Carla King hadn’t slept all night. A combination of fear, guilt, and shame had prevented her as well as tormented her every waking moment. She didn’t think it made a difference anyway if she got any sleep. Nothing could ease her pain.
Carla was a mere shell of her former self. She had once been a highly skilled Demon hunter. Indeed she was the last person you’d expect to find curled up in a little ball afraid of the dark.
Like all citizens of Hallet, Demon hunting had been in Carla’s family for many generations, but Carla’s family had belonged to the elite defenders of the town, called The Guardians. Whilst everyone in Hallet was aware of the supernatural, the Guardians were its official defenders.
Carla had not actually not wanted to carry on her family’s legacy at first. Her first ever encounter with a Demon was on her 8th birthday. Her father Alistair, took her to the Guardians base beneath town hall to see a captive creature. The Guardians kept various Demons and monsters locked in cages. Many of these were used for training and experimentation, but many were also simply tortured for the amusement of the Guardians and their lackeys.
It was a low tier Demon Carla was taken to see, as Alistair did not want to frighten Carla too much. The Demon which was as single minded as an animal, had ventured near Hallet just to feed, but had been captured by Alistair himself. The sight of the monster horrified the young Carla. The Demon was fearsome looking, but what really disturbed Carla the most was the look of torment and fear on the beasts face.
It writhed in its chains, screaming and howling, and its body was covered in gruesome wounds. As the Demonss screams became louder, one of the Guardians entered its cell and started beating it very badly until Carla ran from the room wanting to be sick. As she ran down the corridor she saw more Demons, shackled, beaten, and tortured on either side of her.
She didn’t want to speak to her father afterwards for a long while. Alistair tried to convince Carla that those creatures deserved the brutal treatment they were given, but Carla didn’t think anyone deserved that. Pressure from her father and the rest of her family would ultimately convince Carla to follow in her father’s foot steps and become one of the defenders of the town.
Most of the rest of her childhood and all of Carla’s teenage years would be spent training to the peak of physical condition, learning all she could about the paranormal and becoming ready to carry on her family’s legacy.
Deep down however Carla never grew accustomed to this life. Unlike all of her ancestors, Carla took no pleasure in slaying Demons. In some ways she simply wasn’t cut out to be a Demon hunter. Not because she wasn’t brave, but simply because she didn’t have the stomach for murder. Even as an adult, Carla yearned one day to just run away from Hallet and never look back.
However Carla never did as not only would it have been difficult for her to do so, but a perhaps misguided sense of loyalty to her family and town ultimately prevented Carla from doing what would have been best for her.
Carla’s latest encounter with the paranormal however would make her regret the decision not to leave Hallet more than ever.
Carla and Alistair had both gone to investigate paranormal activity just outside the town in an old Church. This Church had been abandoned during the Vampire attack in the 1930s. On the first night of their 2 month onslaught against Hallet, the Vampires held a slaughter in the church of men, women, even children.
They subsequently made the Church their base of operations during the attack. These Vampires were not of course vulnerable to holy items, and they enjoyed crushing the town’s spirit this way by desecrating their house of god.
The Vampires were finally driven from the town after an intense battle inside the Church, which was very badly damaged as a result. After the Vampires defeat the villagers abandoned the Church, believing that it was now a house of evil. They left it to rot for 30 years, but eventually in the 60s, the Mayor of Hallet decided to rebuild it.
He was determined that the Vampires would not have the final victory over the town, by depriving them of their most holy place. However not long after he had begun work on the Church, then construction workers suddenly began to vanish.
Two of the Guardians who were sent there also vanished, and later a small family that had been having a picnic just outside the village. Carla had been close friends with the mother of the family, named Liz. The two had known each other since they were children, and Carla had also been close to her daughter named Alice, who was only 6 years old.
The town began to panic. Many were scared that perhaps one of the Vampires had returned. Not all of them had been slain in the battle. Then again it may also have been possible that one of the Vampires had been trapped in the ruins of the Church and inadvertently freed by the construction workers?
Carla and Alistair were assigned to find out what was really lurking in the ruins of the old building.
In some ways Carla was relieved that it was Vampires. She had never encountered one before, but she had read extensively on them. From what she had read, she believed them to be the most disgusting creatures and wouldn’t have any problem with killing one.
Above all else however Carla was determined to find out what had happened to her friends. She didn’t have much hope, but she still felt that if there was even a sliver of a chance that they were still alive, then she should do all that she could to help them.
When she and her father neared the Church they could see very little work had been done on it before the construction men had disappeared. It still looked run down, desolate and depressing.
Whilst Carla was eager to slay the Vampires, Alistair ironically was somewhat scared of the prospect of facing them. Though he did conquer his fear as he had done in the past. Unlike his daughter he had actually witnessed the previous Vampire attack on the town. He had even taken part in the final battle in the Church, and therefore knew full well what the monsters were capable of.
