
"You're telling me," said the demon gleefully.
Naturally the demon is gleeful, considering the geometric
ineptitude of the pentagram that was meant to constrain him.
Originally published in Beyond Fantasy Fiction as
and reprinted in Brown's
anthology Honeymoon in Hell (aka And the Gods Laughed).