For the flash fiction we’re writing this week, I am riffing on Marshall Ryan Maresca’s cover for A Murder of Mages.
Legolas Mulder put his shoulder to the heavy bolt-bedecked door and grunted as he pushed. Once the weight of it cleared the threshold the hinges did their work and he straightened, bringing his crossbow into a ready position. Beside him, Tauriel Scully stepped lithely around him, her weapon already aimed into the room, following the door’s edge to cover the expanding space.
Before them appeared a room dark save for a ring of scarlet candles. All had burned nearly to the floor. Some had extinguished themselves but it was impossible to tell if they had run out of wick or if the flames had been drowned by the blood. Seeing no body from which the large puddle would have emanated, Mulder’s eyes scanned upward.
The chamber had a vaulted ceiling, about twenty feet up, a pale and too-slender figure hovered. Its enormous black eyes stared and its big head lagged to one side. The figure had large slits along its spindly limbs, and blood dripped from its toes.
Scully let her aim fall downward and she sighed.
“What?” Mulder asked.
“This isn’t what we’re looking for. It’s far too small to have built this place. The doors are twice our height and three times its height.”
“But we found one! It’s proof!” Mulder said.
At that moment the figure began to make a crackling sound. As they watched, its body disintegrated into dust. “So much for proof,” Scully said.
“Fuck,” Mulder murmured.