As they both explored the Church however they found no Vampires. They searched the entire building 2 times, as well as the surrounding area. Yet they not only found no sign of any Vampires, but of any traces of their victims either.
Alistair naturally began to believe that the Vampires had fled. Maybe they had just wanted to stir up trouble again for a short while? Vampires were often cowardly and never liked a fair fight.
Still it doesn’t seem likely that the Vampires would not leave any pieces of their victims behind for their loved ones to find either. They often liked to let people know when they had been around.
Alistair began to consider that ironically this might not have been the work of a Vampire at all. Despite the coincidence of this being the sight of their attack 3 decades ago.
The first concrete clue of the perpetrator came when Carla noticed something about one of the statues in the cellar of the Church. She had passed it before, but hadn’t paid that much attention to it. She assumed it was just an old statue of an Angel, but now when she took a closer look at it she saw much to her horror that it had the face of Alice.
The statue had a look of absolute terror on its face. Carla knew that it had to be her, but how? This was clearly not the work of a Vampire. Carla tried to get a better look at the statue, but as she got closer to it, she could hear something. It was very faint, but when she was standing right next to it, she could hear ever so slightly Alice’s voice; crying pitifully “help me“.
She jumped back in horror. She had seen many things in her time, Demons, Monsters, but this chilled her to the bone.
The thought of the young girl, trapped in solid stone, completely aware, but unable to move, barely able to cry out for help almost made her burst into tears. However she had been taught by her father never to show weakness and so she held her grief in.
Before Carla could fetch her father, the walls began to shake. Carla actually felt fear because she had no idea what this was. She slowly stepped back towards the door when suddenly, she heard a screaming. She flipped round in the other direction, her sword unsheathed and saw… nothing.
The screams persisted but she had no idea where they were coming from. Just when she thought she couldn’t take it anymore, suddenly a face appeared in the dark. It was Liz.
Liz looked as though she was in terrible agony, but she managed to speak to Carla.
“Get out of here now! There’s an evil in this place, its, I, I, I, I have no idea what it is. Its unlike anything even this town has ever faced. But its trapped me here. Me, my husband, my little Alice. You need to get out now or it will trap you too!”
Carla did not want to leave however despite how scared she was. She couldn’t leave her friends in this horrifying state for a minute longer. She begged Liz to let her help her, but Liz refused.
“Don’t you think if there was anything I thought you could do to help my little Alice, I would ask! You can’t face this alone. All of Hallet needs to know about it before its too late. Go now before you end up like us.”
Just then before she could say anymore Liz let out an ear piercing scream and vanished. Carla quickly turned to Alice and whispered in the statues ear. She did her best to assure the poor little girl that she would be back and find a way to free her.
Just then Carla heard more screams coming from outside the cellar. Clutching her sword she quickly darted out into the hall outside only to find it completely empty.
Yet she could still hear screams all around her, the screams of multiple men. Clearly these were the other poor souls that had been trapped by whatever horror was lurking in the church. Carla called out for her father, terrified that he had perhaps joined them. Suddenly the screaming stopped. In its place came a horrifying cackle. Carla again looked at either side of her and saw nothing, though the laughing sounded as if it was coming nearer and nearer.
Though she couldn’t see anything, it sounded as though it was coming from her right hand side. She threw a dagger in its direction, but it simply became stuck in the wall. The laughing continued. Carla quickly decided that didn’t want to face whatever this evil was on its home turf. Here she couldn’t even see it, never mind hurt it. So she fled in the opposite direction to the laughter, down a corridor and into a courtyard. She hoped that maybe somewhere else she might be able to take it by surprise. That is if she could see it!
In the Courtyard she could hear the sound of footsteps coming from behind her and so she quickly hid behind an old rotting wall. As she peered round the top of it, she saw a figure began to materialise in the middle of the Courtyard.
It was a young woman with long red hair, dressed entirely in black. Carla could only see her from the back however. Carla wasn’t completely sure if it was another damned spirit or the perpetrator of these events, but she did have a feeling that this woman, whoever she was, was evil. She had seen enough creatures of evil in her time to know one. As Carla stared at her, trying to work out the right moment to strike, the woman suddenly began to turn around.
Her face was absolutely hideous. It had no skin, whilst the flesh was sagging, slimy and bright green!
Her teeth were mostly broken and loose, but the few that remained were as black as the night itself.
Carla wasn’t sure if she had been spotted, as the monster stared ahead, but not necessarily in her direction. However as Carla began to slowly lift her sword out, within seconds she noticed the monster suddenly standing right beside her.
She screamed for the first time in years, but after quickly regaining her composure she lifted her sword out and pointed it at the monsters throat.
Carla made a futile threat to the creature, demanding that she release Alice. She knew it was pointless. This monster was clearly more powerful than anything she had ever faced before, but she wasn’t going to just lie down and accept her fate either.
Carla waved her sword at the beast. Carla’s sword was the ideal weapon for slaying Demons. It was coated in several substances that were lethal to many known Demon breeds. It had also been blessed by certain magics too that could allow it to hurt spirits and various other creatures. Finally it could also only be wielded by the person it was made for.
