Despite the fact that it was midday, the house was dark. Most of the windows had been shuttered, only letting small amounts of light sneak in. There was still enough for me to see, though. The smell, though…I knew that it would be strong, given that I could smell it from up the hill, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this strong. The rotten smell was so strong that I could practically taste it. Nothing could be done about that, though, so I continued forward, stepping into what must’ve been the family room.
It had been a massacre in here. Blood was caked on the floors, the walls – even the ceiling had a thin layer. What had done this? Definitely not bandits, that was for sure. I took a few steps into the middle of the room, and looked at the floor. There were several candles. One…two…five in total, forming a rough circle. Definitely not bandits, I had to remind myself. I pulled a handkerchief out of my pocket. The blood, although dried, still came off the floor easily. Underneath… intersecting lines had been carved into the floor. Someone had attempted a summoning, but were they successful?
There was a creak in an adjacent room. I snapped to attention, gun at the ready. There was another creak, and then silence. I waited a beat. No additional sound was heard. Whoever it was, they were waiting for me. I walked slowly and quietly towards the doorway and listened as best I could. I could hear ragged breathing coming from the other side. I cocked my hammer back.
That click was all that was needed. A roar came from the other room, and then several heavy steps. The doorframe – along with half of the wall – exploded out towards me. I ducked underneath the largest pieces of debris, but I felt a few chunks bounce off my arms and legs. The creature stepped through. It was a full head taller than I was, and its fur glistened in the dim light. It didn’t look like any animals I had seen before. A demon, then. Its hands opened, and I saw claws the size of daggers. We stared each other down for a moment, and then the demon charged me. I fired a round into its chest. The beast didn’t even slow down. It took a swing at me. I ran out of the way, cocking the hammer back. It turned slowly towards me, and I fired again. This time, it staggered slightly, howling in pain. I backpedaled, heading back into the foyer. If anything, his second roar was angrier than the first. It charged at me, breaking through the other doorframe on the wall. I could hear the house start to creak. We needed to take this outside soon, lest we bring down the building around us. I fanned the hammer as fast as I could, unloading the rest of my rounds into the beast. He staggered back a few steps, but stayed standing. I was wearing him down…I hoped.