Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Jaz's Facebook Short Story Competition - Entry by Flora B Thomas


"Mommy, Daddy, tell me about the Gruel." A young girl asked her parents.

They shared a look and their hearts filled with dread. They had been warned that this day would come. For seventeen years they protected their precious daughter, but she would ask. She would have no choice. You see she was chosen. She was chosen to belong to a heartless monster.

Many Years Before...

The Gruel had existed for centuries preying on the fears of the planet's inhabitants. He controlled all of the elements. At first, the world existed in perfect harmony. Animal and plant alike grew and blossomed. Then one day, a storm occurred and darkness arrived.

Unable to exist on an earthly plane, The Gruel retreated his own sacred plane. He watched the planet's inhabitants never really belonging and becoming angrier by the day. For almost a millennia, he exacted mayhem from his hiding place.

One day, as the demon watched, the most beautiful one of human kind came across his vision. He had to know this creature. He watched her intently. For years he followed her. Then one day, he appeared to her father.

Her father was the exact type of person he liked dealing with. He had no sense of self and would sell his soul for his next fix.

Offering him baubles for his daughter would be easy. As Gruel expected, the man sold the girl to him. His only request was that Gruel waited until she was of age.

He watched her every day, at night he appeared in her room. The she met him. He started to kill the young human that dare touch what was his, but he waited. Laila really cared for the human, but it did not matter. One day, in a few weeks she would be eighteen and he would claim her.

However, fates had other plans. The night before her eighteenth birthday, Laila went out with that pesky- human. Gruel had to check on his kingdom. He would bring his bride home soon and they would start a family.

Laila was turning eighteen and she knew what she wanted as a gift. Slightly after midnight, Laila and Oryon shared their virginities with one another. Realizing his lady love was no longer pure. Gruel was furious. He stormed their familial home; confronting her father with whom he had a pack.

"Gruel, I am..." her father stammered. Gruel smacked him clear across the room. They had a deal and he failed to deliver.

"You lied. You failed to keep your word." Gruel was livid. "She was to belong to me."

Laila gasped. She had no idea. The Gruel would destroy her father and she had to speak.

Facing her, this woman, the monster growled. "You are mine, Laila. For years I have waited. I will not be denied. Tomorrow, I come for you. If you value your family, then you will be waiting.

Laila cried as Oryon faced the demon. Gruel laughed, and said "Both of you, be here tomorrow." He left, leaving destruction in his wake.

He wanted Laila, but she was no longer free. She gave herself to Oryon. Gruel started to murder the human when Lalia realized she was carrying a child.

The child was special and she would be his. Learning that an immortal demon wanted your unborn child, Oryon and Laila made a hasty decision. Realizing that his future mate had been murdered, Gruel exacted revenge on her parents.

Laila fearing for Oryon's life pleaded with the fire demon.

He smiled; she was to give birth to a girl child. The child would be named Nya. Nya would being to him from the moment she was born. Her would mark her, making it so no other male would ever touch her.

If any harmed befell the girl her parents' life was forfeit.

Years passed, and Oryon and Laila were careful. She went for years without conceiving. Gruel was patient. His mate would be born one day.

Oryon, determined to protect his wife, had a procedure. She would not conceive so their child would never exist. Gruel was furious and opted to kill the foolish male and take Laila for himself.

Many years passed, and the happy couple seemed to have outsmarted the demon. But something happened. Oryon came home and found Laila sobbing.

"Oryon, I don't know what happened? I never slept with anyone else. You had surgery. We are not supposed to have kids?" She sobbed softly.

"You're pregnant?" Oryon asked.

"Yes," Laila whispered.

"No, no, you slept with... Who else have you been with Laila?" Oryon demanded.

"No one, just you." She sobbed.

"Stop lying to me!" Oryon yelled as he stared at his wife. She had the nerve to say she was pregnant and had not cheated. He walked out. He had to think. Seven years ago, a monster came after them. The monster wanted their child. They actually aborted their first child to keep the monster from taking her.

Now she was carrying a second child. A child she conceived from another man. He closed his eyes, hurt at the thought of his lover being with someone else. He arrived at a bar where he was being watched. Gruel noticed him and saw the despondent look. Something was wrong. Slipping into his thoughts, Gruel was delighted. It seemed that the humans failed. He would have his mate after all.

Leaving he went to see Laila. She was sobbing, alone. He knew with certainty that she never strayed. The foolish human male had impregnated her, and their daughter would one day be his bride.

She was pregnant. He was furious. She had to have cheated. He could not father a child.


That was almost two decades ago. Now, there daughter was here and they spent years not telling her of the monster from their past. He seemed to have vanished. But lately, they started having dreams. The closer Nya came to being eighteen, the stronger they felt the Gruel's presence.

"Nya, never ask about him. Your father and I have a surprise for you. When you turn eighteen, we are sending you on a trip to Asia. We want you to explore and learn new things." Laila explained.

In truth they wanted her away fromm them, away fro Gruel.

"Mommy, Daddy, I won't leave you." Nya sighed.

That night, Laila and Oryon fell into a deep sleep. Nya had the strangest dream. She awoke and went to her vanity. Nya looked at her reflection and wondered what was wrong with her. She thought she was pretty. She had many friends. But guys never asked her out. She knew her Dad was scary, but still. Guys seemed to avoid her.

The mirror flashed. A strange hand reached from the mirror and grabbed her hand; heat caused her to shudder. She blinked.

Shaking her head and thinking it was just a dream, Nya went back to bed. The next day, she looked at the mirror and dismissed the strange sensation. Time passed and nothing else weird happened.

Soon the night of the prom arrived, Nya as usual was alone. She dressed in her gown, a beautiful white dress. Gruel watched her, his mate. She had just turned eighteen. He made sure no males ever approached her. There would be no repeat of the past.

Tonight when she left her school dance, she would not be alone. Gruel smiled. She would never be alone again.

Disguising himself as a dark-haired teen, Gruel waited in front of the dining hall where the school dance would be held. It was time to reveal himself. Touching her thought the mirror was no longer enough.

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