Categories > Original > Horror0 Reviews
The full moon is out, and so is the Demon... Will four friends survive the ordeal?
Deep in a shadowed forest surrounding an abandoned farmhouse, glowing ruby red eyes snapped open and a deep, blood thirsty growl announced the awakening of the creature. The beast stretched its scaled wings and coarse fur-covered body, its razor-sharp fangs and claws shimmering in the vague light of the full moon peeking from under the dense canopy. The beast looked to the sky and sat on its haunches, lifting up an eerie, chilling howl and inducing panic in the village below. It had been seventeen years since the beast last woke. Seventeen years since the last massacre when ten of the village children were brutally killed. Those who remembered the incident shuddered, hoping that their children would escape the same grisly fate this time.
"Quiet, you two!" Rhea hissed to her three friends. She could have sworn she had heard something. Her wide ryes and pale face easily displayed her fear to them all. Her three new friends knew that she had thought this a terrible idea and were determined to prove her wrong... and frightened her completely, as well.
Nix, a tall red head with spiky hair, smirked, "Don't worry, Rhea, we're not going to let the 'demon' get you!"
Rhea's jade and mercury eyes narrowed and she turned to him, her ebony tresses flipping with the sudden motion, "I'm not bloody scared! I just thought I heard something!" Her British accent was coming out forcefully with her distress.
Cassie grinned, "Probably just a mouse, Rhy."
"Yeah," Isis chimed, "It's not like the legends are actually real, after all! Nothing can have the body of a wolf, head of a dragon, wings of a bat, claws of a tiger, and the Eyes of the Soulless... How would the Elders even know what the 'Eyes of the Soulless' look like, anyway?! They just have incredibly active imaginations. I'll bet the Kings simply moved away and they didn't want all the teenagers to come up here and make out."
They were talking about the old King farmhouse on the very edge, and surrounded by, the Clear Creek Forest. The drab grey building had been abandoned almost two decades ago and was in horrific shape. The windows were all boarded up, the shutters falling off, the wood rotting, and the paint was peeling, giving the farmhouse the haunted look that everyone expected.
Clear Creek Legend spoke of a Demon Beast that hibernated in the forest around the house, awakening every seventeen years to feed on the innocent. The teenagers of this generation thought it nothing but a myth told to scare them away from the house and forest, and, unfortunately, Rhea didn't have enough experience to debate this, having only moved here a month previous. She was, however, instantly accepted into the most elite ranks of the small town high school. Her beauty, charm, and mysterious air had had plenty to do with that.
She bit her lip and watched her friends as they traversed the front porch, looking for a way to enter into the dilapidated house. "Are you sure this is a good idea?" The three exasperated looks she received in response were answers enough. She sighed but squared her shoulders and began to help anyway, purposely ignoring a fleeting shadow as a trick of the light.
Suddenly, she rolled her eyes and spoke loudly, drawing the attention of her companions. "You bloody great idiots! The door's unlocked!" To prove her point, she turned the knob and the portal gave way with a spine-tingling squeal, beckoning them into the darkness beyond.
The three surprised teens just stared while Rhea merely shook her head and walked inside, carefully avoiding the rotten floorboards. The room they entered was completely dark, save for a single shaft of light illuminating a few feet of wooden floor and a decaying staircase.
In unspoken agreement, all four carefully bridged the gap between the doorway and the stairs, luck holding them up. Slowly, they began to ascend, checking the rotting boards gingerly before settling their weight on them and wincing as the wood groaned beneath their feet. When they reached the top, Nix stepped heavily and the wood cracked, splintering instantly as his foot went right through.
The redhead yelped in pain and fear as he lost his balance, trying to grab the banister while Cassie and Isis tried to grab him. Covered in dust, the banister was slippery, rebuffing the struggling teen's desperate pleas for assistance and sending him rolling down the stairs. The girls screamed as he tumbled over and over, eventually slamming into the wall at the foot of the stairs, cracking his head on the wall and wilting, limp and lifeless.
The blonde and brunette rushed down to their friend as quickly as possible, tears in their eyes and deathly pale faces. Both were completely unaware of what had transpired between Nix and Rhea only moments before.
As Nix crashed through the wood and began his frantic drive to save himself, he had caught Rhea's face. She had been grinning at him ferally, razor-sharp canines glinting in the light as her eyes glowing unnaturally. For a moment, he could have sworn he say a black light emitting from her and beautiful ebony and jade feathered wings sprouting from her shoulder blades as a thin, black scaled tale, arrowed at the end, twitched in eagerness at her side. When he had blinked, the image was gone, replaced with an equally worried look on the girl's face as he completely lost his balance.
Rhea slowly followed the girls and quickly stopped them from moving the insentient teen. "Don't touch him! You never move someone who could possibly have a head or neck injury! It could kill them!" The two girls paled even more and hastily moved back. Rhea ignored and gingerly checked Nix's pulse. The corner of her mouth twitched slightly before she shook her head, backing up slowly. "My God --- He's dead!"
The others burst into tears, startling Rhea slightly, and became hysterical. The jade eyed girl blinked and growled lightly before slapping both teens. "SHUT IT! Going to pieces now isn't going to help anything! We need to call the police!" The girl took a deep breath before calmly asking, "Do either of you have your cell phones?"
Stunned, both girls hastily forked them over, causing Rhea's eyes to roll. Looking grim, she took Isis' phone and turned it on, sighing as the screen lit up, only to swear as it flashed the low battery symbol and went black. The girl scowled and tossed the phone back to its owner, completely ignoring the pale and terrified eyes of the girls as they stared behind her. Unconsciously edging away from the growing puddle of blood at her feet, Rhea dialed 911.
