Beautiful Bones

Here’s part 3 of my new Damon the Demon story, Cemetery Blues…Read from the beginning here.

Damon ducked back inside his mausoleum and swapped the knitted blanket around his shoulders for a long waterproof coat. Before exiting, he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and was horrified to see that he looked like a monster axe-murderer from a cheesy horror film. Damon didn’t believe in encouraging the negative stereotypes that the living had of both the dead and undead, but he didn’t really have time to change.

Once back outside, he was pleased to see the rain, which was still falling, was doing so with less gusto. He pulled the hood of his coat over his head, while Jabez grabbed at the hem of his own coat and pulled it up over his head.

‘So now can you tell me where we are going?’

‘To see Shelly the Skelly, but you’re going to need to brace yourself.’

Damon understood the warning as soon as he saw her lying on the ground. ‘Oh my! Shelly! What’s happened?’

Damon, ignoring how wet the ground was, knelt down beside a gleaming white, slightly disarticulated skeleton. Her clothes, of which she took a great deal of pride, were in a right state.

Shelly the Skelly had once been a beautiful woman, admired by many for her looks and her sense of style. Now she was dead – and had been for a very long time – she liked to dress up in fancy clothes, like she used to. However, she had never quite realised that the beauty she had in life hadn’t translated that well in death. Her smile was more frightening than charming, and her come hither look with her empty eye sockets were not alluring but the stuff nightmares were made of. Still, she gave it a good bash.

‘Oh Damon! They were so beastly!’ Her bones were shaking as she spoke. Whether through fear, anger or upset, Damon had yet to determine.

‘Who were so beastly?’

‘Those people.’

‘What people?’

‘The people who took my bones.’ At this, Shelly wailed.

Damon took off his coat and wrapped Shelly in it. ‘Let’s get you out of this rain, shall we? Then you can tell me everything.’

Damon picked up the skeleton as best as he could. Early on in her death, she had arranged to have the bony remains of her body wired together like skeletons you found in medical teaching colleges. It was a painful procedure, but it gave her the freedom of movement she had been lacking. When Damon lifted her up, he understood the trauma she had gone through that night. Some of the wires holding her together had been cut. If he wasn’t careful, she would fall to pieces in his arms.

He got her to the closest bone house and laid her out on top of a flat-topped tomb. Jabez was sent back outside to keep an eye on the crime scene.

‘You’re such a good friend,’ Shelly whispered laying a hand on Damon’s forearm.

Damon straightened out her red wig. ‘Tell me everything you remember.’

‘Well, I was taking my nightly walk through the cemetery. It was quiet. No-one seemed to be about. Then, from out of nowhere, jumped these…these…people. I didn’t get a good look at them afraid. Couldn’t even tell if they were living or dead. One of them pushed me over and I fell.

‘“What did you do that for?” I asked.

‘And one of them said, “Quick, get her bones now, and make sure they’re a matching pair.”

‘I said, “Over my dead body. Nobody’s having my bones but me.”

‘And then they all laughed. One of them cut my strings and stole a pair of my rib bones. My rib bones!’ At this point, Shelly, understandably, became a little hysterical.

To be continued…

Read Part 4 Here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol iii: Day 3: Over My Dead Body

The Lazy Bones of a Revenant

Here’s part 2 of my new Damon the Demon story, Cemetery Blues…Read from the beginning here.

Photo by Pixabay on

Damon had been duped on a number of occasions by the residents of the cemetery. Some had been as the result of harmless jokes, which he had eventually seen the funny side of. However, some had been deadly. Last year, Damon had almost found himself the blood sacrifice of one Artemon of the Black River, who had wanted to use him to unlock all the wealth and power from The Well of Unending Riches.

He stared hard at Jabez. Jabez was a trouble-maker. Jabez also thought himself a comedian. Of course, Damon had never found a single one of his jokes the slightest bit funny. The question was, was this ruse part of one?

‘Did you hear me, Damon? Something very bad has happened and well, blimey. I’ve never seen the like. Hello?’ He waved one of his hands in the air trying to get the attention of the demon who was currently lost in his own thoughts.

It worked. Damon snapped out of it only to ask, ‘Jabez, what happened to your hand?’

