Darkness Descends by Alex Westmore
- Urban Fantasy
- 80,000 Words
Denny Silver is just a normal college student living a not-so-normal life in the most haunted city in America.
Sure, her lover is a ghost, but in Savannah, that’s not what’s unusual.
What is strange is the influx of supernatural creatures roaming the streets looking to start trouble—with Denny specifically. To fight back against the wave of demons, she racks up one unusual companion after another––from ghosts to witches to demons.
In her search for answers to her supernatural problem, Denny discovers that she is a born demon hunter, and, no, she doesn’t have any choice in the matter. Okay, so being possessed by an ancient demon doesn’t exactly fit into her life plans, but somebody has to do it.
Denny must either accept the mantle of demon hunter or stand back helplessly as the dark forces destroy everything and everyone she’s ever loved.
At least she can always pick up her sword and chain whip to go kick some demon ass. After all, it is her legacy, right?
Read an Excerpt
Demons are nothing at all like we imagine.
They seldom sport horns or spiked tails, no cloven hooves or red skin.
They come in all shapes and sizes, and aren’t anything like Hollywood portrays them. Hollywood casting agents erroneously cast demons as some sort of evil specters or dark spirits lurking in the shadows seeking retribution or revenge. They connect them to Satan or some other demonic leader as if they were the antitheses to angels.
But Hollywood seldom gets the supernatural world correct when it insists on offering up a set of fangs or a pair of claws. For added spookiness, there’s often a trench coat or dark glasses added.
Of late, Hollywood demons are Japanese girls with wet, stringy hair who hide in the dark to creep us out with their open mouths and scary sounds. They are frequently characterized as men wearing masks or mysterious revenants who need to feed in order to survive.
Outside of the Hollywood caricature of the evil spawns, demons can be either spiritual or corporeal. They can be violent or just plain annoying. They may be after a certain individual, or trailing anyone who walks into their path. Demons are young and old, adept and clumsy, smart and stupid. They can be many things and take on different forms. The only aspect of these insidious creatures Hollywood got right is that all demons have one thing in common:
They are evil.
Evil personified means evil walking and talking as a human being. Hitler, Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Jim Jones held the kind of evil in their hands that only a true demon possesses. People who shoot at school children or hold young girls hostage for ten years are the worst kinds of demons.
And they are everywhere.
I’m a demon hunter.
Part of my therapy for my relatively new job involves journaling about my experiences, though I’m pretty certain my therapist believes I’m a insane. We are conditioned in this Christian society to believe in angels but not their counterparts. It’s okay if we believe in miracles, but not magic. It’s fine to get your past lives read as long as you don’t walk around telling everyone around about it. Some guy walking on water, or a chick chatting with a snake is acceptable, but anything else is blasphemy?
I’ve seen them. I’ve hunted them. I know what they look like and where they hang out.
My therapist probably believes I have delusions of grandeur at the very least, and have possibly broken with reality. At this point in my short life, anything is possible, I suppose.
Who knows? Maybe I have. I mean, given my life lately, it’s entirely possible.
I used to be a normal––wait, make that a semi-normal––college student. Semi-normal because I was raised by two oddballs whose last name was Silver.
My parents loved to laugh and were always doing the word jumbles together in the morning. They loved words. They loved pubs. They were goofy and silly together and one night after a party of some sort, they decided their children would be so much more interesting if they had thought-provoking names. So, they named my older sister Sterling, my younger sister Pure, and my brother Quick.
My name is Golden. Golden Silver. Get it? Oh, I’m sure they had lots of laughs over that one. Parents who give their kids crazy names set them up for all sorts of battles, and we’ve all had our fair share. I mean really. Quick? The girls in high school used to have a field day with that one. Poor guy.
I go by Denny for obvious reasons, though my mother and older sister prefer Golden. Any idea how mean kids can be with different names? Denny was just safer at school, but seldom used at home. Mom and Sterling believed calling me that would somehow bring a light into my world, but they were wrong. So very wrong.
Denny Silver is my name and I’m a demon hunter.
This is my story.
The demon strutted across the darkened streets of downtown Savannah, his ears keen to the myriad sounds around him. Cars clattered down the street, people huddled in hushed conversations, dogs barked in the distance, and he heard it all. The rubber soles of his motorcycle boots were soundless as he turned into an even darker alley in search of his quarry.
He was here.
The demon smiled to himself. How incredibly easy this was going to be. He grinned malevolently as he cracked his knuckles and made his way down the urine-soaked alley.
