It’s Burning By D.I. Jolly

It was late and I’d reached the point of drunken kleptomania. Nothing serious, but no candle or glass was safe from my deep pockets. Thursday night wasn’t the ideal drinking day, but my week and been especially shit so I had no love left for my job or what the bosses thought of my red eyes and dirty shirts, or if they did notice that I had been in same clothes for the last three days.

The city felt different, dangerous in a way that was raw and it made my drunk mind feel alive. As though ever dark corner held the fight I had been waiting for. The excitement started creeping in and I mentally invited anyone to try something. I couldn’t explain it, and it would only cheapen the feeling if I tried.

And then it hits me, the memory, the thing that keeps me up at night. The idea that had burned itself into my brain never to leave me. That image, those eyes, those yellow eyes with their long pupils, and the danger I felt suddenly became familiar. It was near, He was near.

I quickly turned my attention to the bar around me, and for just an instant I thought I could see him standing at the doorway but when I looked back a curious woman stood in place and rage-filled me, sending me towards her.

“Hey! Hey you! Come here I wanna talk to you!”

Her eyes widened and she quickly walked out, with me following.

“Where are you going? I said I wanted to talk to you.”

Her quick steps turned into a run and so did mine. I could hear voices behind me from people concerned about my actions and the woman’s safety, but I didn’t care. She turned into a doorway that looked like it belonged on the set of a horror movie and I followed, kicking it in with zero regards left for my safety. Inside six men stood crowded around a fire barrel, all too thin to be anything other than junkies.

“Hello boys, do you want to be my friends?”

I smiled broadly then stormed past them into the building. It appeared to have once been a warehouse or factory but now was just another hobo toilet and dumping ground for the failures of modern society. I started stalking room to room, never actually stopping, still hearing people call out behind me.

“Hey childhood trauma, we can be your friend, just come on back.”

Then I heard it, distinct but quiet, on the very edge of my hearing, the sound of a hoof on a concrete floor. Fear ran through my veins like ice water freezing me to the spot and clearing my mind of all thoughts except him, and then it hit me, then He hit me. His horns slamming into my stomach like a wrecking ball and the two of us went through a nearby wall. It knocked what could only loosely be described as sanity back into me I started to fight. He was inhumanly strong, and quick and violent, but I had dealt with him once before and survived, and since then I had learnt a few things. I still didn’t think I would win, but I wasn’t going to go down easy. If I couldn’t kill it, I could leave my mark, leave my memory burned into his mind for all eternity. So I fought, fought with all my might, all my cunning, and any makeshift weapon I could get my hands on. If I was going to die anyway it didn’t matter how dirty or reckless I was, as long as I left my mark. As I flew through the air knocking over the fire barrel a very bad idea occurred to me and I let the flame engulf my clothes before I charged him again. Only this time my plan was to grab him, and hang on. He jumped and kicked and spun, desperate to knock me off but I hung on with everything I had left, everything I could muster up and in the last few seconds of my life I saw it, I saw the look of fear in his eyes, the kind of fear that stays with you, wakes you up at night and comes visiting when you least expect it. I could see my face laughing, engulfed in flame burning its way into his mind, teaching him that we weren’t to be underestimated and that if he wanted our souls he would have to fight for every single one of them, and then, I died.

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