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When They Fall

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The land was blanketed in darkness. Large, drab clouds covered the sun, holding it from view and keeping its warmth for themselves. Almost in spite of the creatures who yearned for the sun’s light and warming embrace, the clouds let the rain fall, quenching the land’s thirst. Strange creatures they were, that would fear the rain and the dark. Neither were harmful, most of the time anyway. There were a few others though, who dared to stride into the rain, who lived in darkness. They were considered unnatural in the least by the race of men, but more often than not, they were thought to be evil, like demons, borne from the darkness to devour the frightened creatures of light. After all, back in the elder days, no others dwelled in darkness. They who lived under the spell of night have been called many names, but for now, they are the Maji.

Present day man has become bolder, if not stupider. Even they have made peace with the night, creating cities that never sleep, and wandering in the shadows and the rain without fear when it comes for them. If only they knew it came for them! The Maji knew, they always knew and it was the reason they were there at all. Only they could fight the true evil in the darkness and the rain. Yet, men barely acknowledge their secret protectors anymore, calling them ‘fantasy’ and ‘legends’. The Maji know their time is fading and when they fall, so too will the world of light.


Night and clouds obscured the land in darkness, though the cities ever-present man-made lights held it at bay. The clouds weren’t angry enough to take out the lights yet, but when they were, Veil knew she would have to work harder to hold back the evil from her world. Rain came down, merely to water the ever-thirsting land, as it always should have, until the world of night had corrupted it. Padding down the alleyways in a usual patrol didn’t bring up much of a disturbance, which was a relief. Normally, the alleyways would’ve been crawling with night devils and shadow demons on this sort of night. Then again, what she considered ‘normal’ was an entirely different situation from a human’s point of view.

A human that lived in the alleyways caught sight of her and called out in a friendly, jovial way, “Hey there, Little Hellhound!” Knowing this human as an old man named, ‘Scrub’ by the other alleyway humans, she humored him by trotting over to sniff and lick his outstretched hand. Scrub was slightly plump under the layers of torn and rotting clothes, but it was more likely from beer than bad food as Veil could constantly smell the alcohol on his breath, even when he hadn’t been drinking. He was balding, but he had a large scraggly beard that seemed to make up for the lost hair. The homeless man grinned a near-toothless grin as he scratched the large she-wolf behind the ears before speaking again, “You still looking for… the bad things, lil’ Hellhound?” She nodded an answer and his eyes grew wide. “Do they ever die? Will they ever go away?” Veil shook her whole body from head to toe and continued down the alleys, leaving the old man to his fear. Usually, he was good contact, told her about strange deaths in the alleyways before anyone else. Guess he hadn’t heard anything today.

The rain dampened her fur and allowed the chill of it to bite through her grey pelt. Though her senses were alert to any nightly noise and unsightly smells, the rain always made her want to curl up and hibernate for a spell. Of course, that’s what the rain was, a spell, trying to make her sleep, so the humans would be open for attack. Shaking it off once more, she growled and continued into darker alleyways. There they were. Veil could feel them shifting about in the shadows and the black puddles, trying their best to hide. Strange creatures, they were, form of shade and blackness, almost incorporeal, but Veil could tear and crush them. Hearing their laughter from behind a trashcan, she lunged into the darkness, head first, as always, only to have them scuttle away into the darkest corner of the alleyway. They were molting together, trying to form a shade bigger than the wolf Maji so they could overpower her. Stupid creatures.

A snarl and a leap answered the swirling, still-forming shade. Veil’s fangs clamped down on slimy flesh as she flung herself through its body, rolling into the brick wall behind it. Now she was the cornered one, though her quarry was damaged. It screamed like steel and turned on her, needle-like fangs and scythe-like claws dropping down to meet her. The she-wolf quickly scrambled to her feet and slide out of the way, the impact of the creature sending shards of broken brick into the air. Leaping again, Veil’s fangs dug into its back-flesh causing it to shriek again. The humans couldn’t hear the screams of their worst enemy because they didn’t know it was there. All they heard were the snarls of a junk yard dog.

The battle was neither long nor epic, Veil had bitten it and torn it to pieces that eventually dissipated, leaving the alleyway a little brighter than it had been before. Her blood mingled with the rain and her howl of triumph was lost in the storm. Taking human form, her wounds healed, though slowly, as she made her way to the diner. Fighting demons always made her hungry.





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