Demon Slayer

“‘Arabic for Beginners’? You’re taking a trip I don’t know about?”

Maggie almost jumped out of her skin. “You scared me, Jeff! I didn’t hear you come in.” She got up and gave him a big hug, not wanting to let go. It was the first time she felt safe since he left.

“I missed you,” he said as he squeezed her one last time before stepping out of the embrace.

“My trip went well. I closed with our client!”

“That’s great.”

“You seem distracted.”

“I’m not.”

He frowned. “What’s wrong Mags?”

She bit her lower lip. She still wasn’t sure what she should tell him. “Our house is haunted.”

He laughed. “Come on.”

“I’m serious.”

“What happened?” He could sound so condescending.

“Two nights ago, I had this weird dream. I was in that laundromat down the street. I only had dishwasher soap, but the laundry had to be done. No one was around, so I used it. You can’t use Dawn in a washing machine. The machines overflowed. I was knee deep in suds. Osman, the man who owns the place, entered the store. He was livid, claiming I ruined everything and it would cost a fortune to clean up. I apologized and tried to leave. He grabbed my arm and insisted we share a cup of coffee.”

“That sounds pretty harmless. Except for the fact that you hate coffee.”

She nodded. “It was just a random dream. However, it got worse. Osman was sipping coffee when a man appeared, except he wasn’t a man, he was a demon. Evil radiated off him.

“Without warning, he broke Osman’s neck. He turned to me and laughed. The sound was horrific. He said, ‘You have no idea, do you?’ I ran. He chased me. Before he caught me, I woke up.

“Osman was shaking me. He said, ‘Beware of Afreet. You must defeat him.’ I felt a piercing pain on the back of my shoulder.

“Afreet materialized. He said, ‘You should have chosen better, Osman.’ He moved towards me. Osman jumped on him and they both disappeared. I was never so scared in my life.”

“Maggie, it’s just a nightmare.”

“Was it? Osman was found dead in his shop the next morning. His neck broken.”


“I woke with this.” She exposed the back of her shoulder. Something was branded into her skin in Arabic.

“What does that mean?”

“Demon slayer.”



Fun fact:  This story is from the fotnightly story goup I belong to.  Last year, entries had to be 300 words long, and this year it’s 400 words.  The way the group work is we’re given 4 words that have to be used in the story, a word count and our freedom to write whatever we please.  This weeks instructions were “Arabic to start your story, and nightmare, fortune, and deep to be included in the body of the story (in any order).”


If you’re interested in learning more about this group, just follow the following link:


Fortnightly Story Group

  9 comments for “Demon Slayer

  1. February 20, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    Great story! I want more, but then i know it’s supposed to be only this long. I love how you leave the reader curious and wanting more.

    • jrusoloward
      February 21, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      Thanks! I’m actually working on a longer piece. I’m not sure if she’s going to be the slayer or if he is…

      • February 21, 2018 at 7:24 pm

        Ooooo great! I will really enjoy this story!

  2. February 21, 2018 at 6:27 am

    That was a very good story! It didn’t read like you were trying to fit words in or meet constraints for a challenge. It just made me want to know what happens next.

    • jrusoloward
      February 21, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks, Eduardo! I’m working on a longer piece. It feels like there is more to the story that needs to be told.

  3. February 22, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Wow! Good job on tackling the word prompts! And if I haven’t mentioned it enough, you write the best cliffhangers. I’m always on the edge of my seat, desperate to read more.

    Also, I’m officially spooked by what’s happening here. I try not to get superstitious but The Alchemist did change my entire perspective about the universe always sending us signs:

    First you dream about bathing and squirrel attacks.
    Then I give you an Islamic interpretation of the dream.
    Next you find squirrels on your FB feed.
    And now you get a writing prompt on Arabic and dreams?

    This mystery needs to be solved, I’m guessing. Best we get our Nancy Drew-s on! 😎🤓

    • jrusoloward
      February 22, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      I pretend I’m not superstitious, but I am. Perhaps I should stop writing these stories and try to control my imagination?

      Your Islamic interpretation of the dream was comforting – washing away sins is a good thing. However, the squirrels are scary. We’ll see what transpires.

      • February 22, 2018 at 8:26 pm

        No way! Don’t stop writing! Writing is how you conquer your demons. Better fastened onto paper (or rather stored on the server) than festering in your head.

      • jrusoloward
        February 22, 2018 at 8:39 pm

        Writing, prayers, and a few charms….

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