The following short horror story is based upon a character of a novel I’m currently working on; Seraph Hunters. It mixes the horror genre with the comic book genre. I hope you enjoy it. (Last Updated: Sat. 9-18-06)
Written by: Ben Marroquin
He heard a chorus of screams resonating in the night. It seemed to come from several blocks away, somewhere round the shipyard. He took off at a sprint to investigate.
He rounded the corner when it came into sight; a man running frantically, out the open loading doors of an old warehouse. Two dark mucus hued beasts were giving chase on all fours. The tough leathery hide on their backs were adorned with long deadly quills. Scrather demons, they make pit bulls look like Chihuahuas.
The man screamed out in pain as they ripped into his legs with their fangs, dropping him to the ground. His fingernails tore out of their beddings as he clawed at the concrete ground, staining it with blood, trying with great futilely to keep the beasts from dragging him back into the darkness of the weathered warehouse.
Shae Wynstorm started to run towards them as they disappeared from sight. His strides grew longer as he began to change. Bones popped, lengthened, and thickened. Muscles rippled as they expanded. Skin changed to large scales, only to be covered by black velvety fur; swirling tattoo like patterns of gold accented his entire black furred body. A great golden mane grew and waved in the night as it bordered his ‘demonesque’ face. And his large dark horns glistened in the moonlight.
He reached the large open loading door and entered; his horns scraped the top of the doorway signaling his arrival. The creatures stirring within gaped with hungry eyes at the mammoth seraph hunter known as Hellbeast.
Flecks of gold danced within his onyx eyes as he looked around inside the large dark warehouse. He could hear the creatures shuffling about, chattering to each other. He could smell the metallic scent of blood and rot in the air, and taste its tang on his forked tongue. There is much death within he thought to himself as his massive muscles flexed in anticipation of battle.
He stalked into the warehouse as his eyes adjusted to the dark. He made his way through a labyrinthine jumble of stacked crates and storage containers; smashed objects littered the blood stained ground. He clenched his fists and jaw when he reached the large clearing in the center of the warehouse.
Whoever… whatever did this will pay with their lives! he thought to himself as he unconsciously let out a long low growl.
Standing before him was an exquisitely detailed 12 foot tall statue of a scaly demon with bat like wings. The mutilated bodies of many dock workers were strewn round it in some sort of ritual circle as their blood pooled towards the statue. The broken remains of a large wooden crate lay on the ground a short distance away.
He heard the creaking of metal coming from above and looked up. It was then he noticed them on the walkways, dozens of wine eyed Blood Sprites. They flapped their leaf like wings, clacked sharp claws, and chattered through splintered teeth. Their mahogany bark skin was covered with patches of moss. They were evil owl sized fairy like beasts made of plants that fed on blood. And they were bordering both sides of their demon master.
“What are you doing here demon? This feast is not for you.” The dark demon master said, gripping his demon bone staff with his right hand.
Hellbeast studied him for a moment before replying. He was dressed in dark leathers; boots, pants, and a trench coat etched with blood runes. His scarlet hued skin covered the well defined muscles of his stomach and chest like leather. There was a large amber stone embedded in the flesh of his chest, and two smaller ones embedded near his collarbone.
The stones seemed to pulse with magical energy as his four dark eyes studied the hulking form of Hellbeast.
Recognition came to Hellbeast as six large Scrather demon dogs and dozens of tall lanky ghouls surrounded him. They crouched on the concrete and stacked crates that bordered the clearing, awaiting their orders. He was dealing with a demonic necron summoner; a Necrelian.
“I know what you are Necrelian. I know what you plan. You actually think that you can capture a full fledge Havoc demon within one of your necron stones with this ragtag group of beasts you’ve gathered?”
The Necrelian cunningly smiled. “And now I know what you are, seraph hunter. I no longer have to worry if my beasts are strong enough to take down a Havoc demon. No, now I can just raise him and let the two of you tear one another apart. My beasts will then ensure that I, Necrax, am successful. And once I have a Havoc demon within my necron stone, I will become Lord Necrax.”
“Arrogant fool, lusting for power. All you will accomplish is your own death and that of the countless innocents it will kill if it flies off into the night. No, I won’t let that happen. I will stop you from raising havoc and make you pay for the murders you have committed.”
“Hahahahaha! Such bold proclamations for one about to become a meal for the masses. Well, that is if the Havoc demon doesn’t eat you first.” Necrax lifted his demon bone staff into the air and began chanting the ritual of raising.
Hellbeast remembered the demon lore that his handler Averus Stevens had made him learn. He knew Necrelians had the power to trap demons and the undead within their embedded necron stones. They could then summon mirror images of the trapped beasts to aid them in battle.
The only limits they had were: They could only trap one species per stone, so they were always looking for stronger demons and undead beings to trap, thereby increasing their power. And the more powerful the trapped beast, the less mirror images of it they could summon at any given time. He already knew which three species currently occupied the stones.
He looked at the Havoc statue and saw that the stone was starting to change, starting to become scales. He saw movement begin to take place near its wings. The demon will fly away into the night! I’ll be responsible for all the deaths it commits for not stopping it from escaping.
