Yesterday I posted Inner Conflict edited to meet the challenge requirements. However, what I wrote during my first sitting was much longer, twice as long, with a word count around 500 words. Reading the story again, I find I prefer the longer version. This version finished at 456 words. Let me know what you think.
Nervous, and unsure, I took stock of my surroundings. Crouched behind the building’s jutting column, hidden from view, I accessed the alien version of my beloved city. Cold, stark and silent they had transported me into a hidden world. It was the world that lay between reality and dreams.
In the street to my right, stood a glorious black angel his wing unfurled. Exuding confidence, power, and determination he faced his opponent. To my left stood a monster straight from my nightmares, hideous and menacing I knew he meant to win this battle.
“Why don’t you run from me?” the monster growled.
“You think I should fear you?” the angel sneered, chuckling softly.
“You know who I am, my reputation. I am deadly. I hold life in my hands.”
The angel laughed, slapping his hand on his thigh, “I should cower under the bed, hiding the way you do? You kid no one, everyone knows you evaporate with the light.”
They circled, searching for a weakness, an opportunity to strike.
“But she hears me. My words echo in her mind long after I have gone,” the monster said as he licked his lips.
“Your words fall apart once removed from the dark,” a fireball gleamed, as it erupted from the angel’s chest.
The monster saw his opening, rearing back he lunged at the angel who sidestepped the assault, using his wings the way a matador uses his cape with a charging bull. As the monster passed, the angel let the fireball fly. It grazed the monster’s shoulder, and he whirled, swiping at angel feet, toppling him to the ground.
The two rolled in the street as I watched in horrified fascination, unable to turn away.
“Submit, you dishonored beast, you will not gain your redemption with her salvation,” the monster howled as he gained the advantage.
“No matter the cost, I will not let you win,” the angel roared as another fireball propelled the monster back.
The struggle continued, both evenly matched, and I watched them bruised and bleeding, determined to fight to the death.
At last, I could stand it no more, the self-mutilation of my fallen cherub and my noble monster and stepped from my hiding place in the dark.
“Enough,” I screamed, and two sets of eyes met mine.
“Neither of you will win, and we all will die. The truth is the decision is mine.”
I paused. They waited, eager to hear my next words.
“Get up. Compose yourselves.” Confused they complied.
“We must learn to live together,” I said. “We are two sides of the same coin, and neither side is fully right nor fully wrong.”
Sheepish expressions met my gaze, and I knew we would live to fight another day.
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer