The creature’s burning eyes flared, acrid smoke pouring from the demonic being’s gown. A hand reached toward the girl, who had managed to back herself against a wall.
“I’ll give you a better life, darling.”
The blue-shirted girl’s feet pushed against the floor, the worn soles of her shoes desperately trying to grip at the shattered planks. Her hands were still tied by fabric, unable to give her any sort of support or balance. The smell of rotting flesh hit her hard — she looked past the demon to see the mans body had already begun to decompose. Swarming flies seemed to leak from the creature’s dark ball gown, picking away at random pieces of flesh.
She was stuck in a state of half-shock. That was her future, right there. In a few minutes. In a few seconds. She’d be eviscerated. Devoured. Her adrenaline surged wildly. Her shoes dug in, lifting her back up with the help of the wall’s remains. She held out her tied hands in front of her, trying to spread her arms as much as she could for the sake of balance.
The gale returned, ripping at the sides of the house. The familiar sound of snapping wood filled the girls ears — she saw what had happened to the man earlier. All it would take was one random piece of wood to fly at her chest and she would be one with the maggots. She had to get away from this place.
Without warning, the demon lurched at her with outstretched arms. The girl had already made her move, elbows bent at her chest, hands in a fist in front of her. She ran under the creature’s grasp, her tentacle-like fingers just passing over her scalp. A tuft of the girl’s hair slipped through the grip of the demonic being — a few strands pulled free from her head.
The creature curled the pieces of hair in her grasp, pressing them into her ghastly palm. She wailed out, a ball of flame erupting from her fist — ashes dropping to the ground below.
The girl had begun to run now, navigating her way through the ruined house. Uprooted slabs of wood and shattered pieces of glass littered her path, preventing her from gaining any sort of real speed. She could hear the banshee scream behind her. She could feel the chill licking the back of her spine. There were only moments to live.
Make them count. Please, please make them count.
The girl pulled her palms together, holding them to her chest as she ran. She prayed for anything to stand between her and the creature who wanted her life. She called out, begging anyone for help.
Her legs had started to burn with effort, the many deep slashes up and down her calves stinging as sweat dripped into them — but she couldn’t stop. The pain at least meant she was alive — meant she hadn’t been turned to ash. Nothing mattered but survival. Her feet pounded against the wood, her breathing heavy in the chilled air. The sound of beams cracking followed behind her, echoes of the demon’s screams not far behind.
The girl leaped forward out of the ruins, feet finally meeting dirt and grass. The soil was wet and murky, the bottom of her shoes catching every now and then. She struggled not to slow down, bolting for a line of trees not too far in front of her. Her head turned to the side slightly, attempting to catch a glimpse of the demon.
The creature had almost made it out of the wreckage, pieces of debris launched into the air as she rampaged forward.
The girl snapped her neck forward, a renewed sense of terror filling her veins. Twigs and leaves crackled under her determined pace. She continued to hold her hands tight, hoping that somehow she would live.
The ground suddenly collapsed beneath her, sending her ankle twisting violently to the side. Her hands flew out in front of her, trying to grasp any hope of balance — but there was nothing. With a deafening thud she plummeted to the ground, face sliding into damp mud. As her knee dug into the ground a sharp snap could be heard.
This is it.
She tried to kick her leg to the side but instead of movement she was greeted by a sharp pain. Her chest heaved against the dirt, one eye peaking out behind her — looking for her executioner.
The demon bursted from the house, glowing eyes narrowing at her catch.
“Your blood pumps wildly for me…”
She hissed out a dark laugh.
Certain her prey was done for, her demeanor changed from that of a jackal into pure royalty. A ethereal hand brushed down the sides of her onyx gown.
The girl lurched her arms forward, fingers digging into the dirt, arms helplessly trying to slide herself forward. She cried out, fighting for each inch.
The demon continued to approach, each step showing regal purpose. She laughed again, the sound a harbinger of the girl’s demise.
The blue-shirted girl continued to struggle, nails filled with mud and dried blood.
Then the laughter stopped — and it turned into a squall. The sound was a horrible cacophony of locusts and screeching nails, a terrible call that burned at the girl’s ears. She turned back again, looking to the wailing demon. A glowing yellowish red cord extended from her back, twisting through the rubble. A dark amber beacon had erupted from where the runic circle was within the house, blinding light and fire spitting from the rubble. The demon tried lurching forward once more — only to be caught in the back by the lasso.
Again and again the creature tried breaking free, each attempt failing — spittle and ash spraying forward from her maw.
With a renewed surge of life, the girl forced herself forward an inch at a time. Her body dragged against the murk, blood catching on individual blades of grass. Still the demon wailed and wailed, trying to break free of her bonds to no avail.
She pulled herself for miles, the screams of the creature behind her. Pain lit her entire being, blood and sweat matting her hair. Her broken leg throbbed, the cuts in her calves and arms stinging with each movement. The image of her dead kidnapper echoed in her head — his gruesome death replaying over and over whenever she closed her eyes. The rancid smell still lingered in her nostrils.
But she was alive.
So she gladly welcomed the pain.