Putting the Demons to Sleep
August 13, 2012
By the time Jack made it back to the ranch he was using his axe as a cane to help him through the accumulating snow. He had almost lost his way more than once, but his wilderness skills saw him through. He had strapped him broken arm to his chest. It still hurt like hell, but his mystical healing had been able to reduce it to a dull throbbing pain instead of a blinding agony.
The front door hung open and a triangle of drifting snow had painted the floor ivory. He hesitated, but then slowly pushed the door open with the head of his axe. That decision may have saved his life, for a foot wide hole was blown through the door at head level and only eight inches before his face. As it was, splinters and a few stray balls of buckshot peppered his face and caused him to retreat with a curse.
The hollowed voice of the man that was once Ed floated out to him. “Do you think you can beat us? If so, you are a fool. We have been culling your species for hundreds of your human years. My partner has already told me what you have done.” He heard the sounds of footsteps approaching. “We are immortal, Jack. You can’t win.”
“Yeah, we’ll see,” he said under his breath as he backed up another yard.
The steps drew closer. He waited. Just as the Ravor reached the door, Jack kicked it open with all his strength. The Xemmoni grunted as it was thrown off balance. Before he could recover, Jack swung his axe one handed and cracked the hammer end against the side of its skull. He crumpled like wet paper.
The creature that now possessed Ed’s body had shaved itself bald and the man’s flesh had begun to turn a sickly grey. Jack kicked the shotgun out of its limp fingers and it slid over the flood until it smacked into the wood stove with a loud bang.
“Damn, it’s good to fight something that you don’t have to hack for a half an hour to lay low.” He stepped over the unconscious body. “And you called me a fool. I understand your abilities far too well, but with strengths there are also weaknesses and yours is that when you body hop so often, you don’t have time to increase the power of the body you’re in leaving you as vulnerable as any man.”
“Is that so?” the thing moaned, while reaching up and crawling at his legs like some misguided zombie. A boot to the chin took care of its feeble resistance and Jack pushed him far enough inside that he could shut the door.
As soon as the door shut behind him, he heard the muffled cries of Carrie and her children. They had all been gagged and bound to the kitchen chairs.
“Damn,” he said, approaching her. He drew a deep breath and then let it out. “I know you are going to hate me for this and I doubt you can understand what’s happening here, but there are two…Demons that can possess whoever they like. So for all of our safety, I’m going to have to leave you tied up for now at least until I can think of something to do.”
He rubbed his temples. “It might be safe to have you and the kids drive off to town, but even if you could get through this snow, I’d bet my next paycheck, if I had one coming, that they have already trashed your rides…But they might have left one for their use—you never know. First things first though, I need to tie this bastard up.”
“You’ll do no such thing,” another hollowed voice echoed through the house. Despite his wounded leg, the thing that was once the rancher John stood at the top of the stairs with a hunting rifle pointed at him.