The hand that the revenant was waving was missing the three top digits from the three middle fingers.

Jabez stared for a moment at the appendages, and then clicked the fingers of the other hand when realisation dawned. ‘I hit the gravestone with some force, didn’t I?’ His attention was momentarily diverted as he scoured the ground for the three missing bones, which he duly found at the base of Mabel Collin’s headstone.

He explained as he pushed them back into the floppy, grey skin, ‘It’s my lazy bones, isn’t it.’ He sighed. ‘If only my girlfriend hadn’t taken so long to resurrect me, I wouldn’t be in this state…I suppose I shouldn’t complain. I’m here now, that’s all that matters.’

Damon coughed. ‘Getting back to the issue at hand…no pun intended. What has happened?’

‘You’re not going to believe me.’

‘Try me.’

‘Come on,’ Jabez encouraged, beckoning him with his now almost fully restored limb, save for the slightly decomposing condition of it.

‘Where are we going?’

‘To the scene of the crime.’

‘Which is where?’ Damon asked, exasperated.

‘This way. Trust me, Damon. You’re going to need to see this to believe it.’

To be continued…

Read Part 3 Here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol iii: Day 2: Lazy Bones

Thunder and Lightning

Here’s part 1 of my new Damon the Demon story, Cemetery Blues

Photo by Johannes Plenio on

Damon the Demon stood beneath the porch to his mausoleum and watched the rain fall. The storm had started an hour ago, at about five o’clock in the morning, and the thunder and lightning and rain hadn’t let up once since.

This unexpected change in the weather had caught the cemetery’s caretaker off-guard and as such, he was soaked to the skin, and his favourite poncho was currently unwearable. He had been on the other side of the grounds when the heavens had opened, and had sought shelter in a number of bone houses, only for other resident dead and undead to tell him there was no room. They had all had the same idea, only they had arrived before he had.

In the end, Damon decided he might as well return home. He was already wet. And, if some problem arose in the cemetery which required his attention, everyone knew where to find him.

Once home, he quickly changed into dry clothes and towel-dried his hair before wrapping a hand-knitted blanket – a birthday present from his best buddy, the knitting witch Tabitha – around his shoulders and headed out to the portico to watch the storm.

Damon enjoyed a good thunderstorm. Usually. When he wasn’t caught up in it. As lightning lit up the sky in bright flashes, it illuminated the sprawling cemetery before him, bringing sharply into focus rows upon rows of gravestones, memorials and mausoleums which only moments before were almost invisible in the dark. Ironically, as a thunderclap sounded above, Damon thought the noise loud enough to wake the dead.

With the next flash of lightning, something to his far left caught his eye. There was movement in the cemetery. It took a moment for Damon to discern it was the outline of a person.

Damon watched as the figure, with their coat held above their head to keep off the rain, weaved through the gravestones in the semi-darkness. He couldn’t tell who it was, but when he realised where they were heading – towards his mausoleum – he groaned. He was cold and wet and in a thoroughly bad mood. He didn’t want company.

‘Damon!’ Damon!’

On hearing that voice, their identity was revealed. Damon’s bad mood suddenly darkened. It was Jabez.

Jabez was a ne’er-do-well who spent much of his post-living existence creating needless work for Damon. He haunted the cemetery, not in the literal sense as he wasn’t a ghost, but rather a revenant, preying on unsuspecting, still breathing visitors. Jabez was also responsible for physically ejecting him from the last bone house Damon attempted to take refuge from the storm in.

‘Move over, Damon,’ Jabez shouted, barging into the demon to make space for himself beneath the sheltered part of the porch.

‘The cheek of the blinking devil,’ Damon growled, as he collided with one of the pillars. Then to Jabez he said, ‘Go on. Sling your hook. Get out of here. You were fine throwing me out in the rain. Well, that works both ways.’ He took Jabez by the collar of his grubby tan coat, which was now flapping about him, and threw him off his porch.

‘No wait!’ Jabez exclaimed, using the headstone of one Mabel Collins, to stop himself from landing on the very boggy grass. ‘I’m not here for shelter, you fool. I could have found that anywhere hereabouts and with better company.’ He turned back to face the demon. ‘I’m here to report a crime. Something’s happened, Damon. Something bad. Something awful.’