“NNNOOO!” Hellbeast roared out into the warehouse, leaping to the side and grabbing a startled Scrather demon by the throat. He hefted it into the air and threw it with all his might towards the demon statue. A loud crack echoed within the warehouse as the Scrather beast slammed into the statue’s wing. It whelped in pain as it fell in a bloody heap near the statue’s hoofed feet. Cracks appeared on the stone wing.
“What are you doing you big oaf, STOP THAT!” Necrax yelled as Hellbeast grabbed a ghoul this time and flung him towards the wing. The stone wing and ghoul both smashed to the ground. “Attack… kill him!”
The summoned beasts swarmed to Hellbeast to begin their attack. A Scrather demon leapt towards his head with gnashing fangs. Hellbeast stuck out his right arm, bending it at the elbow to shield his face from the beast‘s vice-like jaws. The Scrather’s jaws clamped down on his forearm. Its fangs drew very little blood due to his near impervious fur covered scales, but the pressure it was applying was painfully intense.
Hellbeast fought through the pain and concentrated on his right arm, causing a deadly row of spikes to protract from his wrists to his elbow. The bladed spikes ripped into the Scrather demon’s jaw and into its brain. He retracted the spikes and caught the dead Scrather, round the neck, with both hands.
Three ghouls came bounding towards him with slashing claws. Hellbeast hefted the dead Scrather and swung it at the ghouls like a giant club. THWACK! He connected with the ghouls, impaling two of them on the spiny quills of the Scrather demon and sending the other one crashing into a pile of wooden crates.
Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw the Havoc demon coming to life and heard it roar out in pain from the loss of its wing. “Hahahahaha! You are too late hunter, Havoc has risen,” Necrax shouted out.
Hellbeast began spinning in a circle, using the Scrather’s dead body as a bat to keep the beasts at bay. He heard the flapping of wings coming near from above. “This isn’t over yet Necrax!” With that said, he launched the dead Scrather and impaled ghouls into the dark cloud of Blood Sprites, scattering them.
He then turned and charged towards the Havoc demon with dozens of ghouls, blood sprites, and 5 Scrather demons on his heels.
The Havoc demon glared at the charging Hellbeast as his muscles tensed for glorious battle. Hellbeast concentrated on his body, the gold tattoo like accents shimmered as his fur changed colors, blending with the environment just as he neared the battle ready Havoc demon.
Hellbeast disappeared from sight as his camouflage abilities activated. The Havoc demon, caught off guard by the act, grunted as something massive climbed over him and onto his shoulders. He felt a tremendous force push his shoulders down as Hellbeast launched himself into the air towards Necrax. Before he could recover, the Havoc demon found himself swarmed by summoned beasts.
Necrax heard a loud metallic rattle and felt the metal walkway violently shake as it announced Hellbeast’s unseen arrival, just a few feet away from him. The Havoc demon raged in battle below as Hellbeast’s body shimmered back into view. Necrax gasped out loud and took a step back.
“Send the demon back Necrax and I’ll make your death quick.”
“Tempting, but no deal,” Necrax said, stepping back. “Take one step closer and I’ll… I’ll summon forth a dark vortex to swallow you up!”
“Your bluffing Necrax. I know what you can and can’t do. I know your weaknesses,” Hellbeast growled as he stepped towards him. “And I’ve had enough of your company.”
Cornered and desperate, Necrax swung his staff at Hellbeast’s legs, hoping to knock him off. Hellbeast didn’t even bother moving, he simply glared at Necrax as his staff shattered into pieces across his thigh.
Hellbeast wrapped his massive left hand around Necrax’s head and lifted his flailing body into the air. He turned on the walkway to face the battling Havoc demon, holding Necrax over the railings. He pulled his right arm back, cocked and ready, then swung his fist.
CRACK! His hammer like fist pounded into the large necron stone with tremendous force, pulverizing it into glittering dust, sending Necrax’s broken body into the battle below.
Hellbeast ripped out the metal railing, wielding it like a spear. He launched himself straight at the Havoc demon as the summoned beasts around him began shattering like fallen mirrors, signaling the death of Necrax. A puzzled looked crossed the huge demon’s face as it looked around. It held its head up, and began to let out a victory roar.
Its victory roar turned to a pain filled wail as Hellbeast’s makeshift metal spear ripped through its chest and out its back. Blood spilled forth from his mouth as he stared at his punctured chest with disbelief. His scales should have protected him from such a puncture, but Hellbeast’s strength drove it through. He fell to his knees as he clenched the spear with both hands, beginning to remove it.
Hellbeast walked round the badly wounded Havoc demon and watched as it fell to its knees. He concentrated on his arm as the demon began to pull the bloodied spear out. A row of bladed spikes protruded from his right forearm as he grabbed the demon’s head with his left hand. He yanked the demon’s head back and swung his bladed arm, hard.
The Havoc demon’s headless body fell to the ground as Hellbeast tossed the severed head into a puddle of blood. He won, but looking round at all the dead innocents, he didn’t celebrate. He simply headed back out into the night, shifting to his human form as he quietly exited the weathered warehouse.