I see a drop of blood hit the ground beside my wrestling body. A pool from the substance of life will ensue if I didn’t do something to get rid of this demon. Her anomalous and grotesque figure is standing above me; her arms are on each side of my head and the left talon of her foot is piercing my left leg. Her head is trying to inch closer to me, past my blocking forearm, to inflict the last fatal bite in my neck. I try to hold her back with my forearm, which her deadly fangs are piercing.
Where was Leila? I move my head sideways expecting to find Leila standing or on her way to help me but instead, I see two struggling figures shrouded in black. One of them is Leila, who is lying on the ground trying to writhe free from the restraints of a rope around her ankle and the cape that has fallen over her. The other one is a lanky figure with a wicked smile stretched across his face; his thin arms are wrapping around Leila’s struggling body trying to subdue her.
“Leila!” I shout into the night, trying to shove the demon aside so I could aid her. A sense of helplessness washes over me as I see Leila’s vulnerable position with respect to her spiteful captor.
Leila doesn’t respond to my call, the only thing I can hear is her struggling breath and muffled screams. I shout her name again in hope that someone would come out to aid her: preferably a witch, but no one comes. My arm loses strength and falls some inches closer to my face; the putrid breathe of the demon reaches my nostrils and make my eyes water. I glance back at Leila, now her energy is draining as she twists less and less.
“What did you do to her?!” I snarl, punching the demon in the head with my free arm.
Drey lets out a soft laugh and brings his finger to his lips, a sign of silence. He raises his other arm to reveal a black piece of clothe which later he releases. It drops to the ground next to Leila’s unconscious body.
My heart races and adrenaline is pump into my veins as a new type of strength overrides my whole body. Everything I can think about is ripping Drey apart and the only thing obstructing my way is this demon. I let a small roar and twist more violently, bringing my free leg into the demon’s pit. The demon whines and her fangs lose strength on my arm.
“Don’t struggle, dead man,” Drey says in a barely audible, cold voice. He bends down his seemingly feeble body to scoop Leila in his arms. He manages to lift her off the ground, keeping the black cape covering her body from sliding to the ground.
“Don’t touch her!” I growl, kicking the demon again. For a fleeting instant I can see Drey flinch as if he is feeling the pain as well.
“Murdson,” rasps Drey, dropping Leila’s body a little bit.
The hunched servant appears from the shadows and offers his back. Drey positions Leila on his servant’s broad back and relaxes as the weight is lifted from him. He straps Leila’s body with the rope, when he finishes he turns to me one last time and smirks. “I don’t like the feeling of losing a love one and neither do you,” he drawls, letting a soft chuckle. “But somebody must be sacrificed in order to attain the happiness of another. Love works like that.”
“Fight me!” I shout, wishing I had a dagger with me. “If you are so powerful then fight me instead of hiding behind your demons’ bodies.” With my free hand, I inflict another blow on the demon’s head. She tumbles sideways, freeing my body from her captivity. I leap to my feet and sprint toward Drey but before reaching him, throbbing waves of pain appears on my back. I scream and plummet to the ground, my face just inches from Drey’s foot.
He laughs coldly, “You never turn your back on your enemy.” He kicks me on my chin and orders Murdson to start walking. I watch them leave, powerless as I am on the ground. Blood is flowing from the deep lacerations on my back, the place where the demon’s claws have grazed. I clench my fist and roll on my back, jumping to my feet. The demon flings an arm to my head; I dodge it and bring my foot to connect with her ribcage. I hear the faint sound of bones cracking as she recoils from the pain.
I jerk my head in direction to the disappearing figures of Drey and Leila, now a blurry outline in the night. The demon lets out a low grumble, advancing several steps to close the gap between us. I turn around and send a fist in the seemingly soft spot in between her eyes. She reels back, her over-large palm covering most of her face and bleeding nose. My eyes catch the hovering lights of the night in the distance, their faint glow becoming more prominent rather than wavering. The town is waking up in the midst of darkness and would soon be aghast of the infernal sights of blood. Few more candles flick to life inside the houses as murmurs become one with the wind. The sound of trampling feet is audible in the distance from where Drey disappeared.
“Young Adryan,” Yanira’s voice is but a mere whisper as she slows down her pace. She gasps when the sight of my bleeding back and ragged shirt comes into view. A prayer passes between her lips when I kick the demon in the chest.
“It is not safe for you to be out here,” I murmur, my eyes intent on the demon’s crouching figure. “People are waking up and they might find you here. Do you have anything with you that might end this demon’s life?”