Featured Review on this writing by Jeff Bezaire

Honeysuckle's Child

Reads: 354  | Likes: 5  | Shelves: 3  | Comments: 4

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Fantasy Realm

For the BoMoWriCha house's first challenge. This story was written in one day (actually, I finished in under 12 hours, even with taking a five hour nap). Word count: 1500

Requirements: Use the word 'honeysuckle' somewhere in the story, whether as a story element or a background bit of scenery.

The cover image was my inspiration for this story, and is copyrighted by https://begemott.deviantart.com/art/sweet-halloween-dreams-42197587

Submitted: June 15, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 15, 2018



The room was dark, lit only by the ambient street light filtering in through the sheer curtains. There was a single bed, a nightstand, a dresser, and a chest of toys. A closet door stood ajar. A small girl lay sleeping in the bed.

Lonicera lay in the bed, head cocked to the side and pillowed on the girl’s elbow. He watched the closet door without blinking. His rounded ears twitched slightly as he listened carefully, monitoring the aperture.

The child moved, shifting slightly. She coughed weakly as she turned her head to the side. Lonicera looked up to see her brow furrowed in pain, but she did not open her eyes. He watched as her facial muscles relaxed and she dropped back into sleep.

Lonicera returned his gaze to the closet door. It was nearing midnight. Soon.

Some small time later, a sound caught his attention. His gaze remained fixed on the door, but his hand moved slightly. A shining silver greatsword shaped like the wooden sword the girl kept in her toy box materialized next to him, hidden from the closet by his round body.

Lonicera readied himself, gripping the hilt of the sword tightly.

A rattling groan emanated from the closet, slithering through the room menacingly. A single slick claw curled around the bottom of the door and began to push. Lonicera waited.

The slick dark snout that emerged next began sniffing, a forked black tongue tasting the air. The creature became more bold, pushing the door wider as it shouldered its way into the room. Teeth longer than the child’s head glistened in the low light and muscles rippled under scaly dark green skin.

The monster moved sinuously, snaking its way across the room as its body continued to move through the doorway. It was eyeless, Lonicera saw, as it reared up over the foot of the bed, head brushing the ceiling.

It began to bend down, mouth opening, and the girl shifted again in her sleep, making a small noise of distress. Lonicera moved. He surged upward, flipping backwards to land on the child’s pillow to gain some small advantage of height. His movement seemed to startle the monster – it apparently hadn’t realized that the teddy bear was a Vessel.

“Not today, foul beast!” Lonicera brandished his shining sword as a matching shield appeared in his other hand. “You cannot have her!”

The creature hissed, recoiling from the light of the weapon. It curled in on itself into the corner, before turning back and roaring in rage at the tiny teddy bear. It would become accustomed to the magical light in short order, and would attack.

The child slept on, tossing fitfully. The inter-dimensional nature of monsters kept the noise mostly silenced, though some of the louder sounds of battle would seep through. Lonicera hoped to end this himself, without the need to summon the Mother.

If he could only drive the monster into the closet, it would be bound by ancient laws to not return tonight. If the Mother came, turning the light on and entering the room, the ancient magics would protect the child, creating a barrier that the creature could not penetrate.

The monster braced itself, turning towards Lonicera as he leapt down from the bed to make his stand on the floor. The difference in size was vast, though Lonicera was a powerful fighter himself, and knew how to defend.

The monster pounced, its body uncoiling like a snake as it moved. Lonicera watched the oncoming rush of monster filling his field of view as it drove down on his position. He moved, leaping into a somersault, blade flashing. A resistance, a scream, and Lonicera landed, blade extended. The tip was dripping with incandescent blood.

The monster bent over its wound for only a moment before trying again. This time, it knew to anticipate his jump and reached to catch him in its giant claws. It did not anticipate Lonicera throwing his sword into the creature’s eyeless face, however.

The shriek this time was so loud that it began to bleed into the world the child existed on. She sat up in bed, and though the light was dim, she would be able to see the great shadow of the creature filling the room. She screamed in frantic fear, diving under the blankets as her cries were interrupted by her persistent cough.

