I am trying to write short stories. They may not be very good because they are fast and rarely edited. I would love feedback regardless – what do you like? What confuses you? Do you like the POV or should it have been different? To anyone who gives me feedback – THANK YOU.
“Are you ready?” I asked. A nod in response.
I slowly stood, it was our first night on solo patrol and even knowing this was one of the safer districts, I was nervous. I stepped off the roof, my partner spreading his wings to lead the way. I moved carefully along the street, enjoying the quiet of the night. Most houses had shuttered their windows, but a few had flickering lights escaping curtains. One showed the silhouette of a man hunched over a desk.
I stepped over a cart with a late night pastry seller, careful not to let myself cause even too much wind. He didn’t look up, I found myself wondering who his clientele could be until I saw the little theater, bright with lights and loud with raucous laughter. It was truly a sign of the safety of this street that the people had gathered this late for fun and laughter.
On the side of the theater I saw a single grub soul. My partner was already eating it away before I could so much as shift my spear. The grub disappeared into his jaws and I took the moment to look over the rooftops, seeing in the far distance another dark shape striding among the buildings of the city.
We found two more small grub souls on our patrol and began to turn around to return to our perch early. As I turned, I saw a glimmer out of the side of my eye. I turned my head, but when I looked straight towards it, nothing appeared. I turned away, looking at my partner in concern, and could just make out a nebulous glimmer of soul darkness.
It was agonizing work to hunt something I couldn’t focus on. There wasn’t anything like this my master had taught me in training. My partner was an excellent fiend slayer, but tracking was my sole domain in our duo. I twice almost stepped on a cat prowling the night because I was so intent on my tracking. I even kicked the pastry seller’s cart slightly. I didn’t knock it over, but the man definitely had a time cursing at me.
Finally, I found the source of the disturbance I was barely seeing. A house, ornate and gated. I stepped over the gate with ease and had to step on some flowers in order to get close enough to the house to look inside. It was filled with terrors. I had never seen so many terrors in a single house that wasn’t designed for it. Outside, it looked so normal, even pretty. And it looked as though the terrors were contained inside the walls, although they oozed along every surface. A waft of their evil rose into the night sky and almost immediately began to disapate.
I crouched on the lawn so I could get closer to my partner and said, “I’m not sure what to do, I sense the terrors in there, but our mandate is only on the street.”
Even as I spoke a window opened and a small herd of nightmares began to gallop from the house. As natural creatures, we didn’t hunt the nightmares. I stared at the woman who stood in the window, smirking up at the night sky. She turned into the room and I saw what else lay there – children. I was sure they were the ones who had created the nightmares, they had to be to create so many all at once.
My partner moved and settled on the roof, sniffing along the peak and chimneys. He shook his head, nothing was oozing from the cracks of the roof. I stared in confusion, uncertainty beating in time with my heartbeat. As I saw the pre-dawn light beginning to creep over the horizon I knew I had to leave. My partner snorted in annoyance, but we weren’t allowed to enter houses.
It made my shoulders ache to turn my back on something filled with such evil, but my mandate was not to change humans, only to prevent evil from spreading too far. I would put it in my report and someone else would have to address this place in daylight. Of course, things like nightmares were impossible to prove in daylight. I sighed, and gestured my partner to go ahead.
I touched the tip of my spear to a corner of the building, igniting a spark. It might be evil itself, but to cleanse a place of evil I would risk battling evil myself. As flames began to lick up the side of the building I tapped my spear tip on the window where the children were asleep. A little boy woke up and came to the window, looking out and opening his eyes wide he yelled, “FIRE”
I ran. I had to be as far away as possible before any authority arrived.
2 thoughts on “Short Story: Night Stalker”
Barbara, I have never read horror or very much fantasy either, not counting Harry Potter. So I wasn’t sure I would even understand your writing, but I think you have a gift. It’s very believable, and easy to visualize. I hope you will submit where this could be published, and if there is nothing then you can be the start. I did have more difficulty with your last story,
the story about the tree spirit. I’ll read it again. Aunt Robin
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