Day 19: 30 Days 30 Stories

The gun felt heavy in his hands. Up until two weeks ago he had never actually fired one outside of a range, he wasn’t ready for live targets. If these things even could be called that. His bug out bag was running low, the ammo for his handgun was just about spent, and aside from distant screams he hadn’t seen another living person in almost two days.

He had been prepared for zombies, catastrophic storms, and even invasion from a foreign nation, or so he told himself. How in the hell did someone prepare for demons? Holy water didn’t work, that idea was torn to shreds like the priest who tried it. Thinking consecrated ground would keep people safe just led to a lot of death in one place. Guns worked, if you pumped them with enough rounds and then ran before any more came to investigate. They had some sort of sense when one of them died.

Taking a quick look around the corner he found the path clear. He crouched so low he was nearly crawling as he made for an overturned truck for cover. The things liked to drop down from above. After a moment he snuck another look at the gas station ahead. He hoped it would have supplies; most places these days had a small grocery store in food, water, and first aid items. If he was stupid enough to have a car there would be plenty of gas but he didn’t have a death wish. Automobiles brought packs of them out, they loved tearing them up.

He blinked. Someone was out there; no two people were out there, just walking down the middle of the street. A man and a woman taking a stroll like it was any normal Tuesday.

“Hey,” he hissed. “Hey, you.” He waved an arm to get their attention.

The man turned and looked at him. He smiled and waved but kept walking.

“Crap,” he pressed his eyes shut. They would draw attention of at least two demons, then there would be blood, and he didn’t know how long it would take for the things to drag the bodies away. With all that going on just a couple blocks away there was no way he could remain hidden.

Distant screeching came from above. It was too late now.

He looked out at the pair, not knowing what to do and was struck dumb. They were standing back to back in the middle of the street. Neither was holding a gun, in fact the woman was holding a sword that looked like it belonged in a gladiator movie and the guy was holding a what looked like a baseball bat on steroids.

A dark form dropped from a nearby building, arcing through the air, directly toward the duo. He closed his eyes, he couldn’t watch, he had seen too much death already.

His eyes popped back open as the sound of thunder blasted down the empty streets. The demon tumbled end over end away from the duo, crashing to a stop halfway through a glass window. It didn’t get up. The guy looked other his shoulder at the woman at his back and smiled, she shook her head.

The screeching was louder this time, closer too. Three of the things bounded toward them from a side street. Their claws kicked up sparks on the asphalt. He had never actually had the chance to look too closely at one of the demons before. Their skin was dark and textured like flowing lava but instead of a bright red the light that poked through was a blue-white. The bottom half of the demons looked like a lion while the top was nearly human shaped. Their heads though, that was where it was clear of their abyssal origins. A thick, jutting jaw and a mouth that mirrored a shark rested below a smooth patch where a nose should be. Two sets of eyes like that of a spider angled up toward a set of sharp curved horns.

The duo turned to face the oncoming attack, the woman stepped forward. As the monsters closed the gap she sprung into motion, slashing to the right, slicing to the right, diving under a claw, and hacking anything that came close. Each time her sword touched the beasts he felt the hair on his arms stand at attention. Another thunderous chorus rushed down the street as the man wielding the club stepped forward and clobbered a demon behind his partner.

It was over, the street was clear. He waited a moment, making sure there wasn’t another assault coming when he saw them waving to him. The street was clear, he checked again, just to make sure, and then stepped out from his cover.

“Hi,” he waved as he got closer. “That was quite a show.”

“You should see it when Tessa comes along,” the guy laughed. “I’m Ben, this is Alex, nice to meet someone new.”

“Jack, nice to meet you too,” he holstered his gun and looked at the aftermath. “How did you do that?”

Ben smiled broadly, Jack realized he was actually a few inches taller than the club wielder.

“Magic.”

“Seriously?”

“Angels have sacked the world and you don’t believe in magic?” Alex shook her head, she was the tallest of the trio.

“Angels? No, those are demons.”

“No,” Ben clapped a friendly hand on his shoulder. “These are angels, low level peons sent out en masse to clear the way for the big boys. There’s a war of the Gods going on, friend, and this is just the beginning.”

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Filed under Fantasy, Science Fiction, Short Fiction, Writing

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