He felt cold. Something he hadn’t felt in millennia. He slowly moved to his left. The scraping of his body against the cave floor sounded unnaturally loud. The demon stopped for a moment, pain flaring in his broken arm. An uncharacteristic whimper escaped his torn lip. He moved left a bit more and found the cave’s wall. The pain in his head was fading, bringing the rest of his injuries into focus. He could hear his breathing and the sound of the underground stream that had dumped him in this unholy place. He felt like a rodent that had been run over by a speeding car. He wanted to kill something. That always made him feel better. The demon needed to find a way out, find a way back to the surface. The idea made him smile in the dark.
Unbeknownst to the demon, another entity lay undisturbed in the darkness of the caves. Unlike the demon, it didn’t know what day it was. It didn’t even know what century it was for that matter. It had been awakened. Something had entered its deep refuge. Surviving in Limbo long after its brethren had perished had heightened its sense of survival. A great war had destroyed nearly all of his kind long ago. On the day that war ended, Limbo had very nearly been torn from the fabric of reality because of the powers that had been wielded. Unluckily for him, the powers of Light had vanquished the darkness. The forces of Saint Peter’s had survived yet again.
The pain of the matter faded as the ancient intelligence heard yet again the scraping of claw on stone. The cave the ancient wyrm resided in was partially filled with the silvery liquid that seeped in from the Deep. He flexed his massive claws, black talons that had kept their razor sharp edge throughout the centuries. Thick muscle complained as the wyrm began to slither and climb, pulling the rest of its enormous body out of the water in utter silence.
If the great beast could be seen on the surface, it would appear to be as black as night about three quarters of the way down its body. The rest had been somehow stained over time by the silver white liquid of the Deep, causing the scales to take on a similar color. In the darkness of the cave, not even the wyrm knew that its hide had been discolored.
The wyrm, now climbing a sheer vertical wall, could smell what had disturbed its sleep. "What manner of treachery is this?" It climbed a bit higher, then stopped, listening for another tell tale sound. "Wretched creature, move again so that I may taste of your flesh." It could not remember the last time it had eaten. In the cavern’s complete darkness, the wyrm flicked its tongue out, smiling maliciously.
The cavern the wyrm currently occupied had not been open to the cave above when it had originally entered, but water had bored an opening down into its refuge over the centuries. The wyrm could not see that the opening wasn’t large enough for it to pass through completely. As it dragged itself up into the higher cave, it got stuck. The creature that had awakened it was only scant yards away from its maw. Perhaps if it could somehow dislodge the creature from the cavern’s wall, it would fall close enough to reach. The thought pleased it greatly, so it tried to remember what it was that demons loved the most. The wyrm knew it was a demon. Its smell was unique, like deceit and rotting meat. Confident in itself, the wyrm savored the thought of tasting warm demon blood again.
Perhaps before it feasted however, it would try to garner some information from this intruder. It would be helpful to know what century this was, what the world outside was like and whether or not it would be better off just returning to its slumber.
It continued to listen for many minutes. The demon seemed to be very disciplined. Maybe the creature was a lost Hunter, or even a Guardian demon? The wyrm could not detect the slightest scent of fear 100 on the thing. That ruled out the chance of it being one of Heaven’s little helpers. So much intrigue after so many years spent sleeping! The wyrm was enjoying his little guessing game so much that it almost missed the sound of a claw clicking on the stone.
The wyrm could sense that the demon was somewhat closer than it had originally thought. The demon was hanging directly above him on the same wall it was perched on. It decided to slink back down to where its lower body was stuck. It buried its claws deep in the wall of the cave. With a mighty heave, it flung itself as high as possible. As the wyrm reached the pinnacle of its leap, it could smell the demon mere inches from its maw.
The powerful jaws opened wide, then slammed shut with otherworldly force, sheering through a rock ledge that had been jutting out over the cliff face. It missed, the scent tantalizing, begging it to try again. Falling back to the cavern floor, its lower body felt as if it might have loosened just a bit with the effort, making the wyrm smile widely. “Are you still there, little demon?”
Bitter and resentful toward humanity because of her past life, a ruthless hunter demon tracks and claims the souls of her human victims, offering them nothing but terror and death. As her career as a hunter progresses, she discovers that a rogue demon is hatching a diabolical plot to raise an army of demons to take control of Saint Peter’s Gate to usurp power. As the hunter begins to discover more about her past, she finds out that the rogue demon is responsible for her family’s death. Will the knowledge of what really happened to her family change her feelings about humanity, or will she be dragged into darkness, consumed by her constant contact with the damned souls she harvests?
About the Author
As an introduction, Fran Comesanas is a new adult writer. This is his first novel with designs on continuing the Saint Peter's Gate story. The Author is currently living in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Reach the author at his Twitter @FComesanas or email him at SaintPetersGatePOD@gmail.com