“What are you doing here?” Daemon spewed the question out of the side of his mouth, the anger and disgust evident. If circumstances were different, he’d sideline the Hero, so that maybe he’d finally learn to stop interfering. But as it was, Daemon had to satisfy himself with a distracted question and turning his back on him. Far worse things were in the dark parking garage with him right now. He could deal with the Hero later. He cast about, looking for the fiend who had lured him here. The cover of night made it easy for one such as him to hide. But he quickly remembered that it was to his advantage as well and took cover next to a pillar, pulling his long black coat around himself. To his dismay, the Hero followed him. The insufferable guy slid next to him, his gray clothes melting into the darkness.
“Get out of here. I don’t have time to deal with you.” The side of his mouth twitched in irritation.
“I’m here to help.” The Hero’s voice was quiet and solid, not a waver of fear in it. Despite himself, Daemon felt a flicker of admiration for his long-time nemesis. Disgusted at the emotion, he jerked his collar high around his neck and checked that the safety was off on his gun. Once again, his eyes searched the darkness, sure that at any moment…
“Daemon. Come out, come out wherever you are.” The voice was alluring and dangerous yet deep inside, Daemon wished he could do as the dark voice asked. He felt the Hero move from his side, but kept his eyes in front of him – the Shadow would have to move eventually. “Daemon – I don’t like waiting. Come out here where I can see you. There’s no use hiding, I’ll find you eventually. Let’s get this over with, shall we?”
The voice slithered inside him, planting doubt that he’d make it out of this alive. Daemon silently made his way to the next pillar, hiding behind parked cars as he moved. From the corner of his eye, he caught a flash of the Hero on the other side of the parking garage. Desperate to get a better fix on where the Shadow was hiding, he screwed up his courage and hollered into the night ,
“What do you want with me?”
A low cackle filled the cavernous space, “You know exactly why I’m here. Don’t toy with me, pathetic worm. You haven’t dealt with that Hero like you were supposed to. So.” The voice dropped to a low pitch, so full of malevolence that even Daemon shivered. “You will die. And then he will die.”
He brought the gun up, ready to shoot the first movement he saw, even knowing the bullet wouldn’t harm his opponent. Instead, a loud crashing noise followed by a startled grunt rent the air. Daemon ran towards it, dodging cars and concrete dividers as he went. The noise of the fight ended in a sharp, angry scream and Daemon slid to a halt as the Shadow fell to his knees. The Hero stood nearby, doubled over. The hilt of a knife protruded from the Shadow’s stomach, all black with a red stone set in the pommel. Before Daemon could react, the Shadow fell in a dead heap, stabbed by the only weapon that could kill one such as him.
The Hero turned. And instead of the obnoxious joke that Daemon was certain he would make, the Hero’s face was contorted, and he too fell to his knees. Daemon laid the Hero on his back, his hand beneath his head. The Hero’s blood covered him now but there was no victory in it for him.
“You pulled the Shadow’s knife from your gut? That was suicide!” Daemon’s heavy voice registered shock as he realized what had happened.
“He was…going to kill…you.” The Hero gasped and coughed.
“But…that would’ve done it for you. No more villain to your hero.”
“There’s more to.. you than…you know.”
Daemon snorted in derision, sure that the Hero had lost any sense he’d had. He looked over at the Shadow, laying in folds of black fabric, a ghastly look on his face. “That was the only way to kill him, you know. That knife. To kill such a creature…” Daemon shook his head, relieved and confused all at the same time.
“You are…reborn, Daemon.The darkness will not… haunt you anymore.” With his last breath, the Hero blessed his enemy. And Daemon stayed on his knees, cradling the one whom he’d hated for all his life.
Today’s writing prompt was ‘The Hero dies for the Villain’. But I thought it would kind of spoil things if I told you that beforehand.
I hope you enjoyed this sad little short story! I’m plotting away on my book and I can’t wait to start writing it! By the way, have I mentioned how much I’m loving The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler? Definite recommend, there.
Anyhow, come back on Thursday for this month’s book review! Thanks for stopping by, let me know if you’ve got any writing prompt ideas, or even places to find cool ones online!