Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.
This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole. I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing. If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.
Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:
The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer). Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.
1. Expressing negation. The prefix has been very extensively employed in English, as in the other Germanic languages, and is now the one which can be used with the greatest freedom in new formations.
1. In senses of the vb.: (a) brought to a conclusion, ended; (b) completed; (c) that has passed through the last process or stage of manufacture or elaboration.
2. Consummate, perfect, accomplished.
Today’s Story Segment:
“I’ll be okay with Mary,” Avery said, looking up at Uriel. “You guys can go see what happened.”
“We will come back to inform you what we find,” Uriel said, patting the boy on the shoulder.
“Call if you need anything,” Savino said to Mary as he and Rosario moved toward the door.
“Of course,” Mary said, moving toward Avery.
“Be careful,” Avery said.
“We will,” Uriel replied before closing the door behind them. He led the way back to the stairwell. If the thing moved through the area where the elevator usually was, then they needed to avoid that until they found its lair. It probably knew Uriel was here by now, and any demon when confronted with an angel would lay traps and try to hide. Uriel did not plan to let it.
Neither Rosario nor Savino spoke until the stairway door had closed behind them.
“So what’s going on exactly?” Savino asked.
“There is a demon in this building,” Uriel replied. “Avery can sense the creature to a certain extent. It’s why he avoids the elevator, and chose to live on the seventh floor.”
“A demon?” Rosario asked.
“I felt the malevolent presence of one near the elevator, that was how I could move quickly enough to protect Avery. Those boxes would have been too heavy on his small frame and he would have been hurt, possibly severely. Yet there was no one in the elevator.”
“That still doesn’t explain why you think it’s a demon,” Rosario replied.
“When it became clear that I believed Avery about a monster in the building, he told me what he knew of it. It was enough to narrow it down to only two types of demons. Most likely it is a very specific kind of tunneling demon. They usually move through cave systems or mines. But this one seems to have adapted to the elevator’s space. However, it still maintains the drawbacks of its kind and can only travel so far from its lair, which is why the seventh floor is protected.”
“Can we see it?” Savino asked.
“I am unsure of your abilities,” Uriel replied.
“It is not visible to humans, correct?” Rosario asked.
“No, they would not be able to see it. Someone with innate sensitivity to the unseen that exists in your world, like Avery, will be able to feel it near them, but it is imprecise.”
“And can you see it?” Rosario asked.
“Yes, I will be able to see it.”
“Should we accompany you?” Savino asked.
“It may be better for you to remain on the first floor,” Uriel replied. “Did either of you feel it’s presence in the hallway earlier?”
“I’m not sure,” Rosario replied. “I felt something, but it might have just been an empathic response to the distress of Avery and Mary in that moment.”
“You are empathic?”
“It is only a minor talent, and strongest with those I am familiar with.”
“I do not believe I felt anything,” Savino said. “I have never been very attuned to that which cannot be seen or touched.
“Where will you be going if we remain on the first floor?” Rosario asked.
“I assume there is a level beneath the ground,” Uriel replied. “This kind of demon would never have taken up residence here if there weren’t a suitable location for its lair.”
“There is a basement,” Rosario said. “It’s completely unfinished. Mostly it’s just where the heating system is.”
“It is likely that the demon was able to build a nest there because no humans venture into it,” Uriel said. “I will investigate the basement and see what I can find. It would be unwise for you to venture down after me, even if I am gone for an extended time.”
“You are proof against this type of demon?” Rosario asked, stopping Uriel on the landing with a hand on his arm. “You will not perish?”
“This is a minor demon,” Uriel assured him. “It is simply attracted to dark emotions. I will be able to defeat it.”
“We will remain near the entrance to the basement,” Rosario said. “If you need our assistance, simply call out for us.”
“I appreciate your concern,” Uriel said before turning back to the stairs. When they reached the first floor again, he didn’t see any way to go further down.
“The basement entrance is near the elevator,” Rosario told him. “The door is locked to make sure none of the teens wonder down. I’ll have to go get the keys.”
“We’ll meet you at the door,” Savino said.
Rosario trotted off across the entryway and disappear down the other hallway.
Savino led Uriel behind a counter and through another door that led to another hallway. It was narrow, and poorly lit.
“This area is normally only used by the staff as a short cut when they’re in a hurry. Most days no one walks through here.”
“Does the elevator extend to the basement?” Uriel asked.
“It does, but you need a key to make it go down there. We only use it when maintenance needs to be done on the heating equipment.”
“It is nearby,” Uriel said. He could feel its presence. The demon knew he was there. It was waiting for him.
“Do you need anything to take down with you?” Rosario asked as he rejoined them from the other end of the hall. “A light or a weapon?”
“No,” Uriel replied. “I do not need light to see it, and I am never without my weapon.”
Rosario and Savino had matching looks of disbelief at that statement, their eyebrows rising and their mouths turning down in slight frowns.
Uriel took a deep breath and ruffled his wings. They shimmered into view, and he let the power he usually used to hide their brilliance fall away. He had all the light he needed.
“Your wings are beautiful,” Rosario said. His voice was full of awe.
“I didn’t know something black could glow like that,” Savino said. His eyes were very wide as he gazed at Uriel.
“I will not bring out my sword in front of you,” Uriel said. “It’s brilliance can harm the vision of humans.”
“It is good to know you will be armed,” Rosario said before turning to unlock the door. “Be careful, and return to us safely,” he said as he opened it.
“Close the door behind me,” Uriel replied.
It took three steps down the stairs and waited for the door to close. Once the wooden barrier was in place, he held his right hand out in front of himself and called his sword.
It was not a physical thing, but he felt the weight of it in his hand and the brilliance of its aura illuminated the entire vast space he could see at the bottom of the stairs. The demon already knew he was coming. Now Uriel just had to find where it was hiding.