Demons | Teen Ink


November 14, 2013
By Apollemoog SILVER, Yonkers, New York
Apollemoog SILVER, Yonkers, New York
8 articles 0 photos 1 comment

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“Without stories, we wouldn't be human beings at all” -Philip Pullman

Prince Henry couldn’t deny a sick feeling in his stomach as the gates were closed behind him. Large and metal, they swung with an unearthly screeching as loose soil was tilled up in their wake, creating dark tracks in the ground. With two large clangs, bars were placed in the rivets, and the guards returned to their posts.

The Prince patted his horse on the side of the neck as he looked at the castle around him. So this was the Kingdom of Neyork, the land of the North. It was an impressive fortress; even through his intense distrust Henry had to admit that. The walls through which he had just passed were high and thick, appearing to be made of large stone, and skeletons on the Old Roads. To have used materials such as this, the walls must have been built ages ago. Above the walls was a walkway, patrolled by what seemed to be archers. Directly ahead of Prince Henry was the castle itself: huge and square, with thick rectangular pillars the drove their way into the ground and large metal doors flanked by armed guards. The windows were thin, and snaked their way around most of the structure.

As Henry dismounted, one of the metal doors opened, and a tall man with a torch strode out. He wore a long coat and a dark green sash, marking him as a Neyorkian general. The cold air was visible in the dark night, and it blew in and out of his flat nose evenly as he walked to where Prince Henry was standing.

He bowed slightly, but Henry couldn’t shake the feeling he was being mocked. “Prince Henry the VI of Delphia, son of King Omar, and slayer of Demons, I am pleased to welcome you to Neyork. It is a most pleasant night is it not?”

“Not, I am afraid. I barely made it over the river. Demons are roaming, as they say.”

“Well, one takes risk when traveling alone, correct?” The general asked conversationally as he rose from his bow.

Prince Henry didn’t answer. Instead he posed his own question. “What is your name?”

“You may call me Gomez, sir. General Gomez. I survey the protection of this castle.”

“Well, then General Gomez, I trust you know why I have traveled such a distance?”

Gomez smiled in a way that was slightly unconvincing. “No, I am afraid I have not yet been informed. But more of that later, let me take care of your horse.”

Prince Henry’s horse was led to the stables by one of the guards. Gomez dug in his pocket and produced something Henry found unfamiliar.

“Peppermint?” The general offered.


“It is apparently a food from the Olden Times. One of our scientists uncovered a recipe. They’re quite good.” Gomez explained, looking at the strange food whilst scratching his slightly unshaven face.

Hesitantly, Henry took the peppermint. It was circular, like the wheel of a cart, as well as smooth to the touch. The peppermint was a bright white with red lines along the sides that bled into the snowy majority of the surface. The Prince popped the peppermint into his mouth and experimentally mulled it about, clunking it noisily against his teeth. A cooling sensation spread across his tongue. At the same time it was sweet and a mint smell filled his nostrils. He pretended he wasn’t impressed as they made their way into the castle.

“So, your people have faith in science?” Henry inquired skeptically.

Gomez shrugged. “Our scientists are superb and have served us well, why should we not have faith? Though we keep them separate from the rest of the population for reasons you can understand.” He tapped his finger to his temple. “They’re all a bit mad, you get me?”

Prince Henry nodded as the metal doors were swung open by two guards. They stepped into a large entrance hall. Green banners hung on every wall, accompanied by beautiful tapestries. At the far end was a large marble staircase. The hall was bright, but in a way that seemed unnatural. Henry glanced upward and to his immense surprise saw a large glass bulb hanging from the ceiling, the size of a chandelier. Inside it was some sort of glowing wire.

“What in the name of heaven is that?” Henry exclaimed.

Gomez gave a small laugh in reaction to the Prince’s shock. “We call them firebulbs. Strange thing our scientists figured out. We use the lightning of the heavens for power.”

“You place quite a lot of trust in your scientists don’t you?” Henry said with poorly disguised distaste.

Gomez scrunched his dark eyebrows. “We like to believe that we can move on from superstition, sure they’re strange, but they can be useful.”

They walked slowly past the tapestries as they made their way to the staircase. Prince Henry stopped to look at one, which depicted some kind of ancient battle. The soldiers were wearing their old green uniforms and curious tortoise shell helmets topped their heads. They all clutched what most assumed were dull black swords. They had curious hilts that jutted from the side of the blade and from the point sprouted a tiny flame. All the swords were pointed at the Demons.

The Demons looked a lot like the soldiers, but anyone who had seen a Demon would know the difference. Some of them were falling to the flames emitted from the soldiers’ swords. Most were eating the soldiers.

