THE DEMON OF THE CAVERN OF THE BLACK MOUNTAIN
Deep in a cavern far beneath the Black Mountain, the Demon woke from his nightmare. He rose from the jagged granite slab that was his bed, shaking his head to bring wakefulness. As he did this, droplets of dark oily glop flew from his face, raining down upon the stone floor. Fiery eyes glowed red and then pulsed as he remembered the horrid dream.
Like all his nightmares, it had been about an author who was going to write a story.
The Demon hated authors and the stories they wrote. Then again, he disliked most anything you and I love such as ice cream, good music, spring days with lots of sunshine and even chocolate (sad, but true!). More than anything, he hated a good story. With every fiber of his being, he despised tales filled with imagination and the joy they brought to young readers.
His purpose in life was a cruel one: to stop authors from writing stories. To that end, he was utterly ruthless and had many tricks up his sleeve. For example, he knew all eight hundred and eleven ways to make writers doubt themselves (so they would lack the confidence to write even one sentence). He had mastered twenty-one effective techniques to fill the mind with excuses not to write. So dedicated was this crusher of creative spirits, he even knew a dark magic spell that transformed the joy of writing into a grinding agony.
More of the nightmare came to mind and it filled him with complete disgust.
He had dreamt of a very special kind of author who was going to write a one-of-a-kind story!
He had encountered these kinds of authors before. More often than not, he had been able to stop them from writing; their stories never saw the light of day. But every once in a while, an author succeeded despite the Demon’s best efforts. Of these, there were three authors the Demon despised more than anyone.
One was a jovial man, with a handlebar mustache, who wrote of a girl named Dorothy and her adventures in a place called Oz. “Only a fool would be amused by a stupid Scarecrow, a rattling Tin Man and a Lion scared of his own shadow!” said the Demon with a mouth perfectly suited for snarling.
Then there was that fellow, a professor at some fancy British college, who wrote of little people with hairy feet whose homes were holes in the ground. “What were those little critters called?” The Demon struggled to recall. “Hobbits. Ugh! Pure rubbish!”
Most recently, a woman had written a book – no, she had written seven books – about a young wizard at a school of magic. The books had been widely popular, a situation the Demon found deeply, deeply offensive; it even hurt his feelings. “How could I have allowed her to do that?” he moaned in a very un-Demon like way.
He squeezed his oily palms against his goo-covered forehead and thought about what he had done wrong. "I made the same mistake with all three authors: I failed to take the ultimate step of kidnapping their characters."
Kidnap them before the story was written! Yes, that was the only foolproof way to sabotage an author. Imprisoned in the deepest cavern on earth, far below the Black Mountain, the characters would be doomed. Over time, they would become pale, embittered ghosts, their stories forever untold.
Yes, this time he would be sure to kidnap the characters! No author had ever been successful in the attempt to rescue their characters. The Demon allowed himself to enjoy a small smile. It was an odd sight to see on his monstrous, goo-covered face.
“Author, I will find your characters!” The Demon issued his warning through grinding teeth. He stomped his foot into the floor of the cavern and shards of granite flew everywhere. “I will find them and steal them from you.”
The Demon howled with glee.