Demons in the Mist

by Stephen Swann

Preface

Terrifying creatures terrorise a city.


A relatively new short story.

Demons In The Mist.

Janet had waited for ages.

    Where are you?

    The fog was heavy, causing a chill in the air. She peered at her watch and realised she'd been standing there for nearly an hour. Michael was usually on time.

    Why wasn't Michael answering her calls?

    A figure emerged from the swirling mist. A man's face, which she didn't recognise, gave her an odd look, before vanishing through the thick cloud. Another five minutes and she would head home. Janet counted down the minutes. When finally it was time to leave, she wondered why he hadn't turned up.

    Was it something she'd done to cause his strange behaviour?

    Thinking back, she couldn't remember anything out of the ordinary.

    Janet was freezing. She took two steps and heard a noise coming from down the road.

    What the hell was that?

    A shadow was observed as it crawled along the pavement towards her. Her heart raced.

    "Who are you?" she asked, a little concerned.

    The strange person suddenly leapt up at her. She fell backwards and smacked her head on the concrete. Dizziness consumed her.

    Janet pulled herself up using a nearby shop window, then looked in every direction. Whoever it was had gone. She gathered her thoughts, utterly terrified at what had just occurred, then started the journey home.

    The street was dead, which made Janet feel uncomfortable.    

    What if she gets attacked again, who would help her?

    At the back of her head there was a pain. She placed a hand softly on the area which hurt the most. It felt sticky. Julia looked at her hand and there was a little blood.

    The fog lessened, making visibility easier. She proceeded down the road with caution, then saw something which made her shudder. At the entrance to an alley a figure was observed while it sniffed the ground. Its arms outstretched as it rummaged in one bin. Janet needed to hide before this thing saw her. A car parked two metres away would be the perfect place to stay undetected. She ducked behind it and peered through the car window at whatever this thing was, then waited patiently. Janet could tell it wasn't human. The way its body moved close to the pavement. Its legs and arms seemed to bend in both directions. The head was tiny, and no features could be seen in the dim light.

    Suddenly a man's voice shouted, "Who are you, what do you want from me, please leave me alone?"

    Seconds later, piercing screams filled the air. The creature then disappeared down the alley.

   She needed to get out of there.

   Janet stood up carefully because she was still experiencing slight dizziness, then walked as quickly as she could to the other side of the road, where there was more vehicles parked. Janet crept behind them while keeping a watchful eye on the alley in case the demon came back. This is what she called them.

    Without warning the black demon scurried out of the alley and onto the road, while it chewed on something tiny, before spitting it out.

    Janet placed her hand over her mouth, utterly petrified. With utter horror, another one appeared as it sniffed the air.

    She needed to make a dash for it. Behind her was a little pathway in-between two shops. One shop was a newsagent where she popped in sometimes. With caution, she proceeded carefully to the side of the shop. Once there, Janet made her way through, until she found herself at the back of the newsagents. It was quite overgrown, so with difficulty Janet headed to the back of the area, which led to a railway track. About twenty metres away stood a train. The place was empty.

       She pushed some thin branches out of the way and forced her way through until she was safely on the other side. With haste Janet headed to the abandoned train and hoped she could hide inside until this nightmare was over with.

       Finally she'd made it, then tried the side door. It was locked. At another door, she tried the handle. With relief a click was heard and it opened. Janet headed inside, unprepared to what she might find.

    The first carriage was a ghastly sight. A few people were seated either side, but looking closer at their faces Janet noticed their eye balls were missing, only dark sockets remained. She puked on the floor.

    The other carriage was empty. Relieved, Janet sat down to compose herself.    

    She thought back to Michael. Earlier, when she'd been at work, she received a text from him asking to meet. Not realising at the time that it would end up like this.

    How could it get any worse?

    Not sure if it was a good idea or not, Janet removed the phone from her trouser pocket and tried to ring him.

    After 20 seconds the call cut out.

    "Damn," she shouted out of frustration.

    A bang echoed from the adjoining carriage, meaning someone or something was inside the train with her. Janet peered at the door. Her heart raced. A shadow appeared in the glass. Janet stayed quiet. A click was heard, then the door being pushed open as something crept into the carriage with her. The scraping of nails along the windows caused Janet to feel alarmed. She needed to get out of there now. Janet ran for the nearest entrance. The crawling monstrosity saw her and headed in that direction.

    The door opened and Janet made her way off the train.    

     She realised the demon had followed her. She needed to make a run for it. It was already too late. From behind, she was grabbed and pulled to the ground. The creature with its ghastly appearance held her head tight with its clawed hands, while it stared at her with a strange fascination. Janet tried fighting back, but the demon was much stronger. Suddenly a second creature appeared. It touched her face softly, while it licked its thin dark lips.

    "Get off me," she screamed, doing her best to escape.

    A gun shot echoed from all around. The two creatures scurried under the deserted train away from danger.