To be continued…

Read Part 2 here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol iii: Day 1: The Cheek of the Devil

This morning’s weather was part of the inspiration for this chapter. We woke to thunder, lightning, heavy rain, and subsequent surface flooding. Thankfully, the flooding receded fairly quickly in the village where I live, but some of the surrounding areas had it worse than us…

Where Two Worlds Meet

Photo by Anna-Louise on

This is the thirteenth and final part in an ongoing serial I’m writing. To read from the beginning, click here. Or find the story index at the top of the page.

The following evening, all the residents of the cemetery gathered on the outskirts of the Wee Woods to celebrate Samhain. The atmosphere was charged with expectation and hope. Hope of seeing loved ones again. Hope of being remembered by those still living.

Damon sat quietly off to the side, a cup of hot chocolate in his hands. Samhain was a difficult time for him. Naturally, he marked the occasion as a time remember those he had lost, especially his parents, who had never really understood him after he had been turned into a demon. Yet, unlike the other hopeful dead and undead of the crowd before him, he harboured no illusions that he would be receiving visitors when the veil thinned. He hadn’t yet.

And so he sat at the edge of the world of the living and looked across the Veil and into the world of the dead. The latter was a place forbidden to him until the day he shed his demon nature. Yet he had spent such a long time in the former, he was reluctant to let it go, as his time at the mercy of Artemon had shown him.

As the Veil thinned, the crowd dutifully whispered their ohs and ahs and sighed in anticipation, and then…the Veil was down and the spirits began to cross. Names were called out. Shouts of joy heralded happy reunions. Shouts less joyful indicated where past disagreements were picked back up, yet it couldn’t stop the smile from slowly spreading across Damon’s face. Even in crossed words there was a rekindling of connection. After all, life and death rarely went smoothly all the time.

Damon transferred his attention from the crowd to what lay beyond the Veil itself. A world of majesty and wonder, a world of growing things. He could see mountains and rivers, and hills and valleys, and oceans and meadows, and waterfalls and sandy deserts, and glaciers and forests, and flowers and islands, and so much more. The magic of Veil offered those who looked across it a vision of spectacular beauty, unspoilt by man. Our world as it should have been.

‘One day I’ll get there,’ he whispered to himself. ‘One day…’ Then he stood up, draining the last of his hot chocolate. ‘But for now, my cemetery needs me.’

And with that said, he went off to start patrolling this park of the dead and undead, and some times the living. In search of trouble. In search of anyone who required his assistance. In search of another hot chocolate.

To be continued…

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol ii: Day 13 – What Lies Beyond

By Wisps of Ether

Photo by u0422u044fu043cu0430u0435u0432 u041cu0438u0448u0430 on

This is the twelfth part in an ongoing serial I’m writing. To read from the beginning, click here. Or find the story index at the top of the page.

The roof was falling in. Candles were falling over. And Damon, stunned by another bang to the head, this time the result of flying through the air and been thrown against a pillar, couldn’t make sense of what was going on.

Someone was screaming. He couldn’t tell who.

Flashes of fur seemed to be darting all around the room.

Were they connected? He had no idea.

It only took a few seconds for his vision to clear, but it felt much longer. He looked around and realised the door to the mausoleum had been blown in. Standing in the doorway, with a crossbow in her bony hands was Shelly the Skelly. Damon rubbed his eyes, believing what he was seeing must have been as a result of a concussion, but she was still there when he looked again.

Tabitha was just inside the room, wielding a slingshot, which she was employing with deadly accuracy. Magic balls of…something, Damon didn’t know what, were hurtling across the room, and whoever they hit disappeared in a puff of green and purple smoke. She paused in her slaughter momentarily to offer him a thumbs up, before she diligently returned to her task.

Yet the most surprising thing of all was happening towards the rear of the room, where a giant squirrel was holding Crispin in one of its paws and shaking him until he turned green.

A movement close to the altar alerted him to the cowardly, cowering presence of Artemon, who was doing his best to hide behind it. Damon stood up and walked over to him.

‘Doesn’t look like you’re too fond of surprises either, does it?’ he commented. ‘Now what are we going to do with you?’

