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. a. An act of visiting a person; a friendly or formal call upon, a shorter or longer stay with, a person as a feature of social intercourse.
b. Freq. in the phrases to make, or pay (also †give) a visit, to return a visit.
c. transf. A place to which one goes only as a visitor.
d. An excursion to a place for the purpose of sight-seeing; a short or temporary stay at a place. Also transf. of animals or birds (cf. visit v. 10d).
e. An occasion of going to a dentist, doctor, etc., for examination or treatment.
f. Dog-breeding. A bitch’s journey to and her stay with a dog for breeding purposes. Cf. visit v. 8b.
2. a. An instance of going to see, and assist or comfort, persons in distress.
b. A call made by a clergyman as part of his pastoral duties.
c. A professional call made by a doctor on a patient.
3. a. Surgical examination (of a wound). rare—1.
b. An instance (or the action) of going to a place, house, etc., for the purpose of inspection or examination.
c. Billiards and Snooker. A turn of play at the table.
†4. An occurrence of menstruation. Obs.
I. 1. a. trans. Of the Deity: To come to (persons) in order to comfort or benefit.<
b. spec. (See quots.)
c. To come to (persons) in order to judge of their state or condition. (Cf. sense 9.)
†2. To come to (persons) in order to observe or examine conduct or disposition; to make trial of; to subject to test or scrutiny. Obs.
3. a. To inflict hurt, harm, or punishment upon (a person); to deal severely or hardly with (persons or things); †to cut off, cause to die.
b. To afflict or distress with sickness, poverty, or the like.
c. To deprive of something. rare—1.
4. a. Of sickness, etc.: To come upon (a person or persons), to assail or afflict. Freq. in passive and const. with or by.
b. spec. in pass. Bewitched.
5. a. To punish or requite (wrongdoing). Also const. with.
b. To avenge, or inflict punishment for (wrongdoing) on or upon (also †in, into) a person.
c. To inflict (punishment) on one. rare.
6. absol. To take vengeance or inflict punishment. †Also const. on or over.
II. 7. a. To make a practice of going to (persons in sickness or distress) in order to comfort or assist them.
b. Similarly with reference to individual cases.
8. a. To go to see (a person) in a friendly or sociable manner; to call upon as an act of friendliness or politeness, or for some special purpose; also, to stay with for a short time as a guest.
b. To have cohabitation with (one of the opposite sex). rare exc. in Dog-Breeding: To be put to mate with (a dog) or at (a kennel).
c. Of a doctor: To attend (a patient) professionally.
d. transf. To go to (a person, etc.) with hostile intentions.
e. (a) absol. To make a call or calls; to pay calls; to maintain friendly or social intercourse by this means; also, to spend a short time with one as a guest; to pay visits of this kind.
(b) Const. at.
f. to visit with: = sense 8a. Now U.S.
g. intr. To talk or chat; to exchange conversation. U.S.
9. a. To go to look at (†or explore); to inspect or examine; to look into or see to (something); in later use esp. to examine (vessels, goods, baggage, etc.) officially.
b. spec. To go to (an institution) for the purpose of seeing that everything is in due order; to exercise a periodic surveillance or supervision over, or make a special investigation into (management or conduct).
†c. To examine medically. Obs.
10. a. To go to (a temple, shrine, etc.) for the purpose of worship or as a religious duty.
b. To go to (a place) for the purpose of sightseeing or pleasure, or on some special errand.
c. transf. Of things.
d. Of birds, etc.: To resort to or frequent (land or sea, a country, etc.) for a limited period or at certain seasons.
†11. To come to (a person) with some accompaniment; to supply or enrich with some benefit.
Today’s Story Segment:
Uriel slowly descended the stairs. It was not wise to be rash when facing a demon, no matter how minor it might be.
The creature’s presence permeated the entirety of the underground space, it would be no help in identifying the demon’s location. Uriel examined the space, trying to guess at where it would be hiding based on its nature. It didn’t like light, but there seemed to be no windows and very little if any overhead lighting either, so that didn’t narrow it down much.
Uriel carefully skirted along the walls, keeping as much of the room in his sight as possible. He didn’t want the demon to be able to come up behind him.
It came at him from the side.
Uriel turned just in time to get his sword between his arm and the demon’s myriad teeth. It wasn’t able to bite down on the sword from the angle it had lunged at Uriel, but it did slam into the sword, it’s teeth grating along the edge and making a shrieking that echoed through the space and made Uriel wince.
This was indeed a xenolithic demon, as he had suspected, but it was far larger than any he had ever encountered before. There must have been so much despair coming from the teenagers in the building to feed it so much.
Uriel leapt back, glancing behind the creature briefly to see if it had come from its lair. The space under the stairs appeared to be empty, so that wasn’t where it had seated itself in the building.
The demon lunged again, glancing off Uriel’s sword before fleeing past him into the shadowy area behind the large blocky units Uriel assumed were the heating system. Even with all the light his wings and sword were putting out, there was still that dark space behind the large pieces of equipment.
That was the most likely place for the creature’s lair then. If the lights were on, that area would still be in shadow.
Uriel approached slowly, his sword held out across his body in case the demon came at him again. It would be able to cause wounds if it caught him off guard, and Uriel didn’t want to risk himself needlessly.
There was a faint hissing noise, like scales against stone. Uriel stepped to his left, putting himself directly in front of the opening that granted access to the area behind the equipment. Either the demon would come at him from straight ahead, or it would try to slip around. The slithering sound seemed to be coming from ahead of him, so he kept his sword in front of him for the moment.
When the slithering noise changed direction, Uriel pivoted. It was underneath the equipment and the sound was echoing, that’s why it seemed to be coming from in front of him. He was only just fast enough to get his sword up to deflect the demon as it came at him from the right.
The creature’s mouth fastened on the wall a finger-width from Uriel’s wing. He quickly furled them, protecting himself as he pivoted to bring his sword to bear on the demon’s side.
Sparks flew as the sword grated along scales far harder than Uriel had been expecting. With the xenolithics Uriel had encountered before, he’d had no trouble slicing through them with his sword fully unsheathed as it was now.
Uriel stepped away, putting distance between himself and the demon while it was trying to disengage with the wall. Its large circular jaws were designed for tunneling through rock, and it had launched hard enough to take a chunk out of the wall when it tore free once more.
Uriel raised his sword high, knowing that he had to act quickly or it would flee back into the building.
“Lord, aid me in my defense of the innocent,” Uriel called.
This light of his sword eclipsed everything else and he brought it down in a powerful stroke, visiting the Lord’s wrath upon the demon preying on the Lord’s creation.
Uriel felt the sword bight into the demon’s flesh and pressed down as hard as he could, driving it into the floor before he had enough leverage to cleave it in two.
Uriel panted, his arms tingling from the force of the impact and his ears ringing from the sound of his Lord’s presence even briefly in the earthly plane.
Stepping back, Uriel pulled his sword from the creature. He kept is held in front of him at the ready. This xenolithic was much stronger than any he had fought before. He needed to make sure it was truly vanquished.