There will likely be nothing added to this ever again...I just don't feel like working on my solo, and nothing else is currently open to work on so I'm writing this instead.
Alex fought back the urge to gag. The smell of the cave he had entered was horrible. It seeped slowly over him in waves of horrific, putrifying staleness. Many turned back at this point. But Alex knew he must continue, the monster was in here somewhere and he was going to kill it. There was no other choice, it had taken his family, his life, his purpose for being. Now he would take it all back from the terrifying creature of shadow.
A prickle of fear and horror ran down his spine as he passed the gruesomely mutilated bodies of those that had gone before him. Would he end up like them? Would he be left like all the others? A lone soul left to wander the earth in continual mourning? Many bodies lay to the sides of the long, dark tunnel, some missing heads, others with their chests ripped open. Some bodies had expensive armor, some just the clothes of a desperate peasant. Alex shivered and moved on, not wishing to think on all the carnage. He pressed on, moving on toward the deep, dark bowels of the earth; the realm of the shadow beast.
He stopped only once to pick up a sword of some long-dead and forgotten knight before continuing on his path, down, always down. The farther forward he moved, the more his terror grew, what lay beyond? Would he survive this encounter? Could he save his family. Their images flashed through his mind: Katie, his wife, her black hair cascading down her back, her gleaming green eyes flashing in the sun. Thomas, his son, playing with his wooden sword in a field of blood-red poppies. Nora, his two-year-old daughter, her blue eyes staring up at him as he held her in his arms.
For them, he reminded himself as he moved on, he did this for them. A rasping sound behind him. Alex spun around to face whatever had made the sound. Nothing. He must have imagined it. He turned slowly back around and moved forward once again. In one hand he held the sword that once belonged to the fallen knight, in the other he held a torch, the only source of light in this tomb.
It wasn't long before the walls began to widen and the ceiling grow higher. He was now in a room. "Come beast!" He screamed into the darkness, his voice riddled with a strange mixture of anger, fear, and desperation. No answer. "Where are you! Could it be that you are afraid of me?" He challenged. Still no answer.
Anger flared up, what was this beast! It left a trail of death, yet it would not show itself? It had killed many a battle-trained knight, yet it failed to show itself to a single peasant with a sword? Slowly, a shadow crawled across the floor until it was a mere three paces away. Then, it started to take shape. It was the stuff of nightmares! Yellow fangs dripped with venom, long, black claws that were so sharp they seamed to cut the air as they moved. A face so hideous that it defied description. Its back was arched and lumpy, as if it had been broken several times.
A shiver of pure terror ran through Alex as he realized a sword would do him no good. But suddenly a peaceful calm settled around his shoulders, cloaking him from the horror that the beast exuded. He knew what he had to do. He dropped his sword and slid onto his knees, bowing his head. The nightmare before him stopped, perplexed...not a single one of its opponents had done this before. Alex's lips moved, silently mouthing a prayer for strength. A small light started to shine through his dirty, torn shirt. As it grew both in intensity and size, the creature lunged at Alex. The light flared yet brighter in response, covering Alex from head to toe. The fiend backed away as Alex rose once more, "Begone foul beast...climb back into the stink-hole you crawled out of. In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ I command you never to return."
The beast uttered a piercing shriek as it bared its fangs to the ceiling. A shaft of light pierced it's chest, leaving a gaping hole. Beam after beam of light tore through the shadow fiend's body, leaving a ragged corpse behind. It let loose one last ear-shattering howl before collapsing, dead, on the floor. Alex fell to the floor once again, worshiping his God, who had triumphed over the darkness once again.
The ground began to shake with a mighty rumble and the wall of the far side of the cavernous room began to pull away. On the other side, Alex saw the sky, night stars glittering brightly against the indigo sky. As Alex brought his line of sight a little lower he saw three silhouettes standing there, waiting for him. His family! He ran toward them, happiness and love flooding his face. He gathered all of them in a bear hug.
"Let's go home," he said with a glowing smile.