Ancient Defenses

Author : Jules Jensen

His sword vibrated painfully when it made contact with the thick-skinned creature that towered over him. It clawed at him with a hand large enough to engulf his whole body if he let it. He dodged to the side as the creature lunged again, huge black eyes as empty and soulless as the abyss of death. It opened its mouth, and a hundred sharp teeth glistened darkly.

He caught it off guard by lunging forward himself, stabbing his sword into one of those huge eyes. The creature screamed and shrank back.

Nearby, where the girl was still chanting activation codes, another demon was nearly upon her.

“Don’t stop chanting, and get down!” He shouted at her. She complied instantly, practically falling to the ground, where the red mud stained her ceremonial blue dress. He ran and jumped over her, and as green-skinned demon clawed at him, he slid under its reach and stabbed it in the chest.

The demon fell back, twitching as it died. He quickly looked around, but saw no more monsters clawing their way to the top of the mountain where he was holding his ground.

He hoped that his hair-brained plan was going to work. If it didn’t, his town was without their chanter to activate the ancient towers that protected them from the demons.

The red dirt blazed brightly as the sun set. The green-skinned demons would come out in droves as soon as it was fully dark.

“Activate!” The girl finished her chant with a shout.

For a moment, nothing happened. He felt his heart race. Did they fail? Did he read the ancient books wrong? Were they on the wrong mountain?

But then the giant tower nearby made a loud bang as its rusty frame creaked to life. The two teenagers jolted and stood closer together as they watched its round head swivel, searching for a target.

It focused on something in the valley below, and it fired a glowing red beam that made surprisingly little sound. The boy didn’t even see what it hit, but then it quickly adjusted and fired again. He could hear in the distance the other towers that surrounded the whole area doing their job.

“We did it!” The girl exclaimed, pumping a fist into the air.

“And the adults said it couldn’t be done.” He said. The way they all talked about it, it sounded impossible to get up to the mountain and turn on the defences for the area. He suspected that they just wanted to scare the kids into staying in the borders.

The towers kept on shooting. He noticed that they stayed pointing near all the towns for a long time, shooting rapidly. That was odd. There usually weren’t that many demons that close to the borders.

Both of them gasped as they realized one of the towns had lit on fire. Smoke curled into the sky. The old buildings, crafted from the leftover aircraft that brought the ancients to this world a thousand years ago, they were starting to fall.

“Deactivate the towers!” The boy shouted, but she was already hurriedly chanting.

And the demons were starting to climb the mountain again. He fought faster and harder than he ever had in his life to keep his friend safe.

“Deactivate!” She shouted the last word of her chant, and the ancient towers come to a stop.

As the pair raced home, fighting their way past the nocturnal demons, they both vowed to never mess with ancient technology ever again.


  1. SimonJM

    To paraphrase the film of Doc. Strange, “the warnings come after the spell …” 🙂

  2. Jae

    Ah, the determination of youth versus the patience to read the -whole- tome.

    Good tale.

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