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by Maple
Rated: E · Chapter · Death · #2189831
Just getting out ideas
The old man had never been particularly religious. He'd gone to church with his wife, but he'd done so more to give her company than for any spiritual reason. Since she'd passed, he hadn't gone back since. No, he'd been just fine in their home alone. It was more than enough space; there was really no reason to go out and about.
Yet here he stood, crossing himself and muttering a prayer that was more curses than holy words. He almost swore he heard his love's voice, scolding his language from beyond the grave.
His hand still grasping at the curtain's edge, he slowly pulled it back and looked out the window to confirm reality.
Yep, it was still there.
The first time he'd quickly ducked back out of view, but this time he stared, squinting with his poor eyes. His mind was struggling to make sense of it, and he had the sense that there was more to the being than what he could see.
As it was, it didn't add up. Its proportions were wildly wrong, with arms too long and head too narrow and neck too fat. It didn't have a face, really, but it had eyes, so many eyes, and he somehow knew that there were more he couldn't see. They didn't hold still, didn't stay in one place, instead dancing across its form and sometimes off its form, hovering in the air just next to it.
It was surely the Devil, and he continued muttering half-remembered prayers even as he gazed on it, immobilized. He only hoped that heaven above forgave his addled brain and cared more about his efforts than the words themselves.
As he watched, it moved, in a sort of jarring stop-and-go way. He felt as though he were watching a film that kept skipping. To his horror, it was steadily getting closer. It left a trail in its wake, grass and weeds shriveling and flowers falling apart. The wheel barrow he'd been too tired to push back into the shed this morning suddenly aged twenty years, rusting instantly as though it'd been left to the elements. The wood holding its wheel collapsed and it tipped onto its side.
Still, he stood there, terror rooting him in place. His hand shook such that the curtain cast wavering shadows across his front lawn, but when his lamplight touched the demon, it vanished as though swallowed up.
At last it reached the window, and the old man found he had to crane his head up to look at where its face should be. Out the corner of his eyes he watched its deformed hand press to the frame and the glass frost around it. Then a low crack echoed into the silence, and the window started to spiderweb.
Letting out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding, he found himself finally able to move. He turned his head about as he backed away, and his eyes landed on the poker leaning against the fireplace. He hobbled over to it, all the while the cracking sound pressing into his ears. He turned, supporting himself against the mantle with one hand while he brandished the poker in the other.
For a moment, he and the Devil merely eyed one another.
In the next, the window blew in, scattering glass across his living room. He lifted his arm to his eyes, only to need it to catch himself as the world suddenly lurched under him. He felt a horrid twang as he landed on it and rolled to his side immediately, clutching it to his chest. The poker slid out of reach.
The old man tried to look around and understand what was happening. His floor was tipped oddly, floor boards groaning as it bent. Walls around him sprouted cracks. Was his foundation giving out?
He tried to push himself up, but with one good hand, he could only manage to push himself onto his back.
His lips formed one more silent prayer as he came face to face with the monster, except this time there was no glass to separate them. His last thoughts were of his wife before excruciating pain forced all coherent thought from his mind. Only the cold embrace of death saved him from the torture.
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