The Victory

This is a 1,999 word short story that came first in Holy World's Christmas competition. It's not without it's major flaws, however. The judges comments were really helpful and instructive, chief among their points was that I wrote it too close to Frank Peretti's style. Which is true. Note to self: Don't read a book that turns out to be a new favourite before you write a short story. Even so, I thought I would share it here.

The Victory
By BushMaid

The warrior stood about nine feet tall as he waited on the sidewalk of the busy street. No one saw him; in fact, he was completely invisible to every person passing by. Could someone see him, they would note his deeply tanned, olive skin and his golden curly hair. The most startling feature however, was his eyes. They were white blue, almost glowing like a flickering blue flame, a gaze that seemed to bore straight through to one’s soul. Right now, they were watchful and waiting.

He was nervous. His hand strayed often to the hilt of his sword, hidden slightly by the folds of his hempen shirt. Glancing across the street, he noticed his companion emerge through the brick wall of the shopping complex. He walked across to him, traffic flowing through his body as though he wasn’t even there.

“Did you see her?” He whispered softly. His ebony friend nodded. 

“She wasn’t what I expected,” He admitted, his voice low. The black man beckoned as he turned and strode through the revolving doors of a shopping complex, the doors not revolving. He didn’t speak until they were both standing furthest from the flow of people in a corner gift shop. 

“I thought she would be older,” He said at length. “But thanks to one lady’s dying prayer and someone’s empty pantry, the Spirit may help us save a life today. Do you have enough help, Simri?”

The blonde angelic warrior frowned thoughtfully. “I have alerted Zattu, he is ready. I’m waiting on Attai,” He said at length. “His presence here may tip the balance in our favour, but he has been delayed. Gibbar, we will have to put the plan into action without him... hoping he’ll make it.”

“Let’s go then,” Gibbar glanced at a shadow that flickered momentarily on the ceiling before he melted into the floor like a puddle of ink, disappearing from sight. 

Simri walked purposefully through the mall, watching the passing shoppers hurry about their errands. He was looking for one in particular. There: he saw her. She was standing by a ride next to the candy store, looking out of place. Simri glanced about, his well-trained eye taking in every nook and cranny of the open mall, taking note of the yellow eyes that blinked back at him from the darkness. His skin crawled. They were everywhere, and they were waiting.

Something stirred. Simri’s eyes swivelled back to his charge. Out of the darkness by the candy shop, a gnarled, scaly hand moved. Its talons twitched in the air above the girl’s head, as though he were moving the strings of a puppet. Indeed, as Simri watched, the girl turned and with the disembodied hand suspended over her, she moved towards the grocery aisles of the shopping centre. Simri took a few running steps towards her. “Not yet...”

He stood before the girl and she stopped, perplexed. “What are you doing?” He said sternly to the yellow eyes that blinked open above the hand. They scowled menacingly as the rest of his body appeared. Tall, black, and covered in scales, the demon pulled back his lips in a toothy grimace. 

“Taking her for a walk, is all.” It rasped out. The grin widened into one of gloating as Simri turned and saw an exit onto the street. His hand jerked towards his sword, but the room suddenly echoed with the hissing of a score of demons, and he stopped himself. With great restraint, he stepped aside and allowed the creature to continue his puppetry, the girl moving down the aisle. Simri glanced up at the roof. “Ribai, you’re on.” He said softly. A lithe figure dropped through the roof, his pale skin and dark hair a contrast to Simri’s. Ribai moved through the shopping mall, ready to perform his mission.


A middle-aged woman was perusing a shelf full of canned fruit. She had found herself short that week and her pantry was in dire need of refilling. She frowned. She couldn’t seem to find anything she wanted today. Ribai moved alongside the woman, his hands moving frantically over each jar and tin that he knew the woman needed, covering the labels. He watched the demon’s progress through the store, and allowed the woman some time. He lifted his hands. Aha! Here was something she needed. The woman took a jar from the shelf as Ribai continued his vigil. It was only a matter of time...


Across the town, Gibbar shot through buildings and cars as though a jet engine propelled him. Glancing behind him, he growled as he noticed a one demon had followed him. He was sleek, black, and almost human except his taloned fingers and pointed teeth showing through his black mask belayed the fact. Rocketing into the earth without even making a dent, Gibbar ducked and weaved through the city sewers trying to lose it, but the black streak stuck to his trail like glue. Bursting through the earth’s surface, Gibbar halted his dash as he flung himself into the living room of a small red-brick house. A man was standing by a desk, car keys in hand, talking hurriedly on the phone. Gibbar went to him immediately and stood in front of him, hearing the conversation clearly.

“My washing machine has just broken, and it’s flooded everywhere, I really need your help...”

“Look, I’m very sorry, ma’am but I need to make a run to the shops right now; I can do it when I get back...” The man looked at his watch in frustration. His shopping items weren’t desperate, but the shops closed in around half an hour. 

“Tell her you’ll be there. It won’t take long.” Gibbar told the man.

“I really need to get my washing done though, my little one is sick, and his sheets are all messed...”

The man wavered. The goods could wait until tomorrow, he reasoned. 