Each sword in Hallet would be given to a protector of the town like Carla only after they had completed their training. However before Carla could even strike the Ghost, her sword flew out of her hand and became embedded in a nearby wall.
Carla tried to use other weapons from her arsenal at the beast, but it tossed them aside. Realising that she was completely outgunned Carla instantly ran back the way she came, into the Church and down the corridor.
As she reached the end of the corridor however, she saw the woman standing at the end.
She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t like feeling helpless. It was a new feeling for her. In desperation she tried to strike the beast, but it evaporated in seconds. Carla then noticed it standing behind her once again, and quickly headed down the corridor where she came to two doors. One led to another corridor, another to the main hall, which was a dead end. She tried to open the door to the corridor, but it was locked. She tried to kick it down, but when she did she found herself being thrown back by a tremendous force. With no other choice she entered the main hall.
As soon as Carla entered she saw her father lying on the floor, covered in cuts and blood, his clothes torn.
Carla tried to run to him, but she suddenly found herself unable to move. Alistair looked up and saw his frightened daughter. He begged her for help, but Carla couldn’t respond. Alistair was also completely immobilised by this mysterious evil spectre.
The Woman from the Courtyard then appeared between them. Carla tried to move with all her strength, but it was pointless. The Spirits mental strength was virtually limitless.
The Spectre spoke, its voice full of anger and hate.
“You will all suffer for what you have done. No one born in that wretched place is innocent. You all worship a killer of women and children. You carry on his perverse legacy, and torture and slaughter more innocents. Only one of you will live through this night to let the others know what is coming. A monster worse than any they have ever faced before. A monster they created!”
Suddenly two figures entered through the doors Carla had been forced to come through. They were both utterly hideous. Much like the Spectre, their skin was rotting, sagging and their clothes were also cut all over too.
Their clothing indicated to Carla that they were the construction men that had vanished. These weren’t ghosts however like Liz. They were re-animated corpses, but clearly nothing was left of the men they once were. They seemed to be on the level of animals, snarling and hissing at both of the Spectre’s terrified captives.
The corpses circled both Carla and Alistair for a few minutes, before finally tackling Alistair to the ground. As they tore into his flesh, Alistair was still somewhat relieved that his daughter was the one who was spared.
Carla wanted to close her eyes but the Spectre forced her to watch as the Zombies ate her father alive.
After it was done, and all that remained of Alistair were a few stains of blood on the floor, the Spectre released Carla from its grip.
Carla wanted to tear the Ghost apart with her bare hands, but she knew it was pointless to even try. She simply asked it why it was doing this.
The Spectre in response floated towards Carla and placed its hand on the right hand side of her face. It injected all of its memories into her mind. All of the torment it had endured in both life and death. Once it had finished Carla actually felt pity for the Ghost whose name she now knew as Cassek.
Of course Carla still despised Cassek, but ultimately after seeing what it had endured she couldn’t help but still have some sympathy for the monster that had murdered her friends and family.
Every time Carla closed her eyes she saw the pain the Ghost had been through. It was the after effects of the spell the Ghost had put on her. It wouldn’t last for long, but she couldn’t stand feeling the Ghosts pain for three seconds. It was driving her mad. Carla ran from the Church, through the woods and back into Hallet.
Most of the people of Hallet knew who Carla was and admired her. The sight of her having returned half mad and sobbing let them know that what they were facing was a truly devastating enemy.
Carla managed to regain her composure within a few minutes of her public meltdown. The after effects of the wish began to fade. The horrifying images left her mind, and she soon felt ashamed for breaking down in public. Carla had always been told that she was supposed to serve as an example to the people of the town being one of its Guardians, but now she in her mind had appeared weak in public. Unable to cope with everything that had happened that night, Carla quickly ran to her house and shut the doors.
She didn’t want to face the outside world and so she spent the entire night in her house, sitting alone, terrified and miserable. Her and her father had not always seen eye to eye. At times she hated him even as an adult for forcing her into a life she did not want. Still at the end of the day he was her father and he had only ever done what he thought was best for her. She also in spite of her negative opinions of the cruelty of the Guardians had still admired her father, with the two having faced the worst monsters from Hell itself together and saved each others lives countless times Carla couldn’t believe that she would never see him again and that after all the great things he had done, he had come to such a pitiful end. He wasn’t even allowed to go down with a fight.
Some of the Guardians who had been alerted by Carla’s public meltdown came to her house to ask her what was wrong, but she did not answer. There was nothing they could say, and she didn’t want to talk to anyone.
After a long, sleepless, miserable night Carla came to her senses and realised that she had to warn the rest of the town. The monster that had humbled her and murdered her father in front of her was motivated by a hatred and vengeance unlike anything she had ever seen before. If she didn’t do something soon, it was going to rip Hallet to pieces. The question was however how could she or anyone else in the town possibly hope to stand against such a monster?