    Someone appeared and came to her aid. Once Janet could stand, she faced the person who'd saved her. Janet cried, she couldn't believe it. It was Michael.

    They hugged.

    "What the hell is going on, Michael. What the hell are those creatures, and where did you get that gun?"

    He shrugged his shoulders before replying, "I don't know, sweetheart. I was coming to meet you when two or three of the bastards came out of nowhere and started attacking everyone around me. I found the gun on the street while trying to escape the carnage, then did my best to hide, knowing I needed to find you. To see you were safe, and now you're here with me, looking as gorgeous as ever." He stroked her hair.

    She smiled, then said, "This is no time for that, Michael. Thank you for the compliment, but we need to get somewhere safe. Do you know anywhere we could go?"

    He needed to think, when finally he had the perfect place. "We could break into one of the shopping malls and hide upstairs until this is over with. What do you think, Janet?"

    "Okay, sounds like a plan," she answered. What other choice did they have?

    Both headed to the biggest shop in the city, knowing it was the only way of staying alive. With luck, no creatures had been observed while they made their journey across the vast area. At one point a fire raged nearby as they walked down a street with flats either side. They inspected and realised a small plane had crashed into some homes at the other side of the city park.

    "There's nothing we can do here. We need to carry on," was all he said, looking at the sad sight.

    Within a short time they'd arrived. The swirling fog engulfed the huge building. Michael glimpsed one of the vile creatures while it sniffed a discarded bag of shopping.

    He turned to Janet, then whispered, "Follow me, and stay directly behind me. Do you understand, sweetheart?"

    Janet nodded her head.

    She grabbed his hand. Both proceeded with caution. The creature's head had now disappeared inside the bag. Once Michael was close enough, he crouched down, the rifle aimed at the beast.

    Janet copied his pose.    

    He took a shot at the body area. The demon hit the pavement with a thud. Dark liquid ran from the wound to the concrete below. Michael turned to Janet, relieved.

    With horror she noticed the creature wasn't dead. It stood up and wrapped its devilish fingers around Michael's face. Janet grabbed hold of his hand to pull him from the demon's clutches. He screamed as the monster's sharp nails pierced the skin around his eyes.

    "No, no, no," she cried, losing her grip.

    The monster popped out each eye ball, then ate them. Michael fell to the concrete.

    Janet had to get out of there. She ran to the main entrance, banging the glass doors with both hands, hoping someone inside would hear her. It only took a matter of seconds for a security guard to come into view. A worried look on his ageing face.

    "Let me in," she screamed, hitting the door with her fists.

    He unlocked the door and pulled her through the gap, then closed it.

    The demon jumped at the glass, trying to get in. The door shook violently.

    "Come with me now," ordered the man, while he walked swiftly to some stairs.

    Janet followed him, still deeply disturbed by what she'd witnessed. At the top of the stairs she saw (with disbelief) many people of all ages gathered at the back of the big room. The moment they saw her, some gasped.

    "How long have they been here?" she asked.

    "Since it began. Some were already here when the massacre started outside. Others ran into the shop trying to escape the carnage," replied the security guard. "I believe help is coming, but we need to be patient."

    Janet agreed with him.

    The banging from downstairs stopped.

    At the big window Janet observed the street below. It was so dark down there. It would be hours until morning. The only thing to do now was wait. She pressed her nose against the cold glass, Michael entered her mind. Sadness was felt. "I'm so sorry," she muttered.

    Janet sat by the window praying for morning to come. The security guard monitored the main door, just in case the creature came back. So far nothing had occurred, to the relief of everyone.

    At some point Janet fell asleep. She dreamt of Michael. It was a sad dream.

    She awoke with a start. The sun shone through the window, the warmth from the rays was felt on her face. Janet closed her eyes and thought back to last night and the horrors that came with it.

    She observed the security guard from afar. Round his eyes were dark rings through lack of sleep. He approached her with a smile.

    "Good to see you in the land of the living," he said with a smile.

    Janet laughed. "A new day, a new chapter."

    "The police are downstairs, everything should get back to normal now. You're free to go, the police say it's safe. It's your decision," he said.

    It didn't take long for Janet to make her mind up.

    Within seconds she had left the shop. The thick fog had vanished, along with the demons. A short distance away was Michael's body. She knelt down, then removed the small towel which covered his face.

    "Thank you for saving me," Janet said, meaning every word. She kissed his forehead.

    Suddenly his body shook. Janet screamed. He grabbed her around the throat. Janet fought him the best she could, utterly petrified.    

    Michael opened his mouth and pulled her to him. Without warning, the demonic hands let go. Janet stood up in shock. From his mouth a long thin black worm slithered out and vanished down a nearby drain.

    She wept.

    Once she'd calmed down, Janet decided to head home where it was safe.

    In the sewer there was millions of the little creatures, as they swam down the many tunnels searching for flesh to feed on.

    A short time later, terrified screams filled the air.

The End

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