I was always told by my parents, don’t run off, don’t speak to strangers and don’t go past the bottom of the gate.
I always found it strange, peculiar as to why, just why I couldn’t leave the bottom of the gate without them, by myself. There was a whole world before me, waiting to be viewed for the first time.
As I grew older the eagerness to go on my own adventures, my own travels ate away at me. Inside my emotions, twisting and turning.
I later asked them, why, why can’t I go to the bottom of the gate. Well, they would say, that’s where the demon lives and if you leave he’ll get you.
My first thought was, why is there a demon at the bottom of our gate. Also, why do my parents seem to think it’s a he and not a she? Can she’s not be demons?
I was woebegone at the thought, just wanting to leave, be free for once.
There was one day, just the one where I ventured to the bottom of the gate. It was late one night, when the moon was set in the sky giving it’s white glow and the lights where all but gone. I climbed out my bedroom window, ventured off down the guttering and landed on the small porche roof. Finally on the ground I moved slowly, down the long path in the opposite direction to my home.
There was a chill that night, a coldness in the air and I could witness my breath before me, almost as though I could touch it, hold it even.
At the gate, I froze, not due to the cold air, but at the momentary thought, what if they were right and this demon is there, just waiting for me. I let that thought shake off and continued on, touching the cold metal gate in an urge to just break free.
I will always remember that night, as the ground shuddered and opened up in a fiery blaze. The long red claws of the creature, grabbing at the edges and clambering up through it’s hole.
It’s horns appeared first, curling and oozing flames from them. Its face was disfigured, cuts, and gouges taken out of it, red but a paler complexion to it’s hands. It let out a slow creak of a noise, an echo as if it was calling me. It’s eyes filled with scorn, dread and evilness.
The thought never crossed my mind how I’d caused a kerfuffle for my parents, losing their only child that day to the demon. Maybe if I’d believed them I’d still be there, tucked up in bed, enjoying another bedtime story about the demons that roamed our world and took children.
But, now I sit amongst the other adventurous children, trapped in cages looking for ways to bring our demise.