Liz tumbled and came to a stop on her back. The darkness twisted free and the form of the dog landed on all fours a short distance away. It sighted on Liz and pounced.
Liz rolled away as the dog came down. She spun and came up on her knees. The dog slid on the bare ground, turned on its claws, and then steadied itself. It’s jaw dropped and it let out a guttural roar. Liz stood with her arms straight by her side and screamed back. The dog pushed forward and drifted apart. The swirling darkness surrounded Liz. She held a hand up to her eyes as the smoke and ash swirled around her. A sick pressure weighed in her head and on her skin. The mess in front of her eyes cleared and the world went dull.
The shadow wrapped itself around Liz’s thoughts and slowed her movements. It pushed her toward defeat. One knee buckled, but she caught herself and held firm.
Liz closed her eyes and focused in on the dog. She saw the outline of it within herself, how it was fighting to gain control. She pushed back against it. The outline tightened. The dog struggled, but had nowhere to go.
Cracks of light broke from Liz’s closed eyes and hard clenched fists. She pulled her right hand back like she was about to throw a baseball. Instead of out, she brought her arm around and down. The light at her hand erupted and shot into the ground. A shockwave of light filled energy pushed away from her and dissipated well out of sight. The air settled and what was left of the dog twisted and spun in on itself on the ground in front of Liz. The shadow form flickered, attempting to hold itself in this world.
“You’re done here,” Liz said. “Go.”
The air crackled and twisted, then a shock of light swallowed the shadow and the dog disappeared.
Christopher shouted something at the woman he arrived with. Liz blinked and moved herself directly in front of him. She studied his face. It made her angry. The smugness and apathy.
Liz plunged the pointed fingers of her right hand in between Christopher’s eyes. She curled her fingers and twisted her wrist. Christopher’s face tensed, his teeth clenched, and then his body went limp.
Image by Kaleigh Kanary