It was then the demon tore through the wall and without hesitation plunged his taloned fist through the man’s head, whilst screeching at him, “No! You don’t want to wait! The woman can wait, it’s not important! Just go down to the shops, just a little trip, and then you’ll fix her machine!”

His scowl returned. It was only a washing machine, and besides, he might not find time for his shopping tomorrow. 

“Ma’am, I’m sorry, I just can’t do it right now.” He stated curtly. “I’ll get around there as soon as I can, ok? Goodbye.” He punched the ‘end call’ button with his thumb, and put down the phone. Flicking his keys in the air and catching them again, he left the house whistling a tune as he started his car. Gibbar’s shoulders slumped. It was too soon. The demon just grinned viciously, his shining, yellow eyes mocking him. With a scream of triumph, he shot into the air and left the house.


Simri was following an elderly man down the sidewalk. He was wary about walking out in the open with so many eyes that could be watching him, but he had to take that chance. Steering the man by the elbow, he gently guided him to a young boy selling newspapers. 

“Would ya like a paper, sir?” the lad asked. 

Simri reached out and touched where the man had his money sitting. 

The man felt the coins he had weighing in his pocket. It wouldn’t hurt to further the boy’s bicycle fund, he reasoned, as he withdrew the money. 

“Why not?” He said, as money and newspaper swapped hands.


Gibbar turned his flight back to the shopping complex where he found his friend in an alcove by the door. Simri glanced at the Negro with a question in his eyes.

“No good,” Gibbar answered. “He left too soon. I’m not certain she’s going to make it.”

Simri’s eyes slid shut agonizingly for a moment. When they opened, they sparked with determination. “Then it’s all or nothing.” He said with finality.

Gibbar nodded slowly. He reached for his scabbard and slowly withdrew his sword, which shone like white fire, lighting up the corner. 

“All or nothing.” He repeated.


The puppeteer had reached the end of the aisle with his prisoner and was heading for the door. By this time, frustrated by the fact she couldn’t find any more items on her shopping list, the middle-aged woman appeared around the corner and noticed the girl. Ribai, standing next to her, reached over and touched the woman’s eyes. The woman’s gaze narrowed as she watched the puppet like character moving towards the door.

“Hey!” She called. 

The demon’s hand faltered for a second, allowing his charge to turn to the woman. “Yes?”

“You look lost. Are you ok?”


Simri and Gibbar stood by either side of the exit to the shopping centre. Looking up and down the street, they both pinpointed an elderly man holding onto his newspaper that was trying to escape in the wind. They also saw Indian-skinned Zattu, standing across the street from them next to a troubled looking lady. Behind them in the store, they could sense the hornets’ nest of demons stirring and milling. The hisses and screeches filling the air were thick with triumph. It was their dance of death.


The demon puppeteer gnashed his teeth at Ribai. “You can’t stop us!” he roared. “She’s ours now! There’s no way she can beat that car!”

“I wouldn’t be so sure.” Ribai replied, and like lightening, he withdrew his sword and cleaved the beast in two, his body dissolving into fine ash. The room exploded with demons. They swooped onto Ribai like a flock of vultures, but Ribai fended them off with all his might, as he watched the shopping woman take the now unhampered girl by the arm, and lead her out the exit way. As the two entered the street, Simri and Gibbar went to action. Simri dashed to the old man who was still fighting his newspaper. With one sweep of his arm, Simri sent the entire paper whisking into the air. It hurtled down the street, straight into the face of the woman who let go of the girl’s arm, leaving her standing free on the edge of the pavement. 

Gibbar stepped in to assist Ribai, slashing, cutting and rending the bodies of the countless demons as they flailed their weapons in a hideous frenzy. It was at this time, Zattu across the street, chose to grasp the woman he was guarding by the head, forcing her to face the action only he could see across the street. 

“Look over there!” He said to her.

The woman let out a gasp of recognition.  


The fix-it man’s car was coming down the street at a fast pace, as the girl made her first move. Simri and Gibbar both saw it from their position at the shop front, but their hands were full keeping the slobbering bloodthirsty demons from reaching the girl they could do nothing but watch helplessly. The car motored towards the action and towards the scene of impending death when a sudden flash appeared in the sky. An angelic sword flew through the air, skittering off the pavement and slashing the car tires. It was Attai; he had arrived just in time. As the car screeched towards the girl, Attai flung himself in front of it, heaving with all his strength, and bringing the car to a standstill. 

The demons screeched in fury and fear as they saw their plan fall apart. Disengaging themselves from the angels, they went hurtling into the sky, fleeing the plaza rasping curses at defeat. Simri looked up as Attai joined them.

“Timely, my friend.” He said simply, smiling through fatigue.

Simri, Gibbar, Ribai, Zattu and Attai turned to survey the Spirit’s success.


What happened, you ask? Lost, five-year-old Molly made it safely across the street to her mother’s waiting and thankful arms. The battle for her life was won.

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  1. Regardless of whether you think it's too derivative, it's well written.

  2. Thanks, Jonathan. You're very encouraging. =)


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