All was quiet in the dimming light. Amber reflections on the still waters belayed the terror that hid there, waiting, lurking, ready to feed on the unsuspecting foolish enough to venture near. More than a dozen had already vanished, but few bodies had been found, mutilated, torn almost beyond recognition. Deputy Aldridge gripped the talisman around his neck, praying for guidance and protection. A faint circle of salt and sand surrounded him, symbols delineating protective spirits and corners. Gary had been the first taken, dabbling in things beyond his understanding and ability. Now it was up to Aldridge to make it right, to banish the ancient evil Gary awoke.
Darkness descended and with it the roar of boiling water. Shadowy tendrils whipped out of the lake, seeking a new victim to quench its thirst. Aldridge began chanting, calling to the great spirits to send the demon back to the land of shadows. His hands shook with fatigue as he fought off the terror the creature exuded. Water demon, ancient and evil, exiled by his ancestors. Aldridge’s will began to crumble against the demon’s power. Just as he thought all was lost, energy poured into him, drawing him away from the abyss. Aldridge sensed his father, grandfather, and other ancestors standing beside him. Light flashed, surrounding the demon. It roared in pain and fury as it was dragged back into the void, sealed away where it could do no more harm.
… Until another fool called it back to this world.