‘Well, naturally nothing awful,’ Artemon whimpered. ‘After all, those on the side of good never harm their enemies. Instead they try to show them the error of their ways so they may relinquish the evil in their hearts and never again commit a foul deed.’

‘Nah, that doesn’t sound right to me,’ Damon said. ‘You were going to sacrifice me, so forgive me if I think the punishment needs to be closer in kind.’

‘Damon the Demon, stop what you are about to do, ‘ a voice boomed around the ruins of the building. Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked around, trying to locate from where it was coming from.

Using the distraction, Artemon began crawling away, but the voice sounded again. ‘Artemon the faithless. You cannot leave this place with a debt owing.’

Only then did Damon realise it was the book talking, and so he directed everyone’s attention to altar.

Wisps of ether curled out from the pages of the book until they took on the form of a spirit, though it remained hazy and indistinct. ‘Artemon’s life is mine now. Do you remember what the punishment for failure was, Artemon?’


‘Fail and you lose everything,’ Damon recalled for him.

‘Shush!’ Artemon hissed angrily.

‘He’s not asking you because he’s forgotten, silly.’

‘Artemon of the Black River, you have gambled, and you have lost.’ The spirit of the book broke apart into dozens of curling fingers of mist, and though Artemon tried his best to run away, they caught him quickly, dragging him kicking and screaming into the pages of the book. Only then did the mist reform into the shape of a spirit once more. ‘You are a good person, Damon the Demon, with a kind heart. For you to have enacted vengeance upon so worthless a specimen as Artemon, would have been disastrous for this cemetery and those under your care. I could not let that happen.

‘Now what to do with him,’ the book spirit said, indicating Crispin. ‘Ah, I know. Great Squirrel, bring him hither. Now be gone from this place and never think to return!’ The spirit transformed into the curling misty fingers and took hold of Crispin from the squirrel and threw him out through the broken door and out into the night. ‘Be gone!’ it shouted one last time. ‘And now it is time for me also to leave here. Damon, you are now the keeper and guardian of my book. Goodbye.’

‘No! Please! I don’t want to be the keeper…’ Damon bemoaned, but it was too late. The mist had dispersed and the spirit had returned to the book, which had closed shut, sealing itself from the world. ‘At least the eye’s gone,’ he muttered. However, he wasn’t keen on handling the hairy thing.

Two arms, one fleshy, the other bony, were then draped over his shoulders.

‘Girls,’ he said, ‘you saved me. What would I have done without you?’

‘Thank Shelly,’ Tabitha said. ‘She thought there was something odd about Crispin and came to tell me. But then we couldn’t find you anywhere.’

‘And then this furry darling said he could help,’ Shelly chirped in. ‘Being made much bigger has given him an increased sense of smell and he managed to track you to here. The rest, as they say, is history.’

‘Well, I’m just grateful you arrived when you did. That reminds me, did anyone find out where that scream came from?’

‘The Undead Amateur Dramatics Society. They were rehearsing for their latest play, And They All Were Killed Horribly.’

‘Oh,’ Damon said, a little disappointed with the answer. ‘Come on. I think it’s time to go home.’

He started walking towards the door when Shelly, who hadn’t moved, said, ‘Umm…aren’t you forgetting something, Damon?’

He turned back around to find her staring at the book. He sighed but returned to collect it, only to find a letter addressed to him was sitting on top of it.

To Damon the Demon, Keeper of the Book of Secret Spells, Guard me with your life, such as it is. Protect me, and thus the world from those who would wreak havoc and harm. I suspect you’re more adept at this sort of thing than you let on. Otherwise, were all going to be in a lot of trouble. Supernaturally yours, The Spirit of the Spell Book.

‘It’s so unfair. All I ever wanted was a quiet life,’ he bemoaned as they exited the ruined temple and headed towards home.

To be continued…

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol ii: Day 12 – Yours Supernaturally

The Book Speaketh

Photo by Brett Sayles on

Apologies to those who have been waiting for the final parts of this story. I managed to get them written by the end of last week, but I had no time to post them, or read everyone else’s responses to the prompts, or respond to comments. Sigh. I will catch up this week, but for today, I will share Part 11, 12 & 13. Then it’s time to make a start on my NaNo goal 🙂

This is the eleventh part in an ongoing serial I’m writing. To read from the beginning, click here. Or find the story index at the top of the page.