The predictability of human nature made people such easy targets. Humans could see a person do or say something right in front of their impudent faces and still, they would manage to find some way of convincing themselves it never happened. Worse yet, they would explain it away brandishing words like magic wands. They were foolish, fallible, and fucked up, which was why there were so many more demons running around the planet now than ever before.
There was so much more bait now—it was like shooting fish in a barrel, and he had just hooked one.
The demon’s target was rousting a homeless man, kicking him and flinging his things across the alley. The man was so engrossed in his bullying of the homeless guy, he didn’t hear the demon coming.
They seldom did.
“Did this poor man do something to incur your wrath?” the demon asked, his voice slicing through the night air. There was a hint of British accent, but the prey would never have noticed.
They seldom did.
“Fuck off, dude, before you get some of the same.” The target continued pawing through the homeless man’s belongings as if his idle threat carried any weight.
The demon crossed his arms and leaned against a brick wall. A shaft of moonlight shone down, lighting the filthy street like a theater spotlight. “Oh, would that I were as weak and as helpless as that poor gentleman. But I am not. I believe I am going to prove to be a much more formidable opponent.”
“Opponent?” The man stopped rummaging and pulled himself up to his full height of five foot eleven. “Dude, if you don’t move on––”
The demon quickly closed the gap. “Then what? What would you do to someone who can actually fight back? How would you act knowing the chances of getting out of here alive were slim to none? Hmmm? Would you be so bold then?”
The thug turned his head from side to side as he weighed his options. He stood an inch or two taller than his adversary, who wore biker boots, a leather jacket, and a look of fearlessness in his eyes. There was something about the way he stood, the intensity of his eyes that made the man reach into his waistband for his stolen Beretta.
As the hoodlum raised the weapon toward the only threat in the alley, the demon stopped the gun in mid-air.
“What the fuck? How…how did you do that?” The thug stared at his gun as it slowly turned toward his own chest. He grabbed the weapon with his free hand and tried to force it back away from himself, but to no avail. The weapon remained pointed directly at the thug’s chest.
“Just let go,” the demon said smugly. “Surely it can’t be so difficult to let go of a gun.”
The target’s eyes widened as he held onto the butt of the gun with both hands and continued to struggle, without success, to turn the weapon around. “This isn’t happening, man. This can’t be happening.”
The demon walked casually over to him, his hands beginning to shake. “Oh, but it is. Empathy is one of those rare human emotions capable of changing the world, yet you all are so incredibly lame, none of you ever really uses it to its full potential. Like right now, for example. You have the chance to feel what that poor homeless man was feeling when you were tormenting him. Would those feelings, this experience, be enough to change how you treat people in the future?”
The demon shook his head.
“We both know the sad truth. It wouldn’t. You see, that’s the problem with the human race. You never learn from your mistakes. You are your own worst enemy.” The demon knelt down in front of the homeless man. “Just the simple fact that you can’t even fix this problem shows how incredibly self-centered and stupid you all are.”
The demon helped the homeless man sit up. He was bleeding from his nose and mouth, and his eyebrow was split.
“These poor people would be better off if you treated them the way you do your pets—putting them down when they no longer serve a purpose.” In one swift motion, the demon broke the homeless man’s neck. “That would be the humane thing to do.” Rising, the demon turned back to the thug. “Funny how one little vowel changes a word so much.”
“What…what do you want from me?”
The demon laughed. “Want? From you? Oh, that’s rich. That’s rich, indeed. You have just one thing I require and you’re holding it.” The demon pulled a knife from an inner jacket pocket. “You see, there is going to be a murder committed by you in a neighborhood not far from here. Prior to that unfortunate event, however, you’ll be sliced a few times by this kitchen knife.”
“You’re…you’re fucking insane.” The Beretta rattled as it pressed against the thug’s chest bone.
The demon shook his head and made a tsking sound. “And that’s another thing. Why are you all so quick to call something crazy simply because your teeny, tiny minds do not understand it? Everyone from the Wright brothers to Columbus were called that, but look at all they accomplished.”
The demon glanced down at his Rolex. “As much fun as this has been, I must be off. Duty calls.”
“No. Wait. Please.”
The demon slashed the man’s upper thigh. He fell to one knee. “And why is it you all always beg as a last resort? Has that ever worked for anyone? Ever?” He ripped another slash across the man’s cheek, causing it to bleed down his face.
Setting the knife down, the demon grabbed him by the hair. Holding his palm out, he caught the warm blood as it dripped off the man’s chin. “It’s a foregone conclusion, my friend.” Taking the gun with his clean hand, the demon grinned. “But putting up a good fight does tend to make it more interesting.”
“It? What are you?”
The demon pushed the thug back against the wall, picked up the knife, and started out of the alley.
“I am your worst nightmare.”
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