The world is often more scary than any of us would like to believe.
On top of the harsh, continuous strifes that most of us endeavor throughout our daily lives, there are also the fears many of us forget. For starters: People. It's all too common of a fact these days that you cannot trust strangers. A single glimpse at the internet or news channels will almost immediately present evidence towards this claim. Now on top of this, there are cars, planes, plants and animals, dangerous obstacles and terrains, and natural disasters, and it becomes quite clear that the world we live in is not all that safe the moment one steps outside their impregnable fortress of a home.
Oh, and there are also demons to look out for.
It's a danger a normal person will not be looking out for. They exist only within our heads, and this is also what Poriyander thought. This belief will be all but usurped from the safe haven of her head. A belief of safety she has been meticulously constructing out of her memories and experiences from the moment her hippocampus began keeping logs.
It is because on this one fateful day, when she is being accompanied by her friend Adrian–which, if anything, only fortifies her feelings of safety and soundness–Poriyander will experience her first of many supernatural encounters.
Story by Connor Perry
As if encircling them like hawks, the two estranged beings know where to touch down to cross their paths. They also made sure it was in a quiet area off the beaten path, to minimize the likelihood of intervention. One is of human stature and height, except with a reddish, grayish skin tone, giant ears resembling an elf, a trench coat that looks like it was thrifted, and a cigar–which burned blue instead of the traditional orange–with each puff he took. The creature in the back is a lot more surreal. It is what could only be described as a giant golem carved from stone, with symbols engraved across its exterior, and glowing red eyes that burned across the air even through the blinding brightness of the afternoon sun. It has to be at least nine feet tall, and stares daggers at the two despite being utterly expressionless.
Poriyander is stuck there in fear, like a deer in headlights. Less than a minute ago, it would have absolutely been in her right mind to say such creatures did not exist. But now … she has no idea what to think.
Despite his non-confrontational demeanor–which Poriyander suspects is due to his shorter, docile stature–Adrian holds his arm out to block Poriyander, and is able to divulge a few words.
"Pori." Despite using her affectionate name, his voice is dead serious, "Run. Now."
Pori staggers, "W-what!?"
"Just go!" Adrian cries. "I'll distract them. You just run, and don't look back!"
Before Pori can suggest otherwise, Adrian dashes towards the two malevolent beings with his hands balled into fists. Right as he steps within melee vicinity of the foremost demon, the red beast holds his hand up, palm flattened, as if performing a ritual. A light envelops Adrian that brightens swiftly, then flashes too bright for any human to look at. The entire time, the demon keeps his gaze focused, but Pori is forced to look away. To Pori's surprise, and terror, Adrian has disappeared alongside the light.
Pori screams and begins to bolt the other way into an open area. It is around eleven o’clock, church time, and most who aren’t at church are either at home or working weekends, so there aren't as many people around for Pori to flag down. Even when someone witnesses a girl being chased by two ghastly entities, it's very unlikely they would stop to help, and would run or drive in the other direction.
Poriyander believes that like Adrian, she is going to be vaporized any second. Alas, she continues sprinting with all her power. She is no olympic athlete, but she is by far one of the quickest runners she knows. She constantly finished first in all running related activities back in high school, surpassing even the track stars. Despite this, the monsters continue to pursue her on foot, keeping up with her accelerated pace like it is a walk in the park.
In a momentary impulse to get out of their path, Pori turns down into an alleyway. But during the single second of hindsight her brain allows her to have, she realizes that it may have been the single most fatal decision she has ever made. The alleyway is a dead end.
She panics as the brick wall approaches, yet her legs do not seize. She examines the wall for any possible protrusions she could use to climb over it, but there seems to be no such possibility of escape.
She turns to face her killers, and in a last ditch attempt out of a fight-or-flight response, she puts her fists up. She's all but prepared to go out swinging, despite the fact her brain has not yet comprehended what is even happening.
The monsters approach. Their hands are balled into fists, and their gazes stab Pori like knives through butter. It seems like everything is over.
And then …