‘Crispin, will you do the honours?’

It was over before Damon had a chance to protest, let alone react to what was about to happen. A small ceremonial dagger cut the top of Damon’s arm. Then the knife was handed over to the Master.

‘And so it begins,’ he said, holding the knife above the book. Damon watched entranced as the tiny amount of blood on the blade trickled ever so slowly downwards. Then it gathered in volume until one large drop spilled from it and splashed upon the dark fur.

An eye appeared on the cover of the book. Damon screamed because it was quiet horrible.

‘Who thinks himself fortified with such wisdom as to dare trouble me?’ The words seemed to emanate from within the book itself.

‘I do, Artemon of the Black River.’

‘And you think yourself worthy?’

‘I know I am.’

‘Then let us find out.’ A clasp appeared on the side of the book, which opened itself. Then the cover lifted and pages began to turn quickly as if stirred by a gale.

‘Destiny picks the ritual that will prove your worth,’ the book proclaimed. ‘If it ends without your destruction, you will have all that you seek. Fail and you lose everything.’

‘I understand.’

‘I hardly think so, but I do not exist to remind you of your stupidity. Only to bring into effect what this book decrees.’

Damon saw the man he now knew as Artemon blanch in the candlelight. Had he believed the consequences of failure might be less fatal than the book suggested? Still, he could not back out now.

Suddenly the grimoire fell still. Artemon leaned closer to see what ritual the book insist he performed. ‘The Spell of the Well of Unending Riches,’ Artemon read aloud. ‘Deep inside the Forest of Knowledge, at the source of The River of Understanding, there lies the Well of Unending Riches, where the wise may go and draw power and wealth without limit…Yes, I have heard of such a place and long have I desired to take my rewards from its waters…Yet in order to receive both in such vastness as only the Well may grant, something of great value, of equal value, must be given in return…Surely nothing can equal such a gift,’ he mused, looking up from the book and scratching his chin, before he continued reading. ‘Work the rite on the night before the Samhain Veil falls…yes, yes, that is tonight…And have with you a worthy sacrifice, a sacrifice you have chosen.’ His head snapped up and his eyes, burning red and gold with the reflected light of the candles, locked on to Damon.

Artemon’s arm stretched out towards Damon. ‘Crispin! Bring him to me.’

Damon stepped backwards, only recalling that they was a ring of candles behind him, just in time to pause.

‘Damon, don’t you think it’s a little late in proceedings to decide that you don’t wish to be part of tonight’s main event?’ Crispin asked, stepping towards his brother.

‘I don’t remember ever saying that I wanted to be here, brother. Now, if you would kindly point me in the direction of the exit, I’ll make my own way out.’

Crispin lunged at Damon. Damon sidestepped him and leapt over the candles and into the clear space beyond. Just when he thought he had a moment to get his bearings and make a plan, a creature the likes of which he had never seen before, came bounding out of the shadows towards him. This time he wasn’t quick enough to get out of the way, and together they fell to the floor, scuffling.

‘Don’t harm him, my pet,’ Artemon called out above the din. ‘I need him alive.

Sharp teeth snapped inches from Damon’s face. He aimed a punch at it’s nose, but the thing didn’t seem to register it. As it sat on the demon, Damon could tell the creature was all muscle for it was heavy as hell and crushing the breath from him.

Stars started to swim before his eyes. He could feel his strength leaving him. Then, just as he thought he was about to breath his last, Crispin was standing over them.

‘Leave! Drop!’ he shouted at the creature, as if it was some sort of dog, but to no avail. In the end Crispin had to haul the beast off him, flinging him back to the shadows from where it had come.

Then it was Damon’s turn to be hauled, this time back on to his feet. ‘Now that’s enough silliness for tonight. Promise you’ll be good?’

Damon made no answer. He was breathing heavy and could barely hold himself upright.

‘Is he undamaged?’ Artemon called.

‘He’ll do. Go on,’ he said, pushing Damon back towards the circle of candles. Yet neither he nor Crispin, ever reached it.

