Eventually the guard stopped in front of one of the cell doors. He fumbled with the keys for a minute, then dragged the heavy metal aside, flung me unceremoniously over the threshold and slammed the door shut. I crawled backwards, the slippery grunge that coated the stone floor of the cell making a disgusting "shloop" noise under my hands. I heard a growl from behind me and wheeled around. Before my brain had fully processed what I was seeing, I was already scrambling backwards, desperate to get away from the thing at the other end of the cell. Eventually I reached the corner and huddled there, still staring in terror at the opposite wall.
A pair of hellish black eyes stared back at me, flecks of yellow gleaming evilly in the half-light of the sputtering torches outside the cell. I clung to the bars that made up the front of the prison, my knuckles turning white as I clenched the cold metal. The thing in the corner watched intently, the bottomless black pupils like two great dark abysses surrounded by lakes of molten metal, burning holes in my mind, leaving only mind-numbing fear. I whimpered like a scared animal and tried to make myself as small as possible. The creature moved forward into the light, allowing me to see it. It took all the strength I had not to scream. What manner of demon had I been locked in with?
Above the terrifying eyes protruded a long black horn, its tip as pointed as a sword, and just as deadly looking. A mass of fiery red hair hung down to its broad, powerful shoulders, behind which rose two gigantic black wings, bat-like and leathery, with cruel barbs jutting out at the pinnacles. The creature snarled, revealing its teeth. Inside the great maw I saw a mass of small pointed incisors and two dagger-sized fangs in the centre, like bloodstained stalactites clinging to the top of its mouth. The monster's hands were adorned with claws a good three inches long, and as sharp and pointed-looking as kitchen knives. Massive spikes protruded from the monster's ankles like great scimitars. The creature shifted position, revealing similar spikes on the back of its elbows.
As well as this terrifying array of weaponary, the monster was huge. If it stood up to its full height, I reckoned it could be at least six feet tall. The bulging muscles in its legs and arms also added to the general vastness of the demon. There was no doubt about it, this monster was a killer, one that would be unstoppable in a fight. Although its appearance was humanoid, I had no doubt that this thing was some terrible abomination of nature. Given half the chance it would probably rip me to pieces. The guard who had brought me in returned, I threw him a desperate glance and, in a voice that was no more than a whisper called:
“What is that thing?”
The guard looked at me, white as a sheet, my hair plastered to my head with sweat and tears of fear running down my cheeks. He shook his head and said simply;
“Your worst nightmare”.