Twelve horns jutted out of the shadows as the demon lifted its head to challenge Anja. Four horns on the left and four on the right curved over four smaller horns down the center of the demon’s head. Blood red flesh wrinkled on a ram-shaped skull with two sunken eye sockets. The flesh on the bottom half of its face appeared to be sliced off, leaving mandible bones visible and a pit for the demon’s nose. White human teeth clamped on a wicked smile with canines hanging like fangs to the demon’s bottom lip.
If ever to be a face to depict the wrath of Hell, the twelve-horned demon’s would be it.
“Face me,” Anja said.
The demon dove out of the wall into the floor, vanishing. Anja dispersed her energy into a mist surrounding her to gain transparency. The demon resurfaced behind her, slashing right and left, right and left without scathing Anja. The inability to shred her triggered and confused the demon. More so, her lack of fear and her pure grace pissed the beast off. It thrashed at her wispy apparition and snapped its teeth in her face, threatening to gnaw on her if she solidified.
Anja curled her soul into a ball, floated around the demon and unraveled herself into the full-body apparition. A deep breath strengthened her spirit and she lifted her sword to exorcise the demon in one stab. But Twelve Horns whipped around, saw the sword coming, screeched like a banshee and fell backward through the floor. Anja wasted energy stabbing thin air.
Thundering hoof-steps from the kitchen caught Anja’s attention just in time to raise her sword. Twelve Horns released an awful steel-on-steel shriek and halted its run in fear of the sword. The demon melted into the floor to try an alternative route.
Ramming from the kitchen. Anja felt Twelve Horns nearing. The demon melted into the floor and reappeared running from where the front door used to be. Anja saw it coming and wound back her arm for the exorcism to end the fight. The demon squealed again and bled into the floor and reappeared closer, too close. Too late to phase out her energy. Anja dropped her sword. It swung down and dangled from the strap around her forearm.
Reflexively, Anja grabbed a horn in each hand. The demon sent her skidding back into the wall with a vicious thud. But she never let go, and she didn’t get stabbed.
Wrestling the demon got her nowhere. Twelve Horns quickly took advantage of her lesser physical strength. The sword made of holy spirits, however, always proved strong enough. It dangled from the criss-crossed strap around Anja’s forearm. She kneed the handle and the sword swung toward Twelve Horns. The silver light of the blade touched and burned the demon’s leg, and it recoiled, roaring.