Jordan walked stealthily through the thicket and cobwebs, trying to determine the source of the sound. With the darkness looming over the entire cemetery, Jordan could feel each tiny neck hair bristling straight up. A crack of thunder shook the trees, then a bright spark – the flashlight went dark. A shock of panic pulsated through Jordan’s body. Another eerie howl echoed through the trees, this time closer. He stopped dead in his tracks. Could it have possibly followed him here? He remembered in the basement of his old house when they first found those bones; the bones that seemed to walk on their own. After reading some books on rituals of the dead, he decided to practice on this newfound dead of his house. He had performed the ritual and animated the dead man. He made him dance, performing comical acts to entertain Jordan, all the while insulting the man’s soul. The young man knew nothing of the powerful demon he had angered with his acts. Things started happening, he began to see things. Creatures stalking in the shadows grabbed for him, tried to take him into the darkness all throughout his house. The basement bore the whispers of the dead. He thought he had left it all behind in that old, cryptic house.
He continued with extreme caution, not wanting to disturb the restless dead beneath him. Another rustle sounded behind him, closer still than the howl yet not out the tree line. Jordan drew a pistol from his waistband and drove in the clip. The metallic clang of chambering the gun clashed with the heavy deadfall silence that now pressed upon his ears. He crouched, afraid now to even stand straight up. He caught another outburst with his ears, but this time it was of a different sort. He could have sworn he heard sobbing coming from a bush on the very edge of the tree line. They came in short bursts, sounding as if from a child. He approached cautiously, the ever-present tree line seemingly bearing down upon him. As he approached, the sobs began to subside gently, lessening to a few hushed sniffles.
“Hello?” Rang out Jordan’s voice, clean and vulnerable in the night air. “Is somebody in there?” He questioned. The sniffles turned to acute laughter, a sort of youthful giggle that in this setting was as a long, silken finger caressing the center of his spine. The laughter cut off abruptly. Silence.
The lack of noise bore down on him once more, the wind slightly blowing, rustling the trees. His ears perked, the pupils of his eyes dilated to twice their size, his grip on the pistol tightened immensely. A low growl began from behind the trees to his right, low and subtle at first, then growing in volume and ferocity. Jordan backed up; his shoulder blades colliding with the cold stonework of the grave behind him sent a chill through his body. The growl grew louder yet, sounding as an enraged lion. His hands raised themselves instinctively. BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! He squeezed the trigger four times in rapid succession, firing into every part of the tree line he saw fit. Fear gripped his heart in the palm of its hand. The loud shots rang out in the heavy night, reverberating back, sounding over and over again, each time softer as they gently subsided and mulled over into nothingness. Silence.
“Hello?!” Came Jordan’s voice, this time strangulated, higher than normal. His pulse ran fast, ran on fear’s timing. A cold sweat trickled down his back, his shirt began to saturate. His breath came in short gasps; air seemed to elude his lungs. It appeared terror had closed its grip upon his throat now as well. “Show yourself! Come face me!” His panicked pleas yielded nothing. “Show your face, beast!” The false bravado in this command was hollow, carrying no influence. His mind raced. His eyes darted along the tree line. More rustling had begun, this time all around him. BANG! BANG! His furious gunfire had no effect on the cause of the encircling motion, which closed in upon him like a venomous serpent. BANG! Another shot fired, seven shells now littered the ground yet no ceasing of the movement in the surrounding cover. He once again heard children’s laughter from the rustling, a crack of a twig to his left, a branch snapped behind him. He backed into the cemetery’s very center. Could it be possible the tree line had moved in even closer? He had but one shot left, he must save it for when absolutely necessary.
All of a sudden, the rustling subsided; the tree line was closed almost fully into the cemetery. A mere five feet separated his quaking body from the foliage. All was silent as the wind blew very gently and the moon bore down upon him like a spot light. The demon had stalked him for years as he moved from place to place, creatures always lurking in the mist wherever he went. This is where it finally ended. His chest rose up and down rapidly, his arms shaking, his knees knocked together. Tears began flowing down his face as his hoarse voice rang out into the cold dry sharp silence of night.
“Why do you want me? I’ve done nothing wrong! Please, please leave me alone!” He had broken down, fallen to his knees he began hysterically crying, all sense of reason gone from his mind. He rocked back and forth slowly saying “this can’t be real, this can’t be real,” over and over again. Another rustle. The madman stood up from his cowering position and gripped the gun. “Come out!” He screeched into the curtain of darkness shrouding the trees in front of him. “Just show our face, please, and leave me alone!”
The response was barely audible. “Jordan…” came the voice, fine as a spider’s web.
Jordan reeled around on the spot and fixed his barrel upon the place the noise had come from. The gun trembling in his palms, he stared into the abyss between the trees. His face turned to mortal terror as crimson eyes pierced the veil of shadows. The creature emerged from the dark cover, leaping at its prey. This was the demon—a large, scruffy, were-wolf looking monster who’s piercing fangs hung as long as fingers. The brute hulked at twice Jordan’s height, twice the width. It had bulging, human like muscles on all parts of its body and sleek black hair the color of night. Its eyes glowed red, emitting light unlike the rest of its body, which seemed to distort it. The air around the creature appeared warped as if by heat and shadowy smoke rose from various points on its body. With precision, it tackled Jordan’s feeble body to the ground, pinning him down and unleashing a roar that seemed to harmonize within itself: A low, ferocious sound seemed overlaid by an ear-splitting screech.
Words had failed Jordan by now.
“You have proven most difficult to catch, elusive mortal,” grunted the beast in a sickly satisfactory tone. His intimidating voice matched his roar in nearly every way. The demon growled, retracting its face from Jordan’s as it screamed again directly into the face of its captive. Spit hung low from the monster’s jowls, falling lazily onto Jordan’s forehead and cheeks. “Now, it is time for me to avenge the utter desecration you have bestowed upon my resting corpse. You should not have tried to disturb the dead, little one!”
A metallic click sounded as Jordan raised his pistol. His last shot sat anxiously in the chamber.
“Bullets cannot harm me, dear fool. You are mine! Your soul is mine!” The barrel pointed, trembling in Jordan’s hand, not to the beast, but to the tear soaked face of the man who had fallen prey. BANG! Gun in his mouth, he had pulled the trigger, the only escape from the beast. Only, there was no beast. Jordan was not attacked, he was not even disturbed on his walk and this cemetery bore no restless undead. He had not fallen victim to any demon.
Jordan Miles had fallen victim to insanity.
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