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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

An old man waits beside a camp fire, sharpening a sword. A lost family happen to stumble upon him. Now he has to get rid of them before something worse happens.



Amos watched the sparks dance their way upward into the night sky. The fire crackled and spat, the soft wet wood not nearly as co-operative as the tinder Amos carried with him. The smell of bracken stung the hairs of his nostrils. Amos paid it no mind. It was actually quite a peaceful night and the ridge on which he had settled himself offered a beautiful view of the valley below. The road was no more than ten feet away and provided Amos with a clear coverage of any approaching strangers. No one came down this road this time of night anyway.


Amos drew the sword from its scabbard and studied the blade. The number of ruts in the blade edge had become greater in the last few years. Either the Badacry were getting stronger or they were developing a thicker neck bone.

Amos took a small cloth from his top pocket and gently ran it along the blade, removing any smudges or marks that had been left from his last kill.


The sound of a car engine rose him from his mulling. Lights in the distance instantly told Amos that the vehicle itself was a family car. Sound of the engine confirmed it. The car couldn’t have been more than five or ten minutes away.

Amos pondered concealing himself in the woodland behind him. Didn't seem to be much point. He was warm, comfortable and right where he needed to be.


The car slowed as it approached the ridge where Amos had camped himself.

'Must have been following the fire', Amos decided, giving the fire another prod.


The car came to a halt. A man in his late forties tentatively got out of the car, looking up at the greying old man sat atop the ridge.

Amos noticed the family in the car. A concerned and exhausted wife, map in hand, warily watched her husband. Two young children fast asleep in the back seat, oblivious to the stop their father had just made.

Amos hated people approaching him. Simply for the fact that over the years he had been hunting the Badacry, he had seen them kill and maim so many innocent people. He could picture the Badacry killing every new person he met. Slicing them from groin to grin, removing their head just to make sure.


Amos put the rest out of his mind.


"Excuse me? Excuse me? I'm afraid we're lost. We must have taken a wrong turn somewhere along here. Do you you know how to get back to the Highway? The 108?"

Amos eyed the stars. Time was fast approaching now.

"You take this road another mile. First left and you should reach the 108 in about an hour," Amos calmly rumbled, his voice gravely from years of chuffing back cheap stogies.


"Oh...oh, thankyou" came the wary reply.


The car pulled away.

Amos sighed.

Close call.

He didn't really care that he had sent them on a wild goose chase. Or that they'd realise there was no left turn in about an hour or so. Amos just wanted them gone, and people tended to accept directions when you pointed them in the opposite direction to where they'd come from. Made them feel like they were half right at least.


Amos got to his feet. Stretching his back, Amos gave a yawn and swung his arms round, warming them up.




The space behind Amos started to mould and bend. The air itself turned from a shadowy black into a gel like blue. Nasty, burning, spitting blue lava melted the very existence behind Amos, cracking it open to create an oval shaped gap in the space continuum.

Dark hands, long and spindly, clasped either side of the gel-like opening in the air behind Amos. A long dark leg stretched its spindly black slime ridden toes through the hole, delicately laying its touch upon the grassy ground. Within moments, a long probing black maw stretched forward through the burning gap, its mouth gaping wide to taste the air as it followed the rest of its hideous body. Horns and spines projected forth from the creatures back, its skin like rubber, its body thin and repulsive.


In one single graceful sweep, Amos grabbed the sword from the fire, spun his whole body round, and with the fullest force he could muster, swung the sword across the creature's neck.


The head fell to the floor. It never quite made it to the ground, the horns protruding from the head, thudding like arrows into the grassy mound. The head sat on the horns like a traitors screaming skull atop battlements.


Amos shoved the rest of the body back into the hole with his sword. A swift kick and the head followed suit. The hole quickly filled behind the corpse of the creature. The rend in reality slowly sucked itself back into never having been. Amos watched to make sure the hole fixed itself, as it should. As it always did.


Wiping his sword on the grass, Amos checked the blade.

Another rut.

"Gonna have to replace you soon, girl" Amos sighed, sheathing the sword once more.


Reaching into his coat, Amos pulled out the Elekiary Dial. Slitting his finger on a small knife in his pocket, Amos dripped his blood onto the ancient dial.

Whirring into life, the dial was soon pointing east.

To the next Badacry.


Amos shouldered his pack and slipped his sword inside his long coat. Kicking dirt across the fire, it didn't take long to put it out. Far too much water in the wood anyway.


As Amos walked down the hill, he began to whistle a little ditty to himself.

'It wasn't much of a life,' Amos thought to himself. ‘But it was an important one.’

Submitted: November 05, 2015

© Copyright 2021 Sabre Kazabian. All rights reserved.

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