The creature – more demon than human – stands in the darkness cast by the storm. He waits for the sun to return. Their battle paused by time. His choice was made eons ago.
When time began he was given a choice, he could stay and fight in the battle between the gods and demons or he could fall to Earth. He chose humans without a moment of hesitation. It wasn’t so much because he thought they were better, but because he didn’t agree with either the Gods or the demons. So he spent eternity trying to make the world better. Trying to save the humans from not only the battle they didn’t know raged around them, but also from themselves. Now as time was coming to an end there was nothing more he could do. He couldn’t save them. Not from the battle between Gods and Demons, but more painfully not from the destruction they had brought upon themselves.
Too much pain, too much loss, and too much death at the hands of one another that he was forced to admit he had lost. He had failed. Now he was waiting for the time to face his masters, the demons, to see what price he would pay for what he had tried to do. The storm raged, the water boiled, yet nothing surfaced. No demon came to summon him home.
A sound, that of one rock hitting another caught him attention. It told him that he wasn’t alone any longer. No voice came to follow the sound. He turned toward it needing to know who had followed him. Who was crazy enough to risk a walk to the water’s edge on a night like this. Where the storm was trying to take control of the beach and take its pound of flesh from anything it could find. Standing there no more than a few small steps away was a child. They couldn’t have been more than ten or eleven years old. There was fear in their eyes and their little body was shaking. He wanted to yell, to tell the child to run back off the beach. To save it. But nothing came when he opened his mouth.
He thought for only a second as a deafening clap of thunder shattered the air. He felt the rumble under his feet. Without another thought for himself or the punishment he was waiting on he raced to the child. Scooped them up and continued up toward dry land as fast as his feet would carry him. Across the boardwalk and into one of the abandoned buildings he ran his feet pounding the ground. Curling the small Fram against his own body in a hope of using what was left of his body heat to keep them warm he tucked the two of them into a closet space toward the center of the building. Holding the child tightly he rocked and waited for the storm to blow over. IT had to blow over. He had to find where this child belonged and get them home.
The demon held the child close for hours. Long after the sun should have risen and burned away the storm. Still he could hear it raging outside the building. The wind screaming and the rain slashing into the building’s walls. He was growing cold now so he knew the child must be. He opened his eyes to look around as the little light would allow him. He saw a thin blanket laying in the far corner of the closet. Moving to get it he wrapped it around the child. He still feared for their life, but he knew he had to find a way to get them warmer. He tucked the child tightly into he corner and motioned for them to stay put. His words still refused to come and he knew the demons were punishing him.
He searched the building, trying to stay close enough to hear if the child called out, for anything that would help keep them warm or anything else that would help them. He found a kitchen and grabbed some small things for the child. In the next room he found a pile of heavy moving blankets and picked up as many as he could carry. Making his way back to the child he took careful time to build a cosy little cave that would surround the child. It would keep them warm and he would stand guard to keep them safe.
As he picked the child up to move them into the blanket cave a voice, soft and almost musical slipped from her lips. “Why are you helping me? I thought you had given up?” She asked letting him settle her in the blankets.
He tried to answer her, but still no words would form. He shook his head. She continued. “Just answer yes or no please. Have you given up?”
He shook his head no.
“Will you stay here and protect me until the storm is over?”
“No matter the cost to you?”
Again he nodded.
“Do you fear what will come from who you were waiting for out there because you helped me?”
This time he had to think, but in the end he shook his head. He didn’t fear the demons or the Gods. This child, this lone little girl was all that was important to him.
“Come closer and give me your hand.” She told him.
He did as she said and stepped back over to her putting out his hand. She took it in her smaller ones and within the blink of an eye everything about her and around them changed. No longer were they in an abandoned building, but kneeling on the ground in the center of a grassy field with sunlight pouring down over them. No longer was it a young girl holding his hand but a beautiful woman with a radiant smile. “You did well child. You are free.” He stared at her. Feeling strange. Everything was different and he was afraid now. As much as he should have been running from the storm. “You choose humans a long time ago and even in the face of everything ending you still decided to try and save me instead of face your creators. That single choice earned you notice of the highest of powers. Of the most important of Gods. He has decided that human’s will get another chance and this time they will have you walking among them as one of them. You are relieved of the mantle of demonborn. You will return to a golden world as the human you long to be.” She touched his forehead and the light faded away.
When again he opened his eyes he lay on the sand of the beach the sky above him bright with a sunrise. Looking down at his body he saw that of a full human man. He smiled. Now he could do more to save them. He would live a holy life and his works would be remembered.