By Lucy Newman
Marcus stood in the darkened alleyway looking down at the dark mass lying on the cold and wet ground. A demon that had been haunting his dreams for six years as he searched the countryside for the monster.
“Oh my dear sweet Lilly,” he cried. “I have found the demon that took you from me. What do I do now?”
Memories of Lilly came creeping back into his mind as he watched the lifeless corpse spread out on the ground like a freshly killed squirrel lying in the road after being trampled by his horse. Two young couples in love, laughing and talking as they walked home from church.
“Let’s stop at the bistro on the way home, I’m sure you’re father won’t mind,” asked Marcus as he gently squeezed Lilly’s hand in his.
“Oh you dreadful creature,” she teased. “You know how my father feels about me not coming straight home from church, he may be ill but he can still scream like a young boy.”
A plan foiled, he frowned in hopes she would change her mind. But in his heart he knew she was right and if he wanted to ask for her hand in marriage he had best stayed on her father’s good side. “You’re quite right, my dear,” he said kissing her hand. “Has his health gotten any better since the doctor gave him those herbs to drink?”
“No. In fact he has changed some,” she replied in a lowered voice. “If it weren’t for the fact he was my father, I’d think he was a stranger in the house. My mother has no idea what to do with him either, she doesn’t trust the doctor much since he started buying his medicines from a strange fellow outside of town.”
“Yes it is quite strange,” Marcus agreed. His own mother has changed since she began taking the medication also, although her health has improved she has become a complete stranger with her mood swings. “Mother is also changed, why the other day I asked her what she thought of you and she began cursing at me as if I were Satan himself. It’s quite strange in deed.”
As the two approached the white picket fence and unlatched the gate hinge, a strange noise wailed from the house. “Father!” Lilly screamed and dashed to the door, only to find it had been broken into. “Marcus! Someone else is in the house!”
Marcus handed Lilly his hat and coat and dashed into the house with cane in hand to ward off the perpetrator. But what awaited him inside was an animal of sorts, gnawing at the father’s throat. “Ah, we have a visitor Lucifer,” a strange voice called out from the foyer. Marcus froze in his tracks as the creature looked up at him snarling.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Was the only noise echoing in his mind as a strange man walked through the foyer tapping his steel tipped walking cane on the floor with his right hand and holding Lilly’s mouth shut with his left.
“Release her you fiend!” shouted Marcus as he tried to move closer.
“Now then, we don’t want to hurt Miss Lilly here now do we?” said the stranger as he smiled. His teeth were sharp like that of his animal companion, his bony fingers squeezing tighter around Lilly’s mouth as he slowly walked towards the mound of disturbed flesh. Pulling Lilly’s head down to look at it.
Struggling to free her self from his grip she let out a muffled scream and hot tears raced down her pale face.
“You are sick!” shouted Marcus as he tightened his grip around his own cane. “Who are you and why are you doing this! This man has done nothing to you!”
“How do you know? Neither of you have been here during the day,” said the stranger. “We are business partners when you are gone. A bottle of herbs for a favor, that was all I asked.”
“What favor deserved this?”
“The favor was for him to bring me the heart of his daughter,” he sneered as he snapped her neck in one quick motion. Marcus screamed in pain as he lounged forward towards the stranger, but was knocked to the ground by his companion. “But he could not do this for me, because her heart belonged to you and now none of us can have her.”
Marcus struggled to get back on his feet, but each time he tried the creature knocked him back onto the floor.
“I grow weary of this Lucifer, come. We have other favors to collect,” he said as he turned and walked out of the living room and down the foyer. Lucifer knocked Marcus to the ground and trotted after its master.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Marcus scrambled to his feet and ran after the two, but they disappeared into the woods. “No, no, no,” he mumbled as he took off running. As he approached his own home, he found the door had been knocked down. "Mother!”
It had been six years since that day, he left town in search of the fiend and his creature. Following the trail of bodies and broken homes he left behind. Finally after six years, he caught the monster in an alleyway of a nearly deserted town. A sadistic smile crept across his lips as he watched the stranger twitch as he broke his neck and laughed as he waited for the man’s beast dog to come to his rescue.
“Where is your creature?” he whispered to himself. A sudden chill rushed across the back of his neck as a pair of mysterious hands held his. Slowly he turned around and looked into the dark brown eyes of Lilly.
“It’s over my love, you won.”
“The creature is still loose, people are in danger as long as it roams the streets.”
“No, it’s over now. Come with me,” she said as she pulled him away from the corpse.
As they walked down the alleyway towards the streets, Marcus noticed her hands were quite cold and offered her his jacket. “No thanks, I’m fine,” she said with a sinister smile. “You’re mother is with my father and they’re both waiting for us.”
“What?’ asked Marcus as he stopped walking. He rubbed her hand again with his thumb and brushed back against fur. Sudden fear rushed through his body as Lilly’s face fell to reveal the face of the demon dog. The stranger’s creature companion. “We are all waiting for you my love,” it howled and ripped into Marcus’s soft flesh.