There was an explosion of stone, flashes of light, rumbles of thunder and the screaming of banshees. Something else had been unleashed in the cemetery that night. Something none of them ever expected.

To be continued…

To read Part 12, click here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol ii: Day 11 – The Rite Rituals

A Single Drop Of Blood

Photo by KoolShooters on

This is the tenth part in an ongoing serial I’m writing. To read from the beginning, click here. Or find the story index at the top of the page.

There was nothing for Damon to do but sit and wait and to see what happened. To see if the chance arose in which he could attempt an escape. It was clear from what the diminutive, sharp-toothed fellow had said he wouldn’t be coming out of this alive. And, to make matters worse, no-one knew where he was.

Looking about him, he could tell he was in one of the rooms beneath the fake mausoleum. And, to confirm his suspicions, as if after all he had heard and witnessed wasn’t proof enough, there was a newness to his prison that you just simply didn’t find with ancient tombs. There was no dust on the floor. No cobwebs hanging from the ceiling. The smell of damp and decay was missing too. The stone floor wasn’t cold from the earth beneath it, and the one wall Damon could touch, the one he was now leaning against, did not run with damp.

The sunbeams strengthened as the day wore on. Then they faded as noon turned to afternoon, and then afternoon to evening. When the sunlight had been exchanged for the softer silver of moon and stars, noise from the other side of the door grabbed his attention. He stood up.

It was Crispin. ‘Come along, dear brother. Your presence is required. And don’t try anything silly. I don’t think you would enjoy another bash over the head, given you’re having a bit of trouble with healing, so I hear.’

‘You really are detestable,’ Damon said with contempt.

‘Spare me the lecture.’

‘As if I would bother wasting my last breath on you.’

Damon was in fact pleased to be leaving his small cell. The only way he had any hope of getting out of this was to play along until things turned in his favour. And he held on to that thought like it was a life preserver, because if he let it go, there would be no question of the outcome. He would be as dead as a dodo.

Surprisingly, Crispin led Damon up a set of stone steps, which led into the ground level room of the imitation sepulchre. The room was in darkness except for the dozens of candles which were lit around the room. Yet they seemed negligible against the blackness. Shadows rose up around the room. The corners were pitch. If was there was anything hiding in them, Damon would not have known.

In the centre of the room was a stone altar. On the flat top sat a closed book; beneath on a second marble bed and surrounded on three sides by carved pillars, was the prostrate figure of the small, ancient creature who appeared to be master of these proceedings. Around this altar, at a distance of perhaps a metre and a half, was a circle of candles.

‘Master, it is time to wake,’ Crispin said. His voice was quiet but it echoed around the chamber.

Slowly the figure rose and announced, ‘It is time. Bring our…guest.’

Damon was led to the altar, but not before he had to carefully step over the barrier of burning candles. On the other side of the stone platform waited the little man who reverently laid his hand upon the book.

Now that Damon was closer he could see that the book was no ordinary book, for there was no cover to it as such. You could not simply lift the cover and turn the pages, the latter being also concealed somehow. And, the tome appeared to be covered in a thick, dense, dark fur.

‘I have waited a very long time to see what secrets lie within,’ the man Crispin had called Master said. ‘And now, my wait is over.’

‘If you don’t know what’s in it, how do you know you want to open it?’ Damon asked, looking aghast at the horrid item.

‘Be quiet or I shall silence you, demon. Now, to unlock the grimoire we need one drop of our sacrifice’s blood.’

Damon felt all eyes turn to him, and knew something very bad was about to happen.

To be continued…

To read Part 11, click here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol ii: Day 10 – A Grim Grimoire

What’s In A Name?

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on

This is the ninth part in an ongoing serial I’m writing. To read from the beginning, click here. Or find the story index at the top of the page.

A swift and sudden crack to the back of Damon’s head removed any possibility of argument, contradiction or recrimination. His world went dark to the sound of Crispin commenting,

‘He always was easy to manipulate. By me, at any rate, if no one else.’

‘You did well,’ the thin, raspy voice said.

Then Damon heard no more…

It was daylight when he regained consciousness. Hazy shafts of golden light broke through cracks in the ceiling, highlighting dust motes as they swirled through the air in a downward direction.

As Damon righted himself and sat up, there wasn’t any doubt he was very angry with himself. He should have known. Crispin could never be trusted. And did he not protest too much at approaching the mausoleum?

Shouldn’t we be running as fast as we can in the opposite direction? Hadn’t those been his very words?

It’s not even if Damon had fallen for one of his tricks. He had simply not been paying Crispin enough attention. His inner and outward focus had been on the mausoleum, not on his brother.

His head hurt terribly. Gingerly he rubbed the point of impact. It wasn’t suppose to hurt so. One of the upsides to being a demon was a faster-than-human rate of healing, yet something seemed to be impeding it.

‘I’m so sorry about all of this,’ the same thin, raspy voice said who had been speaking to Crispin.

Slowly Damon turned to look in the shadowy corner and out stepped a small, stooped figure. It was only when they crossed into the light of a sunbeam did he realise his size and bent frame was through age. The little man must have been five hundred years old, if he was a day.

‘I don’t really think you’re sorry at all.’

‘Oh I am, only not enough to stop what we’ve set in motion.’

‘Which is?’

‘Ah, that would be telling.’

‘I don’t like surprises.’

‘I don’t care.’ His old wizened face broke out into a wicked smile, showing Damon a mouth full of small, sharp, pointed teeth.

‘Who are you?’

‘Damon, I think you will understand if I decline to reveal myself to you at this time.’

‘Names have power.’

‘Indeed they do. I know yours. I am not foolish enough to let you know mine.’

Damon stood. The world was a little unsteady beneath his feet, but he worked to keep his balance. The only problem was that no matter the direction he attempted to advance in, he could not move more than three steps without hitting an invisible barrier.

‘I see you’ve found my insurance policy.’ The old man chuckled quietly. ‘You see, Damon, we’ve been planning this for a very long time. No short cuts and meticulous preparations will see that I gain all I want on Samhain.’

‘Which is?’

‘Wait for the surprise you don’t want,’ he suddenly snapped, his thin, wheezing words replaced with a venomous snarl. Then, his voice returning to the softer, weaker timbre, as if his short outburst had cost him a lot in terms of energy and effort, ‘The Devil’s in the detail. Isn’t that what they? I can promise you, ever detail has been precisely determined.’

Damon felt a chill tickle the hairs on the back of his neck. Then he watched helplessly as the old fellow shuffled away, back into the shadows. However, before he had gone he said, ‘I would tell you to get some sleep, but soon you’ll have plenty of time for that.’

A little more shuffling, then a very heavy door banged closed and Damon was left alone to ponder his predicament.

To be continued…

To read Part 10, click here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol ii: Day 9 – The Devil’s In The Detail

Something Strange, Something New

Photo by Pixabay on

This is the eighth part in an ongoing serial I’m writing. To read from the beginning, click here.

‘Where did that come from?’ Damon asked no-one in particular as they crested the hill they had been climbing. On the other side, the cemetery plateaued, the ground only ever-so-slightly undulating.

The clouds above had parted, and the moon’s silver light cascaded down in wide illuminating beams. One of these moonbeams landed squarely on a building in the middle of Damon’s field of vision. A building he had never seen before. A bone house in the style of a Greek temple.

‘That wasn’t there last night,’ he commented.

‘Looks like it’s Victorian, Damon. Therefore, I would guess it’s been there a while.’

Damon turned narrowed eyes upon his brother. He did not appreciate his sarcastic tone. ‘I know how old it looks but it wasn’t there last night. It’s never been there before.’

‘Right, right. Bone houses just sprout willy-nilly out of the ground.’

Damon ignored Crispin’s quip. This was just another strange thing in a long line of strange things, that alone would probably not have bothered him so. Yet, when all these events combined, the implications would have stopped Damon’s heart if it was still beating.

He had been told stories of gravestones and burials that materialised out of thin air, and none of them heralded anything good and they all ended badly. From what he had learnt, they were used to cover portals, the idea being they were hidden in plain sight. And though this didn’t bode well, it wasn’t something he could turn his back on.

He took a deep breath in and squared his shoulders. Then he started to head in the direction of the marble structure.

‘Er…where are you going?’

Damon pointed at the mock Greek temple. ‘There. It’s a portal. It has to be.’