Lonicera advanced, hurling his tiny body onto the monster’s face and snatching his sword back. He slashed repeatedly, driving the beast down, down to the floor. It landed with an impact that shook Lonicera’s tiny, nearly weightless body away. He landed, tumbling over the bedroom floor, his sword flying away under the bed.

The child continued to scream, the cries muffled by the blankets. Lonicera stood his ground, shield held ready to defend. He backed towards the bedpost. A sound from the doorway, a hasty step. The Mother was coming.

The monster whipped its head around to look at the door, before screaming in frustration and diving for cover. It barely made it, snagging the closet door and pulling it mostly closed behind itself before the bedroom door slammed open. The Mother had come.

Lonicera dropped, his body flopping to the floor as his shield disappeared. The mother didn’t notice, as he was on the far side of the bed and her gaze remained fixed on the child.

A blinding light, confused speech. Reassurances.

“Sweets, there is nothing in the closet. You had another nightmare.”

“Go check! You have to go check!” Raspy breathing, weak coughing.

“Fine. I’ll check, but then you have to go to sleep. I need to get up for work in four hours.” Footsteps. A creak, a click. “Bethany, when I say to clean your room I don’t mean to shove everything into the closet. No wonder you thought there was a monster in here.”

More words. Sniffles.

“Where’s Honeysuckle?” Movement. The mother came back into view, picking him up. She moved, tucking him into bed next to the child.

“Here Sweets, he fell on the floor.” The child clutched at him, hugging him to her chest fiercely. She coughed again, and Lonicera could hear the rattling deep in her chest. The mother picked up a plastic mask, moving to fit it over the child’s face. “Now, take your treatment. You’ll sleep better if you do.”

Lonicera listened to the hissing of air, smelled the sharp astringent scent of the medicine. The mother moved around, straightening the child’s bedding and tidying up the room. Several minutes passed before the breathing machine finished its work, clicking off. The mask was removed, the child settled. A goodnight kiss, and the Mother was gone.

The child sniffled, snuggling Lonicera closer as she calmed and began to drift back to sleep. He lay still, allowing the intimacy. His gaze returned to the closet door; though he had carried out his duty for the night, he could not help but keep watch over his charge, ancient laws be damned. He would not allow the creature access.

A small noise from the closet, a single claw emerged. The beast’s snout protruded into the room. It hissed, a furious growl issuing forth as it encountered the magical barrier the Mother’s entrance to the room had enacted.

I hate you,” the beast snarled. “I hate you I hate you I hate you!”

“That is your choice. You could choose to leave this place, bother this child no further.” Lonicera spoke quietly, though the child could not hear. “I shall not fail my chosen--”

Greedy fucker! I hate you!” The monster whined, writhing at the barrier. Lonicera watched impassively. It stilled, seeming to gaze up at him with its sightless face.

You could share,” the monster cajoled. Its tone had changed, wheedling and imploring. “I’m so hungry, just a taste. I won’t take much. I just need enough to sustain me for--”

“Thy failure is thy own problem. I will not take responsibility for it.” Lonicera sat up, glaring at the closet. “Now begone.”

The creature screamed again, lashing its head back and forth in pure rage. It would try again tomorrow, out of anger against Lonicera if not hunger.

Lonicera moved again, reaching up to hold a hand over the child’s mouth. Lips parted, and a second later a tiny blue ball of soulfire rose from the wheezing mouth. The monster stilled, staring intensely at the soulfire that it so desperately craved.

Lonicera turned back to the closet, holding the soulfire aloft. With one deft motion, he clapped his furry brown paw to his stitched on mouth, consuming the energy.

NO!” As the child began coughing again, even more harshly than before, the monster screamed once more. “Greedy creature! You’d watch me starve while glutting yourself!”

“Alas, there is only enough here for one monster. I will not deny myself for your lazyness. Find your own child,” Lonicera chided as he lay back down, full and content. “This one is mine.”

© Copyright 2019 C. J. Davis. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments: