The creature's screams chill Maggie's bones as she descends the mountain stones.

Here is a prompt I wrote this morning. Enjoy.

Prompt: The creature.

Maggie drove the spear fist-deep in the creature’s chest, twisted it, and tore it out. The creature howled; stalagmites trembled around them. Maggie retreated, crouching low and facing the creature.

“Enough…” it said. Steam escaped the wet wound under its hand. “Enough, I’ll go … I’ll leave your damn valley, but – god – I’m going to die without help. Please, I know you can understand me.”

Maggie blinked half-blinded behind hot tears; she shook with adrenaline. Her left foot quaked in a blood-soaked sandal; missing several of her mother’s sacred beads. Maggie’s spear hung splintered and dripping in her fist. She chortled like a lioness and her shoulder muscles danced under the skin. “You can’t be killed, demon,” she said. “But I will come back for you, if you do not go. I will come back and smite you here, on the mountain, again.”

The creature laughed and unfastened its metal hat. “Nothing can be killed Maggie.” Its lips peeled back revealing pink and gums spotted black; square teeth. A sudden fit of coughing shook blood from the creature’s mouth. “But all shall return to the earth. You’re people taught me that you know?” It fell to its knees and cried out. “Perhaps I am beyond help. Christ. This blow is deep, but come, please, take these journals. They’re extremely-”

“Eitilt an Demon áit! Silence, demon!” Maggie said. “You speak my language with an animal tongue,” she spit on the stone floor, “you are the devil!” Then Maggie flung her weapon aside and turned toward the cavern’s mouth. Her lip quivered as he wiped her eyes with a muddy wrist and placed her palms together in prayer.

“Wait!” The creature said. “Maggie I’m not your enemy, I am not a monster.”

“You are a demon,” Maggie whispered. “Not a man. A demon. Not a man.”

Maggie opened her eyes. Ahead, the rock floor plummeted into open air. Maggie stuck out her chin and ran for the edge; she drove each step straighter and fiercer than the last. She leaped and caught the waiting rope she’d hung. The entire valley swung out before her: milky skies and tumbling clouds, silver sea and rocky shore, everything natural and right in the valley. Everything that Maggie preserved for her people.

The creature wailed on.






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