Night Beast

by Andrew Dittmer

Darkness came over the land. The beast was slumbering. Knight and Fair Lady prepared for battle for they knew the beast would soon wake.

The beast was neither large nor strong, but it could easily destroy a couple of adults with its powers. ‘We must rest before it wakes.’ said Knight.

They were barely into their first dream when the beast stirred, then squeaked. The Knight shot out of bed to prepare the white serum. This serum had been developed by the best scientists in the land. The correct ratios and temperature were crucial. The mixture could be used to sedate the beast — for up to a few hours.

The squeak became a screech. Knight heard Fair Lady step towards the beast, alone and unarmed. The screech became a shriek.

Knight bolted back, unsure if the serum had been fully prepared. He had no choice — the shrieks were too loud for her to withstand for any length of time. He met her at the foot of its cave and handed over the serum.

‘Good luck’ he whispered and retreated back to bed.

They didn’t dare to both face the beast at once — such was the nature of its strength zapping powers. It was far too risky. If the beast zapped both of their strength at once, they would be defeated.

From the soft bed, the knight heard the shrieks stop. He must have gotten the mixture right. He closed his eyes and drifted into peaceful sleep, knowing the next watch would be his.

After a moment of unconsciousness, the knight woke up and cupped his ear. Growl… growl... He looked at the clock. Surely the serum hadn’t worn off already. The beast made one last belch, then became silent. He knew his fair lady had won the round. He drifted back to sleep before she returned — unscathed but depleted.

Another rumble and another grumble woke Knight and Fair Lady. ‘Already?’ said Fair Lady looking at the clock. Knight knew the serum would be a useless weapon this time. The knight grabbed another implement - one designed to block the strength-zapping sounds from escaping the beast’s mouth.

He crept to the cave, lunged at the beast and shoved the implement into its mouth. He held it for a few seconds. Its eyes closed over, powerless against this weapon. ‘Got ya!’ said Knight. He swivelled and strutted back in the dark, pumping his fist. But at the foot of the cave, he struck one of the beast’s belongings. Squeek! The beast woke, thrashing and wailing. The Knight felt his strength being sucked dry. He rummaged through his inventory and fumbled through their carefully drawn-up battle plan in his mind. It was no use. All the steps were muddled. Everything he tried made the beast louder and louder. At last, he crumbled on the floor. Done for.

The sound of footsteps was sweet music. Fair lady swooped in and performed magic techniques on the beast. She had been born with this magic inside her. Knight had begged her to teach him this magic — but the magic was unteachable. Within minutes, the beast was still and silent, but now both knight and fair lady were weak. They staggered back to bed, closed their eyes and replenished their strength.

The screeches started again. Knight and fair lady sprang out of bed. ‘I’ve got this.’ said Knight. ‘Don’t forget you’ve got to be at the gold mine in a few hours’ said Fair Lady. The mine seemed of little importance compared to the battle raging before them. ‘Is the mercenary coming tomorrow?’ said Knight

‘Due at eleven.’

Knight returned to bed and left his fair lady battling alone once again.

The rising sun always made things feel better. The knight looked across to Fair Lady and they shared a smile. Another successful night.

The beast was gurgling and giggling. They rolled their eyes and leaped out of bed. Knight picked up the beast, gave him a big cuddle and flew him around the room like an eagle. The beast squealed and smirked and in an instant, the battles were forgotten.

‘Well, I’m off to work sweet heart’ said the knight. He gave fair lady a kiss. ‘What time’s your mum coming?’

‘Eleven’ she said.

‘Good, she’ll give you a rest.’ and she did.

When the knight returned from the mine, darkness came over the land. The beast was slumbering. The knight and his fair lady prepared for battle for they knew the beast would soon wake.

Copyright © 2016 - 2018 Andrew Dittmer - All rights reserved