Drawn from Darkness

Sometimes the pen really is mightier than the sword!
For the 24 hours in the City of Bones competition (1579 words)

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1. Darkness

 

“Of course, Dad. I'm almost home...” Kala sighed into her phone, “No, I'm fine. I got held up... I'll be there soon, just wait a minute!”

Another buzz down the line in response and another exasperated sigh as she put her phone back in her pocket. She anxiously checked behind her. She had the feeling that something was following her nagging at the back of her head, and ignoring it wasn't going to make it go away. A sharp intake of breath and more flitting glances across the path as a pile of dry leaves crackled. She saw a fleeting shadow dart under a street light, but that was all. She buried her hands deeper in her pockets.

'I must be imagining it,' she told herself, 'I always have been a bit mad.' She sighed humourlessly at her own joke. She was always hearing stories about girls being taken off the streets walking alone at night. I guess it wasn't as novel when she felt it happening to herself.A shadow blocked the light above her. 'A tree must have fallen down again, I guess I should tell the council,' she thought, tugging her phone from her tight jeans pocket. She looked up and the phone fell from her hands, hitting the pavers at her feet, her mouth dropped in silent horror.

 

On the wall, perched above her, was some kind of half human, half bird... creature. She didn't even know what to call it! It had two giant, black raven's wings bursting through the grey skin on it's back. A ragged tuft of jet black feathers sitting on it's head instead of hair. It opened it's beak and screeched at her, raising another ridge of feathers along the line of it's neck, it's beady black eyes watching her unnervingly. Her brain kept telling her to run, with great urgency, but she couldn't find the strength to move her legs on tear her eyes away from the creature before her. Another painfully shrill screech and it launched from the wall, flying towards her and scratching at her face with the claw-like talons growing from it's grey, yet otherwise human hands. That was her cue to get the hell out of there! She burst around the corner and into an alley way faster than she had ever known she could. She turned around, hoping that the creature had been to big to fit through the narrow alley entrance, being somehow at least twice, if now three times bigger than any human she had even seen. Seeing nothing behind her, she sighed with relief and slumped against the brick wall, her legs no longer willing to co-operate.

 

She heard a familiar shrill screech resounding above her. She panicked and dove behind a pile of trash cans, just in time to dodge a dive from the raven creature. It had figured out that if it couldn't attack her from behind, it would attack from above, where it had on narrow openings to work it's way through. Her eyes widened. If it was smart as well as dangerous she was in for some serious trouble! She screamed, drowned out by another demonic screech from above her . In a desperate attempt to herself she threw a trash can at it. The creature ripped it in half with it's razor beak and it fell, shredded in the alley beside her. She hid her her face in her hands as it readied for another strike. And nothing happened. She heard another shrill noise for the creature, but this time more like a frenzied gasp rather than a battle cry. She looked up an saw it seemingly clawing at it's own throat as if trying to get out something that had fallen from the trash can. Okay, maybe it wasn't as clever as she had thought...

 

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