Short Story – Demon Hunter

I am not sure if this will ever become a full story or not, it has potential.  This came to me while reading The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren by Gerald Brittle.

THE DEMON HUNTER

The vase fell with crash, porcelain scattering in all directions on the polished wood floor.  The woman gave a stifled shriek and buried her head in her husband’s shoulder.  Adrian really did not care about them right now.

“Nice try,” he said the still unseen spirit. “You are going to have to do better than that.”  He sat very still, posture relaxed, almost bored as the thing threw more items off the mantle and shoved the sofa the cowering young couple occupied half way across the room.  He was provoking it on purpose.  He needed for it to materialize fully before he could remove it.

“Is that is the best you can do?” He demanded, rising from the chair.  “I’ve seen ghosts stronger than you.”

With a howl of rage the demon began to dismantle the room in earnest, the rugs ripped, the tables overturned, paintings flew from the walls, and the weak light from the lamp stuttered and failed.  The room was bathed only in the eerie white light of the full moon as it filtered through the window.

“Pathetic,” he mocked, causing the man on the sofa to whimper.

“What are you doing?” The husband pleaded.  The tall, dark haired man had simply appeared on their door step, insisting that he had the answer to the strange things happening in their home. Neither one had told anyone what had been happening.

It had started simply, almost innocently; things would not be where you left them.  The car keys would show up on top of the refrigerator, or the box of cereal would turn up in the upstairs bathroom. Nothing to be afraid of; but it had escalated quickly, knocks, raps and bangs in the night turned into footsteps up and down the stairs, the television turned itself off and on at 3 in the morning, and finally the furniture rearranged itself.

The smell of sulfur and long rotten meat filled the room; the walls began to drip a foul and slimy mixture. Adrian shrugged, “Getting better.”

The temperature in the room fell dramatically and the walls began to shake as a black mist slipped in from the corners and began to collect in the center of the room.  Blacker than black, the mist became solid slowly and deliberately until the best stood facing the mage.

An in-human shriek filled the house and Adrian’s soft voice cut through it. “Now I have you.”

“You!”  The demon bellowed. “You dare set foot in…” It was cut short, a sizzling sound followed by a pop, like your ears make when you go up a mountain, and then it was still and silent.  The pair dared to peek out at their living room, everything was broken or toppled, but the man knelt calmly in the middle of it all, casually sweeping a pile of oily looking ash into a glass vial with strange letters carved in the sides.

“Give me the book,”

“B-book,” the woman stammered. “I don’t know what you mean.”  The dark eyes regarded her coldly as the man rose.

“Give me the book you used to summon the demon.”  He did not look sympathetic, he did not try to console them or reassure them that everything was going to be ok.  “You were both marked by a demon.” Adrian stated flatly.  “Not this one, a weaker one.  But like lions the stronger one takes what it wants. You conjured a demon and I need the book you used to do it.”

“We thought it was just a joke, a great game to play on Halloween.” The man pleaded.  “We didn’t think it would really work.”

“You reasons are of no interest to me,” Adrian snapped. “Give me the book and I will remove the marks from you both.  With them on you, you will be a beacon to the foul things.  This was not a particularly strong one, others will come.”

“I will get it,” the woman said meekly, standing on shaking legs she went to a shelf.

Adrian flipped through the pages quickly, satisfied that she had given him what he asked for, he slipped it into the pocket of his coat and turned to leave. He paused at the door, as if remembering something, turned, lay his hands on both of their foreheads.  A sharp pain shot through them both and they clung to each other again.

“You no longer bear the mark of the demon.”

~*~

“This is not it!”  Adrian threw the book against the wall and buried his face in his hands. “It is a copy, and a poor one at that.”  The girl sat on the bed in their tiny room.  She hugged her knees to her chest and sighed, trying not to look at her arm where the scales crept down from her shoulder more every day.

“Maybe it is lost for good,” she said quietly.  “Mother may have destroyed it.”

“She did not.” Adrian insisted.  You cannot destroy a mage’s  book without him knowing.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t have killed her until you found it,” she sniffled quietly. “She had to know the spell for me was in there.”

“Samantha,” Adrian sat on the bed next to the child.  “All demons must be destroyed.”

“Promise, daddy?” Big amber eyes stared up at him.

Adrian eyed the glass vial with the name Samantha etched into its side. “I promise.” He said solemnly.

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