Closing the Gate

By: Timothy Law

The imp had sworn that this was the place. An abandoned hut, fallen in on itself seemingly too inconsequential. Sur Louisa had her doubts. All of that changed though when she breached the entryway and immediately caught a strong whiff of sulfur. Little spot fires spread ostensibly random-like across the hut's floor and yet none caught the abundance of fuel to level the witch hovel. Upon drawing Hope, the knight's holy blade a tongue of flame sprang forth near Louisa's feet and marked between the fires the lines of a pentagram and a star within. At the center of the icon of evil there appeared a mist and from said mist there stepped a manly figure.

"You dare, woman," the man accused, his face a knowing smirk, a mix of over confidence and contempt.

"I, Sur Louisa, chosen of Ad Astra stand before thee demon…" began the knight, clenching her teeth and forcing the words out.

"Your goddess has no power here…" announced the man, words Sur Louisa believed to be true.

"I come to shut this gate and bar your kind from this world…" continued the knight as she forced her body to take a single stride toward the star's center and the figure within.

"Come closer, that you discover what happens to pretty little girls who blindly obey…" purred the demon.

Sur Louisa found then that she was drawn swiftly, beckoned by the creature's hooked finger. Stumbling, unbalanced the knight found her blade aglow with warning. Blinded by the light she raised one hand to shield her eyes of blue. As the mist surrounded her Louisa felt the painful heat, felt her senses affronted by the extremities. Her mind, unprepared was assaulted by images of the promise of tortures to come.

"You shall birth my young as I slowly strip the flesh from your fingers, toes, your limbs, your breasts, that sweet face…"

The demon whispered his promises into her ear as he took hold of Hope by the glowing blade. A screech and a hiss like that of a wounded cat and the spell was broken. Hope was thrown like a twig from the star's midpoint, the demon with a mark of righteousness scarring his palm.

"Ad Astra has more power than you think!" cried the holy knight as she courageously struck out with both fists.

One struck home, a blessed ring causing the flesh about the demon's eye to hiss and steam before closing shut. The second strike was caught in two clawed hands as the creature revealed its true self.

"Come, the master wishes to meet you," cackled the beast. Now nine feet tall it held the knight above the floor like a shaking doll of rags.

"Ad Astra, I pray…" cried the knight, finally worried for what was to come.

With a single word the beast stepped back into the mist, flames arising as the doorway opened.

In an instant both figures vanished.

Hut empty, its wielder gone, Hope then lay abandoned in a corner; The sole remaining evidence of a Goddess' failure.

The End

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