by Joseph Linhardt, ©2003-2004

With a cry of rage and pain, the demon staggered back, deeply wounded. The dark bow laid in two pieces on the floor. The demon glared hatred at Peter for an instant before a loud whirring noise filled the air! Wings expanded from the demons back and it flew through the solid rock and into the open woods beyond without disturbing a stone.

Peter closed his eyes in relief and lifted his face toward the sky he could not see.

“Thank You,” he said quietly.

Bryan walked to the extent of his prison, listening carefully. At first, he heard nothing but the cold dark silence. Then, a faint, terrified screech reached his ears! The muffled sound of a crash followed. What was going on? Were the demons coming…to finish him off?

Oh Lord, please help me! he prayed silently.

* * *

Peter tugged the door handle with his shield-hand. It wouldn’t budge. He set his sword and shield down carefully and tried again, with both hands. Still, the stubborn door refused to budge. Peter stepped back, wondering what to do. If all his strength wouldn’t budge the door, what would?

As he thought, his eye suddenly caught the glittering light of his sword that rested on the floor. An idea flashed through his mind.

Reaching down, he retrieved his shield and glittering sword. Peter gripped the hilt of his sword tightly, and with a deep breath, leaped forward swinging with all his might at the thick door!

CRRRRASSSSH!

With a deafening boom, the door was split completely in two and was hurled into the ground! Thick dust flew into the air. Peter did not hesitate; he leaped through the doorway and over the ruined door, landing inside the room beyond the door. Everything suddenly went dark; the torchlight of the hallway behind was suddenly extinguished the moment he had entered the room. Complete darkness enveloped him.

What’s going on?

Though he could see nothing, Peter felt the moving, dark presence of his enemy. An oppressive evil tried to swamp him.

Peter felt fear trying to take hold of him. Although he blocked it from his mind, he knew something in this dark room was looking for him. Something in this room wished to devour him utterly and destroy him.

* * *

Bryan heard the crash and for the instant that the torches remained lit, he saw a familiar figure, with a sword and shield, standing in the doorway. Then, the torches had gone out. Bryan could see nothing, but he knew something the intruder did not.

“Watch out!” called Bryan, not caring who this intruder was. “There’s something in here!”

“Where are you?” the stranger answered. His voice echoed off the hard, stone walls. “I can’t—ugn!”

Bryan heard the sound of the stranger being hit and thrown to the floor. The sound of the sword clanking against the stone floor echoed around the room. Bryan could do nothing to aid this strange intruder. He sat in his dismal prison, hoping earnestly that this person would be able to free him from the demons’ power.

* * *

Peter had raised his shield just in time. The blow that was aimed at his chest thudded onto the shield and sent Peter crashing to the floor. His sword slipped from his loose, unprepared grasp and skittered along the floor, into the darkness.

Quickly, Peter rolled to his left and found his feet. He stood stock still, trying to quiet his breathing.

Where is that…thing? He thought, looking wildly in every direction.

A shadow, something darker than the pitch-black world around Peter flashed toward him. He caught a glimpse of two, deep red, evil eyes and raised his shield again. But he was not quick enough. The blow from the thing’s weapon cut lightly into Peter’s left shoulder as it glanced off the raised shield. Peter gasped in pain and leaped back.

My sword! he thought desperately. Where’s my sword?

Peter knew he could not withstand another attack; defense would not work. Where was his weapon?

“Lord, help!” he shouted! A growl came out the darkness, and Peter heard the sound of feet moving quickly over the stone floor. But the sound came from behind him!

Peter whirled quickly and found himself staring at the most evil, dark, loathsome thing he had ever seen! Two horns jutted out of its head. Deep black shadows flickered and flashed all around it. The darkness of the room seemed to congest on this one, evil being. A large, black mace was in its hand. But most horrible of all where the red, crazed eyes that stared back at him, devoid of any emotion but hate.

The thing relished the revulsion it saw on Peter’s face.

“Ha-ha-ha! You fool!” Its voice was like thunder. “You should never have come here! You, like your friend, will be in my grasp forever!”

Bryan…he called to me! So that’s who warned me!

“No,” said Peter, keeping his voice from shaking. “You can’t stop me, or hold Bryan any longer.”

The thing laughed again. The deep, mocking sound shook the room.

“Nothing you can do will stop me! You’re a mere boy!”

Peter kept his eyes moving frantically for his sword. Though he easily could see the demonic being that stood before him, he could not find his weapon!

I must find it!

The demon readied his mace. “You’re mine!”

Just as the demon lunged forward, a bright white light flashed, blinding the demonic being! It staggered back, unable to look at the blinding light. Peter was amazed the searing light did not blind him.

“Wha—what’s going on?” he shouted in confusion, glancing every which way, trying to see the source of the light. Unbidden, the memory of Malachi shooting a ray of light at his heart entered his mind. Now, the light was blinding the demon!

But how—

But there was no time to think! The light had illuminated the room completely. Peter spotted his fallen sword and dove toward it. The demon saw his action and bounded forward, eyes squinting. Its free hand was raised to ward off the intensity of the powerful light.

Peter skidded across the floor, reaching his sword. His hand closed around the hilt and he struggled to his knees, just as the demon brought his wicked mace down.

Peter raised his shield above his head in the nick of time!

Whunk

The force of the blow sent painful shockwaves down Peter’s arm, but he ignored the pain. He pushed his shield upward as hard as he could, trying to force the demon back. The dark thing immediately knew what Peter was trying to do; using its tremendous power, the terrible creature pushed his mace against the shield with all the hatred and evil that was in him. Peter gritted his teeth, straining with all his might against the terrible strength of the demon.

Continue on to part 9, the end of this series…

Want to comment on this article?

Please click here for a comments/suggestions form.