“Interesting choice of artwork,” Henry mused, raising an eyebrow. “Quite…”

“Graphic? Yes, well my Queen has particular preferences.” Gomez responded. They moved away from the tapestries.

The hairs on Prince Henry’s neck stood up at the mention of the Queen of Neyork. “Is it true that she was born out there, in the wilderness? Fought off Demons since she was six? Saw her mother devoured and her father transformed?”

General Gomez laughed, the sound echoing in the empty hall. “I’m sure my Queen would be amused such stories have reached the south. Tell me, do the people of Delphia talk of us?”

Prince Henry’s mouth twisted into a bitter scowl. “Recently, yes.”

Gomez did not seem to pick up on Henry’s attitude. “Fascinating,” He exclaimed. They strode up the marble staircase, turning left and walking into a long corridor.

“Apparently,” Gomez said with intense interest. “This castle has been around for hundreds of years!”

Prince Henry glanced at some of the newer stonework with skepticism. “Doesn’t seem like it.”

“No, really! We found the builder’s plans! We think this used to be some sort of educational facility. A place of learning and books.” Seeming to anticipate the Prince’s next question, Gomez continued. “Of course most of the inside was redone long ago, have to keep things fresh and functional. The outside is still old though.”

After a few more minutes of winding corridors, and seemingly endless and irrelevant trivia, Henry finally burst. “General Gomez, this is all good and well for the people of Neyork, but I demand to see your Queen or foreign ambassador!”

They were standing in a small chamber. Three of the walls were made of a mismatched cobblestone and the fourth was a smooth cement. This wall was opposite them, and in the center was a small metal door.

Gomez scratched his chin. “I’m sorry, Prince, but I really don’t understand the urgency of you visit.”

“You don’t understand the urgency?” Prince Henry couldn’t believe it. “You are a general, yes?”


“Then how do you not know that your soldiers are burning our lands? That they’re killing Delphian families, taking our women, and sparing no one?” Henry was shouting so loud that he didn’t notice Gomez close the door behind them. “I was sent to order you to cease these attacks and implore what exactly you sick, filthy, science-loving, people want from us!”

The air of warmth had disappeared from Gomez’s face. “What do we want?” He moved slowly closer to Henry, until their faces were mere inches from each other. When he spoke, his breath smelled like the peppermint, but the scent was sour. “Everything.”

Before Prince Henry could react, Gomez smashed his head into Henry’s, causing the Prince’s vision to go blurry. He could feel his sword being unsheathed and he grabbed for it blindly.

“Oh, careful!” The general warned mockingly.

Henry’s vision was clearing and he noticed immediately that Gomez had two swords pointed at him, his and the Prince’s. “Turn around.” He ordered.

Prince Henry obeyed, quietly furious. General Gomez nudged him towards the metal door opposite them. Henry thought of the dungeons in his own city and shuddered. “I will not be an easy prisoner!” He shouted.

Gomez sighed tragically as he opened the metal door, keeping one sword pointed at the Prince. The next room was indecipherably dark and he was pushed forward with some resistance.

“That’s just it, Prince Henry…” Gomez said. He groped for something to the left of the doorway, a metal lever, which he yanked downward with a screeching wail.

There was a flickering in the room and a firebulb ignited the space.

Prince Henry’s blood froze in terror. He was standing in a room perhaps forty by fifty feet across, with a ceiling only a few inches above his head. But it wasn’t the dimensions that filled him with horror.

It was the Demons.

“…We don’t take prisoners.” Gomez shoved Henry forward, causing him to slip on the blood-soaked floor.

The Demons looked up, their heads jerking to where Henry was struggling to get up. Their dead, yellow eyes twitched, catching the light like a wolf’s. One of them opened its mouth, the gray and peeling skin crackling as it roared, revealing its bloodstained teeth.

The other Demons screamed as well, and began to run towards him, their arms outstretched, their fingernails sharp and overgrown, and their eyes ravenous.

Prince Henry looked around just in time to see Gomez begin to swing the door closed. “Have a pleasant evening, Prince Henry. Send the late people of Delphia our regards.”

Henry screamed as the door closed, screamed as he was seized by multiple cold hands, screamed as he was shoved to the floor, screamed as teeth dug into his flesh, screamed until there was only blood, and teeth, and flesh, and Demons.

General Gomez popped another peppermint into his mouth and sucked on it idly until he could hear Prince Henry no longer.

It was in this way that the War for America officially began.

The author's comments:
A medieval post-apocalyptic world in which kingdoms fight over a world overrun by Demons.

Try to figure out the setting, it might be a little confusing, though the tags might give it away...

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