I wrote this because I wanted to try writing a short story under 1000 words. I think it turned out pretty good. I’m thinking I might incorporate it into a longer story someday that I have in mind.
I burst through the front door of the quiet country home, shotgun in hand as a monster of a storm let loose with a waterfall effect outside. The house itself looked abandoned, all the lights were out, and a layer of grimy dust covered everything.
A flash of green lightning, immediately followed by a roar of thunder so loud that it shook the windows told me that this was no natural storm, and the fact that it was originating directly above this house told me I was in the right place. From below the floor I could hear a man’s voice shouting. Audible even over the peeling thunder. The question was how could I get downstairs before whatever the guy was summoning arrived?
Pounding through the house I began throwing open doors, passing a bedroom, bathroom, and closet in a matter of seconds. Finally I found what I was looking for in the kitchen, a mold scented set of stairs leading down into the basement.
I quickly descended the beaten wooden stairs, nearly killing myself on the second to last step as the wood broke away from its mooring and tilted forward to throw me into the wall at the base of the steps. On my left was a rot eaten door with a hole near the base and no handle. Through the hole I could hear the man’s deep throated chanting, speaking words that didn’t sound right to the ear, with too many r’s and s’s in the mix. I had no idea what the chanting meant, but given the circumstances, and the feeling of pure evil radiating from the place, I figured it wasn’t anything good.
Shifting my weight, I wound up and delivered a kick that tore the door from its warped frame, revealing a scene that froze me in my tracks even as I brought my shotgun to bear.
The entire basement was a nightmare scene, floor, ceiling, walls and windows covered in what looked like the slick black tar they would sometimes use to patch cracks on a roadway. Not a single light bulb could be seen in the place, yet a dim blue light emanated from glowing symbols strewn along the floor with no apparent pattern.
In the center of the room stood the man I had heard, dressed in a makeshift bedsheet robe with a large kitchen knife raised above his head as he screeched out more of the ritual words. The bound form of a young girl struggled at his feet.
“Don’t do it!” I yelled, taking a step toward the man. At my current angle I didn’t dare take a shot for fear of hitting the girl, but if I could get a little closer I’d be able to get a clear shot off.
The man ignored me, his chanting rising in volume as he neared the climax of whatever dark ritual he was performing. The smell of sulfur filled the air and I knew I had to stop him before the girl was killed. Her death would be the final step in the summoning, and I didn’t like to think about what might answer the call of this fruitloop cultist wannabe.
I had a clean shot now, but before I could pull the trigger I was tripped by movement beneath my feet. The floor itself was rippling like the disturbed surface of a pond that someone had just done a cannonball into, and it was pushing me back towards the door.
I tried unsuccessfully to get to my feet, but the rippling kept shifting in rhythm and intensity, rendering my efforts into little more than comic relief.
“Screw it!” I cursed and took the shot from the ground, aiming for the man’s center of mass. Blood flew as the slug tore a hole in his shoulder, spinning him around as he dropped the knife in shock.
The floor stopped rippling and I was able to close the distance without further trouble, tearing duct tape from the girl’s legs before pulling her to her feet. I was just ushering her towards the door when the temperature of the room dropped a good fifteen degrees. “Shit!” I spun around to see the man take a final shuddering breath as his lifeblood drained from his shoulder wound, guess this demon wasn’t picky about whose life was used in the calling.
“Run!” I shouted as I shoved the girl towards the exit ahead of me.
We had hardly reached the base of the stairs when a clawed hand reached out of the floor and dragged the man’s corpse into the void.
The scent of sulfur was replaced by the smell of dry decay and fresh blood. Then a keening wail shot pain through my skull as something burst through the portals mouth, wreathed in an unnatural darkness made worse by the fading rune lights. Gritting my teeth against the sound that threatened to split my eardrums, I pumped a fresh round into the chamber of the shotgun and fired at the nearly invisible creature.
The wailing stopped as the unseen monster took the hit, and for a moment I hoped that it was going to be that easy for once. Then the laughter started, if it could be called laughter, more like a hacking cough filled with mirth. That was seldom a good sign.
“Hello cursed one, still refusing the masters will I see.” Said a smooth refined voice, horribly in contrast with everything I had heard from the thing so far.
The creature took a step forward, shedding the darkness like a cloak, leaving me staring at a humanoid creature with overly large ears, pointed teeth that stuck out of a wrinkled snout, and a fur covered body with leathery skin under its arms. I knew a vampire when I saw one. Summoned from whatever dimension it called home. I was going to have a long night ahead of me to put this sort of monster out of commission.