A Demon’s Trap

Presenting my 750 word challenge story for the above photo of an island in Finland. I’m pleased to reshare it for Fandango’s Flashback Friday.

A Demon’s Trap

“Bloody wars! It’s freezing out here.” Detective Skoll pulled the lapels of his coat around his ears. Before him was a near-frozen lake surrounded by frosty silver birch trees.

“It’s winter. Herald.” Sergeant Janna Merkle said with a smile.

Skoll always had a soft spot for her. “I noticed.”

“The murder victim’s in the cabin.” Merkle pointed to the tiniest wooden structure. It was sat amid more silver birch. It was also in the middle of the lake. On an island accessible by a rickety wooden jetty.

“How do you know that.” Skoll’s eyes scanned the jetty. “Nobody has crossed to the island this morning at least. There’s no footprints in the frost.”

“That’s why we were both summoned. A bloody knife was found wrapped in paper. It indicated that the blood belongs to the victim in there.” Merkle blew into and rubbed her hands to warm them. “Shouldn’t we take a look?”

“Honestly I’d rather wear a coat of bacon and enter a wolves’ den.” Skoll blew his cold reddened nose and stepped forward. All the way along the jetty his eyes roved the planks for clues. The birches on the island still held a few bronzy leaves on their skeletal limbs. Autumn was just a month ago. The coat of leaves on the cold ground crackled as he stepped on them. The fingers of frost still holding them solid.

“This is a creepy old place.”

“Stay behind me. It could be dangerous.” Skoll looked over the cabin it appeared untouched. It seemed that nothing had been on the island in decades. The windows held no glass. The frames were rotted out. There was a hole in the roof. The door though was solidly locked. Skoll took out his torch and peered in the left window hole. The light showed a carpet of leaves and dust. Cobwebs clung to every surface and almost hid the bed and table from view. “Nobody’s been here since the last war.”

“I’d agree. What of the note and knife though?”

“Maybe it’s the wrong cabin.” Skoll headed around the building. He had to be sure nothing criminal lurked there. Ducking beneath the boughs of the trees he came to the rear of the cabin. “Janna, call back-up immediately.”

“What have you found?” she asked.

“My old adversary is here somewhere.” Skoll took out his old Kongsberg Colt handgun. His eyes on the form of a near-naked man tied to the wall of the cabin. A goat was carved into his chest.

“Bloody hell!”

“Close. Make the call.” Skoll felt his adrenaline firing his body into a defensive ball of energy.

“Sergeant Merkle to HQ. Requesting –”

the terrifying sound of a large shotgun’s slide being pumped cut her off.

“Rupert Mendes. You evil thorn in my backside.” Skoll spun on the balls of his feet.

There was the wiry werewolf-like man. His tiny eyes and nose were the only features visible through his lank black hair and unkempt beard. The rest of him was clad in brown and white army fatigues. Mendes was the only man Skoll had failed to capture for his murderous crimes.  

“Gotcha.” he breathed with his shotgun aimed for the detective’s heart.

“Why’d you kill him?” Skoll nodded to the victim. Sweat beading his brow despite the cold air. “You could have spared him and just left the note to bring me here.”

“This was way more fun.” Mendes looked to Janna with a hunger in his soulless eyes.

“Take one step closer to her. I dare you,” Skoll raised a hand punctuating his order.

“Sure. I’m in charge around here. Move and I’ll blow you to Hell.”

“You don’t know anything do you. I’m a warrior against criminals. I will go to Valhalla as a hero.” Skoll looked to Janna and winked. Mendes let out an animal-like growl.

“Then I will torture you in life first.” He threatened.

Skoll saw the man’s muscles move.

He’d lunged for Janna.

Skoll leapt forward. Seeing the shotgun come back his way. He rolled beneath it and sprung into the man’s ribs. Mendes barely managed a curse before he was blasted through the wall of the cabin. His victim flopped to the cold earth.

Janna peered through a plume of dust and screamed.

Mendes was on his feet. He was bleeding and twisted in pain. Yet he stood tall with his shotgun in hand. Skoll rose behind him and knocked him out with a rotting beam.

“You’re under arrest. You demonic creep.”  Skoll gave Janna a successful smile.

The End

Thanks for reading my friends.

There’s more in the Poetry CornerPoetry Nook, and the Short Story Collection

Have a great day!

15 thoughts on “A Demon’s Trap

Add yours

  1. Great story, Mason. Riveting!! The lack of commas didn’t bother me at all, in fact I wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t mentioned it. Your style of short, declarative sentences gave the story a tautness that moved it along quickly which served it well. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jim. In light od the fact that my commas are always miss-placed I felt it pertinent to write without to prove that they are in reality unnecessary. I think it worked.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good story and great example of how few commas are ever needed, if at all. We should all try this (maybe I need to, too, seeing as I suggested it! LOL)

    There are only a few places where you ‘needed’ them – if you’d changed the wording slightly you wouldn’t:

    “It’s winter. Herald.” Sergeant Janna Merkle said with a smile. – could have taken out ‘said with a smile’ and just put ‘smiled.’

    ‘It was also in the middle of the lake. On an island accessible by a rickety wooden jetty.’ – take out the full stop in the middle entirely to make one sentence, no comma needed.

    ‘His eyes on the form of a near-naked man tied to the wall of the cabin.’ – change to ‘his eyes were on’

    There’s a couple more instances like that last one, but otherwise it really works without commas.

    Good story too. You do dark tales really well!

    Liked by 1 person

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