Photo: gettyimages

BY: Zahra M

The Demon’s Captive: Short Story

“You are such a devil child,” Grandma Steele always told Violet.
Violet remembered her grandma’s words as she strode purposely towards the group around the bonfire. The other teens were already there and prepared to unleash Mortas the demon. Her heart was racing with excitement and curiosity.
“We thought you wouldn’t show up,” said the girl with the short blond hair.
The others snickered.
“Well I’m here now,” said Violet, taking her place in the circle.
Her long black hair shimmered in the firelight and her blue dress swirled around her in the wind. Violet closed her eyes, feeling the warmth of the fire on her face.
The group started to chant until it grew louder and louder. A form that looked like a human started to appear from the midst of the flames with the flames clinging to him grotesquely. The flames extinguished and Mortas the demon stood covered with his robes and hood.
Violet gasped. So this was the legendary demon the teens had talked about.
Only a pair of bright orange eyes shone in the dark. She saw the glint of a blade dripping with blood in one bony hand.
He slashed the neck of the first willing person from the group. Mortas growled in the dark as he was taking his sacrifices one by one. Wide-eyed, Violet saw bloody corpse after corpse laying on the ground. She was the last one now. She suddenly didn’t think this was a good idea to come here. Violet took a slow step backwards. The sound of the twigs crunching under her heels caused his orange eyes shoot in her direction. Her heart stopped.
The demon’s tall body advanced quickly towards her with the blade still in his hand. Violet turned to run but in a split second the cold grip of his bony fingers clenched over her upper arm, stopping Violet in her tracks. His putrid breath of death which smelled like maggots wafted in the air.
“Please don’t!” Violet screamed.
She felt the steel of the cold blade against her neck causing goosebumps. She closed her eyes and prayed for a quick swift death.
“Actually I have a better use for you later,” said Mortas. His voice sounded very raspy.
Violet felt the chill from the blade disappear from her skin. He muttered something and Violet was hit with a wave of vertigo and dizziness. Mortas disappeared into the night, dissolving like sand in the air. It was the last thing Violet saw before the world went black.

It was dark and cold in the jail cell. Violet sat huddled against a wall with a thin blanket covering her now raggedy dress ruined from the forest. She wondered what her Grandma Steele would think of her now (not that she cared). This was the third time Violet had been in jail anyways. Violet rubbed her forehead as she watched a rat nibble away at the piece of dry bread that was thrown to her. If that rat came any closer to her she would scream bloody murder.
She was terrified Mortas the demon might find her. She didn’t even know why she was in this cell. She didn’t kill anyone!
“Well, well, well,” hissed a voice from outside her cell door.
Violet looked up and saw the orange eerie eyes of Mortas peering at her through the bars. She clutched the blanket even tighter around her.
“What do you want?” she said bravely, trying not to appear scared.
“Your living soul,” he said. His voice was so deep, it seemed to reverberate off the walls.
“No,” said Violet.
His white, sharp fingernails scratched her cell door. The sound of it grated through her ears, making her wince.
“The world is full of selfish and evil little humans,” sighed Mortas. He grabbed a random inmate who had his nose pressed to the door from curiosity and strangled him to his death. The other inmates cowered back in fear at the sounds of the gargled last breaths of his victim. “You will all not say a word or death will be waiting.”
She held her breath in fear.
“What do you mean?” asked Violet.
He tilted his head to the side and then suddenly appeared inside the cell with her. This cannot be happening, she thought over and over. This was a nightmare.
She felt a rush of cold air swoop over her. Her chest suddenly hurt like knives piercing through and her brain felt foggy. What was happening to her? Had it possessed her or something? Standing up, she let the blanket fall to the ground. Mortas was nowhere to be seen.
“A demon righ’ here!” shouted an inmate.
“He’s gone!”
“What’s going on here?”
Three officers came rushing down the stone steps to see what the commotion was about. They stalked through each cell door. One of them shook Violet’s cell door, making sure it was locked. The officer made eye contact with Violet’s dead stare and she smiled. He backed away quickly looking unnerved.
“There is a dead body here,” said another officer from the cell next to Violet’s.
“What in tarnation?”
Violet stood still and quiet as they removed the body of the inmate that Mortas killed. The thud of the body on the floor would have ordinarily made Violet puke, but it oddly sent a thrill of excitement through her.
The sound of an officer’s heavy footsteps echoed through the hall and stopped in front of Violet’s cell door.
“Violet, you’re free to go,” he said as he unlocked the cell door.
“Why?” said Violet in a dead voice.
“Further evidence just doesn’t point to you killing those kids. Nothing adds up, but mind you, we will find who did this,” said the red headed officer.
Violet hesitated and then stepped out of the cell.
Sudden unknown rage coursed through her blood. She grabbed the keys from his hand with an inhuman strength, breaking his hand in the process. He yelled in pain and shock. His eyes widened when she wrapped her hand around his fat throat.
“I am not a silly girl,” she said through her clenched teeth. Her voice was so deep it scared even her.
“I didn’t say you were,” the officer struggled to breath as he struggled with her spider thin fingers that felt like claws.
She flung her hair back as she heard the satisfying crack of his broken neck.
The other inmates gasped and shouted in horror.
“Yo, girl, let us out too,” said one inmate.
Violet ignored them walked up the stone steps and calmly greeted the other officers. She was breathing hard.
“Stay out of trouble young lady,” one said.
Good. They had no idea what she had just done she thought giddily.
The cold wind outside felt good on Violet’s sweaty face. She felt invigorated and alive.

Violet strolled through Dreary Street and arrived at her red brick house. There was a garden in the front yard with a hatchet laying against the brick wall. She rang the doorbell. Her grandmother stood at the doorway entrance, wearing a pink hairnet.
“What do you want? You’re such a disgrace to the family,” huffed Grandma Steele.
“I’m not.”
“Just go back to that jail. They should just execute you,” said Grandma Steele.
Violet’s eyebrows rose. This wasn’t the first time she heard this.
“No one is going to kill me,” said Violet in the deep man voice. “You will be the one dead before the night is over.”
She tried to fight the urge to kill her own grandmother.
Kill her, the voice said in her head. No, thought Violet. Violet arm moved of its own accord and her fingers wrapped around the hatchet. Her arm felt heavy as she swung it towards her grandmother head. The elderly lady lay sprawled on the floor, blood pooling beneath her frail body.
Violet straightened up and threw the hatchet on the ground. What had she done!?
A sound of light footsteps came from inside the house. Violet peered in the darkness to see a pale young girl with straight black hair staring at her. Violet’s heart stopped in terror. The girl looked exactly like her but younger and had an innocent quality to her face.
“Who are you?” said Violet.
The girl just smiled.
“You left me,” she said sweetly. “Look in the mirror.”
Violet walked over to the large oval mirror that was hung on the wall and only saw a pair of orange eyes in the reflection. Everything else was a black shadow. Her grandmother’s words rang in her ears. “Always a devil child…”
“No!” wailed Violet.


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