‘Shouldn’t we be running as fast as we can in the opposite direction, then?’

‘You can if you want.’

‘And leave you alone to deal with it? Wouldn’t be really fair now, would it.’

‘It didn’t stop you in Venice when I was being chased by that angry mob.’

‘You’re not still harping on about that are you? Shouldn’t you have forgiven me by now? Shouldn’t you have forgotten it?’

‘Crispin. Be quiet or go away.’

They reached the impressive building and the brothers climbed the slippery steps, covered with fallen autumn leaves. Damon pushed at the stout wooden doors but they did not budge. So he was left with no option but to announce his presence. He balled his hand into a fist and rapped his knuckles against the dark timber.

Knock knock.

The sound echoed through the quiet night. Not even the sound of the Witches Brew concert reached them where they stood.

Then suddenly, the sound of movement could be heard on the other side of the door.

‘Who’s there?’ a thin, raspy voice asked. ‘Is that you, Crispin? Have you returned?’

Damon slowly turned to face his brother.

Crispin was casually leaning against a stone pillar, checking his fingernails for dirt. ‘I would say I’m sorry, brother, but that would be lying. I know how much you hate lies.’

To be continued…

To read Part 9, click here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol ii: Day 8 – Knock Knock

Dressed Up To The Nines

Photo by Pixabay on

This is the seventh part in an ongoing serial I’m writing. To read from the beginning, click here.

‘So what you been doing for two hundred and fifty years?’ Damon asked his brother.

Crispin shrugged. ‘You know…stuff.’

‘What sort of stuff?’

‘You know,’ Crispin repeated. ‘Same old, same old.’

Damon was about to sigh, when he realised he wasn’t particularly interested in hearing what Crispin had spent the last two and half centuries doing. No doubt it was nefarious. No doubt some of it at least, was criminal.

They fell once more into silence, though it could hardly be described as companionable. Yet it wasn’t too long before the sound of rattling could be heard somewhere amongst the gravestone to their right.

Damon halted and peered into the gloom and a moment later the cause of the noise became apparent. ‘Oh no,’ Damon whispered.

‘Oh Damon, darling!’ a call went up.

‘Oh no,’ he whispered again. They had been spotted.

Damon stayed on the path and groaned audibly as a bright, white skeleton dressed up to the nines, wobbled unsteadily towards them. The skeleton was wearing a wig of long, flowing blond hair and a long, bone-hugging dress in blood red. Around her neck vertebrae was a feather boa and on top of her head, a top hat, positioned precariously atop the wig, at what could only be described as a jaunty angle.

‘How is my favourite demon?’ she cooed, before realising her favourite demon was not alone. ‘And who is your handsome friend? Won’t you introduce us?’ She offered Crispin what she hoped was an alluring smile but it was nothing short of sinister.

Crispin, who had seen a lot of the world of the living and the dead, instinctively took a step backwards.

‘Crispin, this is Shelly the Skelly. Shelly, this is my brother, Crispin.’

‘Your brother! Oh how divine!’ she crooned. ‘How very nice to meet you,’ she said, offering Crispin a hand encased in a black glove that reached up to the elbow.

Crispin declined to shake it, kiss it, hold it, look at it, and Damon suppressed a chuckled. Crispin it seemed, was a little frightened of Shelly.

‘Umm…don’t we have a thing…’ he mumbled, turning to Damon. ‘Better go and see what it was, eh? Can’t have people screaming without good cause, even if we are in a cemetery. We better be off,’ he directed at Shelly, taking another step away from her.

‘But you can’t go yet! We’ve only just met! And Damon, you haven’t even commented on my dress!’ She turned around, before looking over her shoulder at the brothers. Then, with a hand on her hipbone, she asked, ‘Do my bones look big in this? It’s my outfit for the Halloween party at the college down the road. I thought I’d have a bit of fun with them.’ She would have winked if she could, but she couldn’t. All she managed to do was dislocate one side of her jaw in the attempt.

‘You look lovely as always, Shell. The colour really suits you. I’m sure you’ll knock ’em dead.’

And with that, he waved and then continued on his way. Crispin ran on ahead.

To be continued…

To read Part 8, click here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol ii: Day 7 – Do My Bones Look Big In This?