A Terrifying Place

He let out a childish whimper. Wherever this… thing… had come from, it was not a pleasant place. It couldn't be. For such horror to exist there must first be a place terrifying enough to create it.

The absolute nastiness of the thing gave him a good excuse to cower in fear. In fact, even if it had been just an ordinary demon he was facing, he would have a good excuse to cower in fear. That was a perk of his job: having excuses (many of them) for screaming like a little girl. It took some of the shame out of it when he just couldn't help himself.

When the fear burbled up and very loudly, abruptly, forcefully, made its way out, he didn't feel quite as ashamed as if there was, for example, an obnoxious friend who liked practical jokes involved.

The realness to the situations he was put in and the things he faced gave it a whole other level of creepy, and it made being terrified understandable. In fact, it made it so that if you weren't afraid you had to be insane.

Harry grimaced and tried to shrink back and not be seen. He focused his breathing and closed his eyes for a moment. He opened them when he heard heavy breathing directly above his head, and moved his gaze slowly upward.

As the monstrous creature loomed over him, its teeth dripping red and eyes the colour of muddy pits, Harry reminded himself that no matter what situation he found himself in, there was always something much worse. Out there, somewhere, was a monster worse than this one.

Somehow that thought didn't comfort him like it used to. This was one hell of a demon. Harry nodded off to the side where the remains of a half-eaten corpse had been discarded.

"I see you're busy. I can come back later."


White teeth, flashes of red, dripping blood and saliva. Claws, long, way too long, if you asked Harry: they were in need of a good clipping. Scales and a whip for a tail. Pain. Searing. Another flash, a blur of colour. Wetness dripping down his arm. Fire in his leg.

And yet somehow he managed to stay conscious. He muttered a spell as the monster turned around again and prepared to charge another time. It rammed him. Can't breathe no air gone black death. Spell incomplete. Thoughts formulating. An idea. Struck.

"Not today," he gasped and the next time the creature dived at him, he grabbed his staff and pointed it toward the creature's chest. The force of the creature's movements and the angle he'd been holding the staff at resulted in it skewering the creature right through. The creature yelped then was silent. Green blood oozed from the wound. It fell with a crash to the ground.

"I was thinking of having a kebab today," he muttered. "But this meat smells like death." He carefully leaned down and pulled on his staff. It was so deeply imbedded that it resisted at first but he managed to wiggle it free.

There, he stood, victorious above the monster's dead body. His chest heaved from the effort of pulling out his staff and a dribble of sweat rolled down his forehead, matting his hair. He took a moment, and then he looked around.

Other than the dead monster and its half-eaten corpse, there was nothing. Harry headed further into the sewers and peered around the next bend. Nothing. Clear. He walked for several more minutes before he found something. And when he found that something, he remembered.

There was always something much, much worse out there, waiting for you. Never had truer words entered his thoughts.

In this case, it was a nest. It was a very large nest, belonging to the demon he'd just killed if he best guesses were accurate… and the four eggs within were shattered. "Oh, crap."