A terrified squeak from Cassie made her look up, her eyes angry, to find both girls frantically motioning behind her. Narrowing her eyes at them, she turned, the phone to her ear.
Emerald and Silver met Ruby Red.
The creature's eyes glowed eerily, promising pain and death to the girls behind her as it snarled at them, blood slowly dripping from its serpentine muzzle. The beast's silver claws stood out sharply from its coarse, jet-black fur as they flexed in preparation. The ebony scales, shining blood red in the silver light of the full moon, on its dragon-like head seemed to glimmer like jewels. Those same scales covered its bat-like wings that were half again the length of its body, folding neatly on its back. The being's tail was long and serpentine, separating at the end and forming into two stings, both dripping with vile red poison. From head to claws, it stood just past Rhea's hips, its hungry eyes communicating its bloodlust clearly.
The phone slowly slid out of Rhea's hand and clattered to the floor, slipping through a crack in the wood. A few seconds later, they heard the sound of shattering plastic and knew the fragile flip phone was no more. Rhea slowly lowered her hand, her eyes never leaving the glowing crimson of the demon, and whispered to the others, "Don't... move..."
Almost instantly, both girls bolted towards the door and she growled lightly. The creature's eyes followed them as they staggered across the deteriorating floor, looking almost amused. When they met jade again, a question was held in their depths. The ebony haired girl only arched a challenging eyebrow and received the equivalent of a smirk before the demon leapt.
As the huge body soared over her, crashing into Isis, Rhea grabbed Cassie and practically drug her from the farmhouse and towards the shadowed forest, disregarding the chorus of agonized screams coming from behind them.
They dodged through the trees as if it were daylight, Rhea leading the way. Whenever Cassie stumbled, the other girl almost wrenching her arms from their sockets. The blonde's crying echoed around and through the trees, adding a feel of surrealism to the night.
Just as a moon filled meadow came into view, a shrieking cry from above them pierced the air. Looking up, they saw the beast flying above them, its powerful wings blocking the light of Artimis. Spurred on, they quickened their pace.
Halfway through the meadow, Cassie slipped and twisted her ankle on a rock, bringing her to her knees with a cry. The demon, seeing weakness, folded its wings and dove towards the ground, landing a few dozen feet from the frightened girl.
Cassie took a deep breath and looked to Rhea, tears on her face and in her eyes, "Go."
Taken aback, Rhea asked, incredulous, "What?!"
The other girl bit her lip and hung her head, whispering pleas to her friend, "Please! I've lost Nix... Isis is dead, too... You're the only friend I have left! Just go! I'll try to hold it off!"
Rhea blinked again before chuckling darkly, a deep, otherworldly tone fusing with her voice. "I'm not going anywhere, Cassiopeia. I will come to no harm from the Shadow Stalker." At Cassie's bewildered look, Rhea merely pointed behind her and the blond turned, suddenly stifling a scream. The ruby eyed creature was right behind her, its rancid breath blowing in her face.
The ebony haired girl stood up fully, making no move to help the incapacitated girl, and walked over to the beast. She grinned as she scratched behind its ears, the rumbling snarl-like purr soothing her as nothing else could. She then looked over to Cassie and allowed her true appearance to show -wings, tail, fangs, feathers and all - causing the distraught teen to pale even further. A single word rang through the night, "Why?"
Rhea grinned, allowing her canines to glint in the light of the moon, "It's really quite simple, actually... I am Queen of the Underworld and enjoy toying with weak mortals such as yourself. This time, actually, was not planned. A couple centuries ago, my companion and guard (that's Wraith, here) disappeared on me. About two months ago, I learned where he was and came to get him, discovering the reason why he left my side."
She looked up to the sky, drawing Cassie's gaze as well, and grinned as another of the beasts, half the size of the one at her side and colored a smoky grey, followed by three cubs, landed in the meadow. After a few seconds of watching, the Demon Queen turned to her 'friend'.
"He had a family. These three cubs are the first Shadow Stalkers born in several millennia, making them a miracle. I promised to help feed them once more before we Shadow Walk back to the palace in the Demon Realm. To do so, I needed to trick mortals," she pointed to Cassie, "which would be you, Nix, and Isis, into coming here on a Sabbat. You see, having cubs is a full time job for Shadow Stalkers. Wraith couldn't leave the area around the nest until tonight, but I wanted to leave tonight, thus the need to lure you over here for a quick snack before we leave."
The Queen of the Underworld waved her hand, erecting a smoky model of the universe in her palm. After studying it for a few seconds, she waved her hand through it, dispersing it, and turned to the girl, "And we have to leave soon." She looked to the Stalker by her side and motioned to Cassie. The creature gave an evil grin in response and howled to the moon, the spine tingling sound reverberating into the night. The last sounds heard that night were hungry growls, a dark chuckle, and agonized screams, echoing through the forest and down into the village below.
Deep in the earth, a beautiful, gothic city, pulsing with Dark magic and malice, cheered, knowing that their Lady was coming home. On the balcony of a magnificent palace sitting atop the highest obsidian hill, a darkly handsome man with red and gold eyes chuckled evilly; the King would soon have his Queen by his side once more. He smiled, exposing fangs only slightly longer than his mate's, she wasn't leaving the bedroom for a century if he had anything to say about it.