Tag Archives: demons

Wednesday Witterings

Today’s piece of flash is inspired by the following image:

Image: gratisography.com

Image: gratisography.com

Drawing Down

‘Come on! Up here. I see another one.’ My lungs stretched as I picked up the pace. Marius, long-legged, sped ahead, already focused on the next corner. ‘Jakob! Hurry!’ he called, over his shoulder. I could hear the fear in his voice.

I was almost there when I made the mistake of looking up. Over Marius’ shoulder, I could see it, bare and brazen. Its foul power stopped me in my tracks, and I skidded on the wet ground. I couldn’t help the gush of nausea that overwhelmed me.

‘This is the worst yet,’ I heard Marius whisper. He raised a hand as though he was going to touch it, before realising what he was doing. His fingers retracted into a fist, and he hissed in pain, or anger, or both.

‘He’s desperate, brother,’ I said, picking myself up off the ground. My legs shook. I still couldn’t bring myself to look directly at the image sloppily scratched on the wall before us, the bricks of this flimsy human building already fizzing and melting beneath it. ‘He wants to overwhelm us.’

‘It’s working,’ muttered Marius. Then, the image began to glow with an unearthly light. Marius fell back, almost stumbling off the edge of the kerb. His eyes never left the wall, running around the horrifying shape as though seeking a way to escape. It looked vaguely like a window – a scribbled sill above and below, and the colours within like a sash, like light on glass.

But if this was a window, it was one that should never have been opened.

‘Get ready,’ called Marius. ‘We don’t have long.’ He grasped the handle of his sword and drew it; I did likewise, a beat quicker. Together, we faced the window – and what was about to come through it. Our blades were dull and pockmarked, but they were sharp as midnight and quick as death. I hefted mine, feeling my sweat pool in my palm.

‘Jakob! There!‘ Marius turned to his right, and I tore my eyes away from the window just long enough to see the demon, our prey, less than a hundred yards away. Dressed in the skin of a human, a street dweller who’d once made a living drawing chalk portraits of passersby, it leered at us before taking off at a flat run. Its howl rippled down the alley as it vanished from sight.

‘As long as it’s got that damn chalk,’ gasped Marius, staring after it, ‘there’s no limit to how many portals it can create. We’ve got to stop it.’

‘Well, you’re faster than me, brother,’ I said, shifting my sword from hand to hand. I turned back to focus on the shimmering gateway forming in the wall before me. ‘I’ll get this portal sealed up, soon as my sword’s spilled a little demon blood. Go on! I’ll be right after you.’

Marius turned to me, his eyes pained.

‘You can’t face this alone,’ he said.

‘I sure stand a better chance than you do,’ I replied.

He started to say something else, but bit it back. He squeezed my shoulder before turning away. Within seconds, the sound of his footfalls had vanished, and I was alone.

I hefted my blade and planted my stance, hoping at least to give my brother enough time to slice off our prey’s drawing hand. Anything more than that, up to and including not getting myself killed, would be a bonus.

I charged the window, blade at the ready, hoping the demon hordes had never heard of the element of surprise.

I Wish it was an April Fool…

…to say that I feel like death warmed up today.

Image: smchealth.org

Image: smchealth.org

Perhaps yesterday’s post took everything I had; perhaps the wet, dank, cold and frankly irritating weather has ensured some nasty little bug has settled quite happily in my system. Either way, I have a throat so sore I can’t swallow properly, and I feel like I’ve run a marathon, and I’m struggling to keep my brain online.

Not, it must be said, a whole lot of fun.

However, I do just want to say an immense word of ‘thanks’ to everyone who read, commented upon, or was in any way moved by yesterday’s blog post. It was a terrifying thing to put out into the world but my heart and mind feel far more at peace today than they’ve felt for quite some time. I was very touched by the kindness that came spilling out of every corner of my life – people taking the time to write to me and, even, telephone me, to express their solidarity and their concern – but I wrote the post for purely selfish reasons, to try to exorcise a nasty, spiky demon who has been living in my brain since I was five years old.

Image: heroes.ag.ru

Image: heroes.ag.ru

He made his debut the first time I was teased in a school playground, and he grew in stature with every snide remark, half-covered laugh, and disapproving glance. He was there the day a teacher shamed me in front of my whole class because of my size. He laughed down my neck the day an adult – to my face – referred to me by an extremely derogatory name while laughing at the idea of me playing with my friends because they were sure I was too fat to run. (I was eight – and I was not.) He is in his element whenever any sort of social event looms on the horizon and the fear of having to buy something to wear starts to rise within me – the fear of having to look at my reflection, having to face up to the fact that nothing will fit, having to deal with how bad I look in outfit after outfit…

You get the picture.

There is a lifetime of hurt behind yesterday’s post.

So, thank you to all those who understood, and who cared. Thank you to all those who read my words. Thank you for helping me. The kindness I was shown was an unexpected, and very welcome, gift.

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

I spent all day yesterday proofreading and editing a technical document, so today – considering how I feel – will hopefully be spent dreaming up a story or two. Whatever you’re up to, may it go well.

Happy writing, and happy new page.